Grooming is not just to pretty up your beloved dog, it’s also necessary for good dog hygiene. Grooming helps keep parasites and bad skin conditions away and allow you to spend quality time with your pet. Furthermore, it is also an opportunity for you to check on your pet’s health by taking note of any changes in his eyes, nose, ears, skin, gums and nails.
Do I have to groom my short-haired dog?
Some pet owners think that just because their dog’s hair is short or is shiny enough that he no longer needs to be groomed. But grooming is an important step to maintaining your dog’s health. It not only keeps the coat shiny and healthy, it also helps keep ticks, mites and fleas away. It can also help arrest and correct physical problems that may develop later on, such as dental caries and skin irritations.
How much grooming does my dog need?
Depending on your dog’s breed, environment and whether or not he’s an outdoor or indoor pet, grooming may be required daily or weekly. Or in the case of some dogs, occasional grooming may suffice.
Your dog’s grooming arsenal
There are a lot of ways to help keep your dog groomed and healthy. Here are some basics:
Dog Grooming Supply: Shampoos
Dogs have special needs and a good pH balance must be maintained to keep their skin and coat healthy. Shampoos also help remove dander and dead hair and can keep your dog smelling fresh for a long time. Some formulations can also correct skin irritations like eczema and dermatitis and combat parasites.
Some great brands to try are Bio Guard Gentle Shampoo, Veterinarian’s Best Hot Spot Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Veterinary Formula Dog Shampoo. For those pesky parasites, try Adams Flea & Tick Shampoo
Dog Grooming Supply: Brushes and Combs
Dogs with medium to long hair can enjoy a lot of good grooming with brushes and combs. Regular brushing will help loosen and remove dead skin or dander, dirt, oil and dead hair. Brushing can also spread natural skin oil over the hair, giving the coat a healthy shine.
Some brushes also double as detanglers so matted hair can be straightened or removed. Brushes and combs may also be used during shampooing to separate the hair for easy drying later. Choose brushes with rubber grips to prevent slips and bristles that are durable yet strong enough to detangle.
Combs may also be used as an effective tool to detangle hair. Choose thinner-toothed combs for dogs with thin coats and wider-toothed combs for dogs with thicker coats. To remove fleas and dirt, use flea combs that are especially designed to pull fleas away from the skin and hair. Flea combs may also be used dipped in anti-flea solution.
Dog Grooming Supply: Mitts and Gloves
For dogs with short hair, brushes and combs will do nothing. To promote shine, use mitts and gloves to brush the dog’s hair from the top to the bottom.
Dog Grooming Supply: Toothbrushes
Dogs need regular brushing to keep plaque away. Don’t use your regular toothbrush, no matter how soft-bristled it is. Get the ones that are especially made for dogs and make sure he gets his teeth cleaned and polished with a dog-formulated toothpaste.
Dog Grooming Supply: Nail Clippers
It’s important to cut a dog’s nails regularly because long nails will push a dog’s feet backwards and might result to physical problems later on. Longer nails also tend to break easily and cause bleeding.
Don’t trim too close to the quick, or you might risk causing some bleeding. Cut just below and at an angle of 45 degrees. It is especially important to be extra careful with dark-colored nails, since it’s much more difficult to see where the nerves and blood vessels begin. To play safe, cut in small sections at a time.
Dog Grooming Supply: Conditioner
Conditioners are great for pet owners who want to give their dog’s coat some extra shine and protection. Try Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Conditioner and the ‘whitening’ 8-in-1 Perfect Coat Conditioner for Dogs. Veterinarian’s Best Moisture Mist Leave-On Conditioner is also a must-try.
Dog Grooming Supply: Electric clippers
If you want professional style grooming, get electric clippers. They’re fast, easy and though sharp, are quite safe to use. Get Wahl’s Basic Pet Clipper Kit or Andis Adjustable Blade Clipper Kit.