Grooming is the behavior of an animal, expressed in caring for its own fur or the fur of another individual. Wild animals engage in active grooming during the mating season when all actions are aimed at attracting the attention of individuals of the opposite sex.
Their competence includes cutting, drying, nail care, and more. Of course, a lot has changed since those times.
The grooming needs of dogs are constantly changing, and groomers follow fashion trends and use new technologies. So, in this article let’s know about dog grooming, dog baths, haircuts, nail trimming.
What Is Dog Grooming?
Now the dogs are in different conditions. Keeping them at home and the absence of a breeding season has led to a weakening of the need for regular grooming.
Therefore, dogs cannot always take good care of themselves, and they need help caring for their bodies.
The characteristics of caring for a pet are influenced by the characteristics of the breed (for example, the length and structure of the coat), and its body type, habits, and living conditions.
Grooming a domestic dog includes caring for the coat, skin, claws, ears, eyes, and teeth. The coat of dogs consists of an undercoat (down hair), guard hair, and covering hair depending on the breed.
At the same time, pets’ fur can vary in thickness, length, and structure. The main procedures for caring for her are combing, washing, and cutting.
Combing prevents the formation of tangles and removes dead hair. In addition, when brushing, you massage your pet’s skin, thereby improving its blood supply.
With regular brushing, you take care not only of the dog’s health but also of the cleanliness of your home: there will be much less hair on the floor and furniture.
The frequency of brushing depends on your pet’s coat type. Dogs with long hair and developed undercoats need to be brushed daily. It is recommended to brush puppies regularly so that they get used to this procedure.
When combing, try not to cause pain to the animal and use special tools: combs, scrapers, brushes, mittens, brushes, tangle cutters, and slickers.
How To Groom Dog?
In long-haired dogs, the hair on the paws, between the toes, on the belly and inner thighs, around the anus, and on the outside and inside of the ears should be trimmed. In addition, dying fur from the ear canals must be plucked periodically.
The condition of the dog’s skin, fur, ears, eyes, and teeth should be monitored daily. Regular examination of your pet and proper care of it are the keys to its health and longevity. If the dog is not accustomed to basic hygiene procedures, this gap should be filled as quickly as possible.
Hygiene Comes First:
Caring for dogs affects their condition. With the support of a proper diet and periodic examinations for the general condition of the pet, it is guaranteed that the dog will be healthy and well-groomed.
An important rule for owners who have a four-legged friend is to teach him hygiene at an early age, and with the patience and attentiveness of the owner, this can be achieved. Below are a few rules that will make life easier for owners and improve the general condition of the pet.
Bathing The Dog:
The dog is bathed depending on the grooming requirements of the breed, usually once a month. True, it is recommended to bathe animals of long-haired breeds with soft fur two, and in some cases three times a month.
When swimming, avoid getting water in your ears and shampoo in your eyes. The bathing process is simple: you need to moisten your pet’s fur with warm (about 35 ° C) water, foam the shampoo, apply it to the animal’s fur, lightly massage its skin, and then rinse off with a weak shower.
For some breeds, it is necessary to apply a special balm or conditioner to the coat. This must be done in accordance with the instructions for this product.
The tips of dogs’ nails are shortened using a nail clipper. Since in different breeds, the pulp is located at different distances from the edge of the claw, the owner will need to first consult with a specialist. He will determine to what length the animal’s claws need to be shortened and show how to do it correctly.
Brushing A Dog:
An animal with long hair should be brushed daily. To do this, you will need a special brush or comb with blunt teeth. If your pet’s fur becomes matted, you can use a liquid to make it easier to comb.
It is recommended to brush dogs starting from the head. Lastly, brush the tail and paws. The coat of a short-haired pet can be wiped daily with a cloth flap.
Grooming is an integral task for every person who keeps a dog at home. This will help keep your pet’s coat in good condition.
Dirt should be removed and natural oils distributed throughout the coat, preventing tangling. Keep the animal’s skin clean and free of irritants. Grooming time is also an excellent time to check for fleas, flea dirt, and ticks.
You need to know your pet’s coat type so that you don’t comb it every day, but, for example, every other week. So, for representatives with short and dense hair, combing is mandatory every few days. Those with smooth coats need to have their coat brushed once a week.
Dogs with long fur require daily brushing. The procedure keeps the animal’s coat healthy, and a light massage has a beneficial effect on the dog’s skin.
It is enough to clean your dog’s ears once a week. To do this, it is best to use cotton swabs. First, you can drip a special solution recommended by your veterinarian into your pet’s ears. You should clean your dog’s ears very carefully.
Regular care should include periodic ear checks. This is especially important for dogs that produce excessive amounts of earwax or have a lot of hair in the inner ear. You don’t need to clean your pet’s ears so often or deeply that it causes irritation.
Hydrogen peroxide, boric alcohol, and special solutions are used to treat the ears. For external treatment of the ear, cotton swabs are used, and baby creams are prescribed if the pet’s ears are very dry and flaky.
Dogs need to have their ears cleaned once every seven days. At home, this is done using improvised means – hydrogen peroxide, vegetable oil, etc. An experienced groomer has an arsenal of tools and products suitable for various breeds. Gentle cleaning even for dogs of dwarf breeds with narrow ear canals and those with difficult-to-clean floppy ears.
Any discharge from the animal’s eyes should be cleaned using cotton swabs or disks moistened with a special liquid. If necessary, put the medication prescribed by your veterinarian into your pet’s eyes. Gently rubbing with a damp cotton swab soaked in a mild, gentle cleanser or warm water will help protect your pet’s eyes.
First, you need to wipe the outside of the inner corner of the eye and be careful not to touch the eyeball. The process ensures the reduction of redness and irritation of the eyes.
Until 6–7 months of age, special care for your dog’s teeth is not required. Starting from 8–9 months, the animal should be accustomed to brushing its teeth to remove plaque and tartar. To do this, you will need a piece of gauze and a special toothpaste for dogs.
The prophylactic agent should be squeezed onto gauze and each tooth should be treated with massaging movements. If the plaque is too strong, you need to use a special toothbrush for dogs.
As a rule, the teeth cleaning procedure is carried out once every two weeks. Brushing your teeth is not the most pleasant procedure for a dog.
Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause plaque to form on your furry friend’s teeth.
The pet store has special brushes and pastes for cleaning your pet’s mouth. At first, the manipulation will irritate the dog, since it is not accustomed to the presence of an object in its mouth, but with the correct choice of the shape and size of the brush, the dog will get used to it. Teeth brushing should be done twice a week.
Paw and Claw Care:
When trimming nails, it is important to hold your dog correctly. A pooch’s nails should be trimmed when they almost touch the ground. If your pet’s nails are clicking or catching on the floor, it’s time to trim them. Be careful when cutting, do not injure your pet!
During walks, particles of dirt and foreign bodies can get stuck on the front and hind legs. Therefore, inspection and washing of paws should be carried out after each walk. To keep them in excellent shape and avoid drying and flaking of the pads, you need to use moisturizing and nourishing creams.
This is another type of procedure that groomers perform. Of course, the main inspection, washing the paws after walking is what every owner does at home. Specialists are most often contacted with more serious problems:
Carefully trimming the hair between the toes is a necessary hygienic procedure that protects the dog from the development of fungal diseases.
Long nails can interfere with your pet’s walking, negatively affect his gait, and even grow into the pad of his paw, thereby causing the dog to suffer from pain and inflammation.
The groomer uses special nail clippers – with a guillotine mechanism or with a sickle-shaped blade. It is also possible to file the claws and grind them – manually or automatically. At the request of the owner, the surface of the claws is covered with decorative varnishes and strengthening agents.
You can carry out the procedure at home, however, in pets with black claws it is very difficult to do everything correctly since the core of the nail plate is not visible.
Claws are trimmed as they grow, once every 1-3 months. In animals that actively walk outdoors on hard surfaces, the claw plates can wear off on their own. If the claw does not grow properly, it can grow into the surrounding tissues and break off, causing distress to the dog.
To trim claws, use specialized nail clippers that do not break the claw plate. In this case, it is necessary to try not to injure the living part of the claw – the pulp containing blood vessels. In some cases, filing is used to control the length and shape of the claw. Often, dogs’ nails are coated with a protective coating or colored varnish.
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
The frequency of washing depends on the condition of the animal’s coat, the purpose of the dog, living conditions, and the presence of skin diseases.
On average, dogs are washed 1-2 times a year or as they become dirty; washing frequency is allowed up to 1 time every 1-3 months. Show animals are washed frequently. For dogs suffering from certain skin diseases – once a week.
For washing, specialized shampoos are used: regular, medicinal, antiparasitic, deodorizing, toning, whitening, and others. After washing, moisturizing and nourishing lotions and balms are applied to the dog’s coat to make combing easier and add shine to the coat.
When it is impossible to wash the dog, it is recommended to use dry shampoos in powder form, which are applied to the animal’s fur by hand and then removed with a comb; they are very convenient for short-haired dogs. For dogs with long hair, you can use grooming sprays; after applying them, the dog’s fur is wiped with a damp cloth and combed.
How To Educate Your Dog For Grooming?
It is quite difficult to accustom an adult pet who does not know what bathing, haircutting, combing, and even more so brushing its teeth to these and other procedures.
- If your dog is afraid of water, try using dry shampoo for the first time, but apply it in the bathtub or container in which you plan to bathe the animal. From time to time, you can get your pet’s fur with warm or cool water.
- If the dog resists shortening the nails, it is best to extend the procedure over several days. Reward your pet by trimming two or three claws or treating one paw.
- If the dog resists when cutting, it is better to entrust this procedure to a specialist. And you can trim the hair around the paws, eyes, and anus yourself, for example, during bathing, if the animal is already accustomed to it, or at the same time as trimming its claws.
- If your dog is afraid of being brushed or shows aggression during this procedure, his fur may be unnecessarily matted and the animal is in pain. The first combing should be done only when the brush glides freely through the pet’s fur.
- If your dog is nervous about ear cleaning, start with scratching behind the ears, which all dogs love. By scratching behind one ear, you can brush the other at the same time. As a rule, even dogs unfamiliar with this procedure get used to it quickly.
Remember, regular dog grooming is one aspect of keeping your animal healthy. Grooming, along with proper feeding and maintenance, will ensure your dog has a healthy appearance and good physical condition.