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The Ultimate Guide to Grooming and Bathing Your Dog!
Keep up with your fur child’s grooming schedule!
Keeping up with your fur child’s grooming schedule can seem daunting at times, especially around shedding seasons. Dawg hair is a major issue facing all dog moms and dog dads!
From avoiding mats and tangles to keeping our fur child’s coat looking pawsome, our dog groomers know just how challenging this can be. Because we want to help you help your furry babe be healthy, happy, and well-taken care of, we’ve created a dog grooming guide for our most popular breeds!
1. Preparation Is The Key!
Prepare the supplies you will need:
1. Low-Calorie Treats!
2. A bathtub that fits your pooch
3. Dry towels
4. Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
5. Dog Tooth Brush
6. Magic Brush Glove
7. Hair Clippers
8. Pet Nail Grinder
2. Setting Up The Atmosphere!
Teach your puppy or dog to be comfortable with handling in general, by patting and stroking different parts of their body. Praise and reward them for being calm and allowing you to handle them. Go slowly, patting them on the chest area, shoulders, sides, and along the back, gradually working towards other areas such as each leg.
Once they’re comfortable with this, try briefly lifting up a paw, one at a time. Continue to praise and reward (with tasty dog food treats) for calm behavior and when your dog allows general handling. This will make your dog less likely to react when you touch them in these areas while bathing.
3. Start With Washing!
If your dog has any mats or tangles it may be a good idea to give them a nice brush and trim off mats/knots before bath time.
Wet your dog’s hair all the way to the skin working from the chest/neck area down the back and sides of your dog towards the tail. If you’re using a tub let the water run down the drain so it doesn’t fill up. Once the body is thoroughly wet, apply some hypoallergenic dog shampoo (having previously applied a test patch to your dog to ensure there’s no irritation).
Start at the chest first before gradually moving out to other areas of the body, making sure you get right down to the undercoat. After the chest area, gently massage the shampoo onto the shoulder area, down your dog’s sides, back, front legs, back legs, and tail area. Once they’re comfortable you can quickly wash their underside (note this area can be ticklish and sensitive for some dogs).
Avoid wetting the head area as dogs are very sensitive there. Take care to avoid the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth areas. For many dogs, the general head area is better cleaned by gently using a damp face cloth. It’s important to prevent water from getting into the ears as this can predispose to an ear infection. After shampooing your dog, gently rinse out the shampoo thoroughly using your fingers to ensure that you get through the undercoat. Next, you can apply a gentle hypoallergenic dog conditioner, repeating what you did when shampooing your dog.
Depending on the type of conditioner you’re using, you may have to let it sit on the coat for several minutes before rinsing it out thoroughly. Now that your dog’s bathed, you’ll need to help dry them off!
4. Don't Forget The Drying!
While dogs will tend to instinctively shake off excess water after getting wet, you will probably also need to help them dry off with some large absorbent towels. After this, most dogs can be allowed to air dry naturally. Avoid using hair dryers as most dogs don’t like air blowing at them and they can also get too hot. If hair dryers are unavoidable, always take all safety precautions! Directly supervise the dog at all times and avoid the head area and ensure the air is always at a comfortable temperature (not too warm or hot). The dryer should also be placed a good distance away from the dog.
5. Brush The Teeth!
Like us, it is ideal to brush your dog's teeth at least twice daily. For many dogs, once brushing becomes a part of their daily routine they will begin to expect and enjoy it. Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation.
6. Why Brush/Groom Your Dog?
Try to give your pet a good workout before you do any grooming. If he's all hyper and you try to shave him, you're not going to have much success. Take him for a good walk or get him tired from playing, so that he'll be calmer when you're doing it.
While you're doing the actual grooming, be as firm as you can, talk in a calm voice, and have treats at the ready. Brushing and combing your dog’s hair coat is an important part of general pet care. Brushing helps to keep your dog’s coat in good condition by removing loose hair and preventing hair mats/knots. Brushing also helps to distribute healthy natural skin oils over the hair shaft, promoting a shiny coat and helping dirt to slide off the hair. This can also help to reduce the need to bathe and therefore reduce the frequency of bathing.
Brushing and grooming are activities that help to strengthen the positive relationship bond between dogs and their owners. Brushing should be a pleasant and comfortable experience for dogs and owners!
7. Do Keep Certain Areas Trimmed.
If you want to extend the life of an existing cut, or maybe aren't quite ready to take on a full groom yourself, we recommend just dry-trimming the most necessary areas to start. The face, ears, and hygienic areas should be maintained. Keeping the hair short and clean in these areas can help with odors and prevent infection. Always use a pair of good hair clippers that are relatively sharp and make sure you don’t use them for other things.
8. Finish With The Nails.
One of the key steps for keeping your dog groomed at home is giving them regular nail trims every few weeks, even if it's not a task that either of you particularly enjoys. While some dog's nails will naturally reduce themselves when they walk on hard surfaces like concrete or pavement, others do require frequent trimming. Once every four to six weeks is a good time to trim them. Don't forget to cut the dewclaw, a nail that some dogs have on the side of their foot; and, if you accidentally nick the "quick" (nerves and blood vessels inside the nail), a dab of cornstarch or styptic powder will stop the bleeding. Reward your pupper after each nail is trimmed!