Dog grooming tips are important for all dogs, but especially for active dogs. Active dog breeds require more attention than less active breeds. Grooming can be a satisfying and rewarding experiencefor both you and your dog, when done properly. Dog owners need to set aside time for grooming on a regular basis. They should discuss the best dog grooming tips with the dog groomer at their favorite grooming salon. Here are some of the most important dog grooming tips, whether you own a poodle or an Airedale.
Bathe and brush your dog regularly.
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A happy dog is a healthy dog, and part of keeping your dog happy is making sure he's got a clean coat. A clean coat is also an important aspect of keeping your dog healthy. Not only will your dog's coat look better, but it will be free of mats and dirt that can cause skin irritation.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog's fur in top shape:
Bathe and brush your dog regularly. Brushing removes loose hair before it sheds all over the carpet, and regular bathing gets rid of dirt, dander, and other unpleasantness that can build up in your dog's coat.
When bathing, use a good shampoo made especially for dogs. Human shampoos are too acidic for dogs' coats. Ask your vet or groomer to recommend a product specifically for your breed or type of coat.
For short-haired breeds, bathe every month or so. For long-haired breeds, bathe once every six weeks (or more often if needed).
Shorten your dog's nails.
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Are your dog's nails clicking when he walks? If so, it's time to trim them. Shortening your dog's nails is a task that you can do yourself or have a professional groomer do for you. Just be sure to do it regularly, as long nails can cause pain and damage to your dog's feet.
If you don't have a grooming table, place your dog on a sturdy surface. If he's smaller than medium size, sit on the floor and have him in your lap. Restrain his head with one hand and hold one paw firmly in the other hand. Hold the nail trimmer between the thumb of your left hand (if you're right-handed) and forefinger of your right hand. Place the trimmer just above the quick and squeeze gently to cut the nail. In larger dogs, you may need to use both hands to hold the trimmer. It helps if someone else can restrain the dog while you clip his nails.
Clean your dog's teeth.
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Examine your dog's gums and teeth to see if they are red, or if there is any build-up of plaque.
If you can see a yellow film on its teeth, this is plaque which will begin to harden within 48 hours if not removed. It is a bacterial infection that can lead to gum disease, loss of teeth and even heart and kidney damage.
Start by brushing its teeth three times a week, then try everyday until your dog is used to it. Use a child's soft toothbrush or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. Use pet toothpaste sold at the pet store (human toothpaste will make him sick).
Brush in small circles for about 30 seconds on each side of each row of teeth, lifting the lips as necessary to get at all the teeth. Be sure to brush the back molars too.
If your dog won't tolerate brushing, try moistened gauze or dental wipes made especially for dogs. You can also try Greenies, which are available in most pet stores. These are treats made especially for dogs' teeth that help clean the mouth as they chew.
Use a sturdy, wide-toothed comb to remove all knots and tangles in your dog's coat.
Use a sturdy, wide-toothed comb to remove all knots and tangles in your dog's coat. This can be a long and tedious process, so be patient and take breaks for your dog's sake. You should also comb through any areas that are especially matted or tangled. Use a detangling spray to make the process easier on both you and your pet.
After the knots are gone, thoroughly brush the hair from root to tip with a firm bristle brush or a slicker brush. A slicker brush is made with closely-spaced wire bristles that penetrate deep into the coat and coax out debris, dirt, and loose hair.
Brush all of your dog's coat except for her head. It's best not to use an undercoat rake on your dog's face since she may find it irritating or uncomfortable.
Use clippers or scissors to trim your dog's coat.
The way you groom your dog will depend greatly on their breed, but most dogs should be brushed at least weekly to keep their coats from becoming matted or tangled.
Brushing distributes the natural oils in your dog's fur and stimulates blood circulation. You can use a slicker brush for most breeds, although you might need a pin brush for some long-haired dogs that shed a lot, like poodles or collies.
If your dog has longer hair — a shaggy look, rather than a tight coat — you'll want to use electric clippers or scissors to trim it at least twice a year. Trimming the hair around your dog's feet and "bathroom" area will also keep them cleaner and less smelly (and prevent you from getting peed on).
Avoid shaving your active dog.
It's a common misconception that shaving a dog helps the animal stay cool. The truth is, shaving a dog leaves it more susceptible to sunburn and heat stroke.
If the hair on your dog's coat has matted, or if the dog is suffering from a hot spot (an inflamed patch of skin that develops when moisture, bacteria and yeast get trapped under thick fur) or other skin irritation, trimming the hair short may help relieve some of his discomfort. But don't shave your dog or cut too much off; once the fur grows back, it can be difficult to keep up with the grooming -- and at that point, you might as well have left the fur alone.
If you're thinking about keeping your active dog shaved all summer for convenience, talk to your veterinarian. Some dogs actually have thicker coats in the summer, so the decision to shave depends on the breed of your dog and his individual coat characteristics
When you groom your active outdoor dog, pay close attention to any cuts or scrapes that may be hiding under all that fur and seek treatment as soon as possible if necessary.
When you groom your active outdoor dog, pay close attention to any cuts or scrapes that may be hiding under all that fur and seek treatment as soon as possible if necessary. Also take a close look at paws for injuries, especially between the toes, pads, and nails.
If you notice the symptoms of an injury or irritation, such as limping or licking the area excessively, take your dog to the veterinarian right away. Delaying treatment can result in long-term consequences and even lead to infection.
Practicing preventive care is another way to keep your active dog healthy and happy. One of the most effective forms of prevention is proper parasite control. Parasites are harmful to pets of all ages but are particularly dangerous for puppies and senior dogs because their immune systems aren't strong enough to fight off infection.
Fleas and ticks can cause serious health problems for dogs like Lyme disease and tapeworms, which are transmitted when pets swallow infected insects while grooming themselves. Flea allergies can also cause severe skin reactions in some dogs.