Whether you have a Greyhound, Poodle or German Shepherd, grooming is an essential part of dog ownership. Grooming is so much more than just a way for a dog to look good; it is an important aspect of their health routine. It’s a way for you to check your dog for any injuries or health issues, keeping them free of bugs and most importantly it is an essential part of socialization and part of being accepted into your family.
Here are five important tips to grooming your dog regardless of their fur type that will make your life easier:
Knowing what you will need and laying it out shortens the time the dog will have to stay still for their grooming. One way you can do this is through a grooming box. These usually should have:
- at least two brushes (depending on the coat of your dog): a primary brush to get rid of any dirt/knots from the coat and a finishing brush.
- Nail trimmers
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Scissors where appropriate
- Shampoo and conditioner
Obviously long and curly-haired breeds can be significantly more complicated so build the box according to your breed.
Being proactive in your dog’s grooming is very important. Ensuring that scheduling for grooming sessions is frequent enough that there is not a build-up of issues is extremely important. As the old saying goes “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With long haired dogs such as a Maltese, ensuring that they receive thorough brushings and that their hair is clean and dry will prevent matting that can be painful and time-consuming to remedy. When you notice bad weather or that your dog’s hair is looking a little tangled, a quick 2-minute brushing will prevent a longer more complicated brushing in the future.
Make It Fun
The easiest way to make the grooming experience pleasant and pain-free is to keep the dog entertained. When tackling tasks that you know your dog will not like, offer a toy for good behavior and incorporate plenty of petting, patting and play into your grooming session. Dogs who play while being groomed are less likely to associate a grooming table or a brush with a bad experience and, for this reason, will look forward to their grooming sessions.
When you bring home your new puppy, there is no better time than the present to start training. This training should include the standard “sit,” “stay,” and “come” which we all know and regularly use. However, there are also important things you can teach your dog other than the standard three.
Teaching a dog that it is ok to be touched anywhere, particularly around the ears, and the paws will make your life so much easier as they grow up. Most dogs do not like their paws being handled as they are fragile and very sensitive. This sensitivity can create issues with dogs such as a Yorkshire Terrier. Hair growing between the pads of their feet will need to be regularly trimmed to prevent infection. If your dog learns to accept this as a puppy, there will be fewer incidents when they are older as long as they do not have any unfortunate grooming incidents.
Talk To Them
Dogs love it when you talk to them, and your voice can convey so many more things than you are actually saying. Speaking in a calm, low voice, when a nervous dog is being rinsed, can help calm their nerves and relax them. Raising your voice or speaking quickly and sharply can raise your dog’s nerves and make it that much harder the next time you go to groom them. Make sure you repeat their name and tell them what a good dog they are throughout the grooming session. Whether they can say thank you or not in words does not matter, the calmed relief in their eyes is plenty thanks enough.
In all, grooming your dog should remain a fun, light-hearted event for both you and your dog. Incorporating this easy-going attitude into your grooming sessions will make grooming your dog less of a chore, and instead it will become a much-loved and anticipated activity for both you and your dog.