Tips For Dogs

Dog Grooming How to brush and bathe your dog

Dog Grooming How to brush and bathe your dog

Dog grooming is important for a healthy dog ​​and keeping it looking and smelling good. All dogs have a tendency to roll in something smelly if given the chance. Dog hair is self-cleaning to some extent – but not to the point that your dog will never need a bath! There will be times when you need to groom and bathe your dog – so you need to get your pup used to the process as early as possible. If you have a long-haired breed, you will need to groom your dog regularly – less so for short-haired or smooth-haired breeds. Let’s look at the different types of dog grooming you may need to do depending on the breed, and then look at how to bathe your dog.

Different breeds – different coats

Smooth-coated dogs like boxers and whippets are the easiest to care for when it comes to dog grooming. Use a chamois glove, hound, or a soft-bristled brush. Those with a thicker undercoat – like Labradors – need more care as they shed a lot more – as anyone with a Lab will tell you! Use a bristle brush for them and finish with a comb, paying particular attention to the tail and neck where the hair is thickest.

Treat wiry-coated dogs in the same way, but they will also need to ‘strip’ the longer coat once a month with a detangling comb. You’ll also need to take these breeds – wire-haired dachshunds and fox terriers for example – to a professional groomer about 3 or 4 times a year to trim the fur.

Some dogs have long silky fur – the Yorkshire terrier and the Maltese for example – and they need special care. They have a bit of a protective undercoat so you need to be very gentle when grooming them, especially when they need daily brushing and combing. Other breeds have long but dense coats, such as collies, and they just need brushing twice a week with a brush and combing with a wide-tooth comb. Excess hair will need to be trimmed once a month. Golden retrievers and others with less thick hair need less maintenance – weekly brushing and combing and twice yearly trimming of the legs and between the toes.

Other breeds require regular – often weekly or even twice weekly – professional grooming and grooming. Poodles and Bichon Frizes, for example, need a lot of grooming, so you need to get your dog used to these regular trips to the groomers when he’s a puppy. Unless you’re really trained to do this cut, don’t try it yourself – leave it to the professionals.

Dog Grooming Tools You May Need

Tools you may need for dog grooming long hair types include:

An undercoat or long-toothed comb to remove loose hair; solution or conditioner for detangling; a pad paddle to deal with those tangles; a shedding tool, which is used to remove the soft undercoat when the dog sheds; smooth brush to give a good shine to the surface layer.

Tools for short hair coats:

Not so much for these! Short curry brush for shine and polish; a comb with short teeth to go through any tangles and remove loose hair; short bristle brush to remove hair and stimulate the skin.

Basic dog grooming techniques are straightforward, but can vary from breed to breed – so this is an overview. First, get rid of any tangles using a comb or paddles depending on the length of the hair. Use detangling solution for poor matting. Work slowly from the tip to the skin and be gentle – try not to pull. Then use the brush and combs to remove dead and loose hair. You can rub on the lie of the fur to remove loose hair. Work all over the body, head and down the legs and tail. Then smooth and buff to give the fur a real shine.

Dog Grooming – Bathing your dog

You don’t need to bathe your dog every time he gets a little muddy – just brush off the dry mud and maybe put him in a bowl of water to wash his feet. Store old towels specifically for dog use.

However, there will come a time when your dog needs a bath. If your dog smells, wash it! However, if the smell returns immediately after you have bathed him, it could mean a skin condition, so seek advice from your vet. You usually don’t need to wash a dog more than twice a month, and too much washing is bad for a dog’s skin. If your dog was a puppy then you should follow the puppy training tips and start acclimating your dog to bathing early and rewarding him for good behavior. If you are having difficulty with your dog not enjoying his bath, then you need patience and continuous praise and rewards to overcome these problems.

If you are bathing one of the larger breeds, have someone help you as a wet dog can be quite heavy! In mild weather, you can wash your dog outside using a garden hose sprayer if you have one. Many dogs love to play in the water jet, so it should be fun for everyone! If not, then use your own bath or shower, or even your sink if it’s a small breed. Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold. Use a proprietary dog ​​shampoo or baby shampoo – just make sure it’s very mild. Wet the dog all over before shampooing and gently massage into the coat. Be careful around the mouth and eyes and do not get water in the ears. Talk to and reassure your dog at all times if he is nervous and praise him when he is behaving well. Rinse very thoroughly, as shampoo residue on the skin can cause a reaction and upset the skin’s balance.

Rub your dog vigorously with a towel to get rid of excess water, but don’t let the dog start pulling on the towel – this is not a game! You can use a hair dryer to dry your dog – set it to low heat. However, if you find that your dog is afraid of noise, try acclimating it first with puppy noise training – it can be used for both dogs and puppies. In warm weather, you can dry your dog outside, but if it’s cold, make sure it’s completely dry before you let it outside.

If your dogs are anything like mine, the first thing they do after a bath is find something to roll around in! But don’t worry – that’s the fun of dog grooming!

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