Practica’s List of Do’s and Don’ts for Grooming Your Dog

There are some simple ways to help ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy.  One of the staples of being a responsible pet owner is taking care of regular grooming duties, or at least taking your dog to the professional groomer regularly.  Regular grooming helps to keep your pet clean healthy and happy.  Grooming your dog also allows for the opportunity to give a close inspection for any potential health problems such as skin irritations, problems with anal glands, issues with ears, and potential problems with feet.  Here you will find some simple tips, things to look out for, and some no no’s when it comes to grooming your pet.

Must Do’s

  1. Trim the nails. When grooming your pet, one of the most important things to look at and take care of are your dog’s nails.  When the nails of a dog are left to grow without being trimmed it can lead to all sorts of trouble and pain for your pet.  Untrimmed nails can end up cracking, splitting, breaking or tearing.  All of these results can end up causing your dog pain, and leave him at risk of an infection.  In order to ensure healthy feet for your pet, nails should be trimmed at least once every 6 weeks.  When trimming your dog’s nails be sure to clip them just above the quick, but don’t clip them too short, or you can hit a nerve, leaving the nail too short and also causing pain for your pet.  You can always have this service done by a professional too, to ensure it is done properly.  As an additional tip, try to get your dog used to having its paws touched and handled as a puppy.  This will make the task of nail trimming a little bit easier in the future.
  2. Brush your dog regularly. Brushing can be a very nice experience for your dog and it allows the two of you to spend some quality bonding time together.  Brushing will remove tangles and prevent matting of the fur on your pet.  When matting and tangles are avoided, not only will your dog be more comfortable, you will prevent potential skin irritations.  When removing tangles, be sure to hold the hair at the skin and then brush out the tangle to avoid pulling on the skin and causing pain for your pet.
  3. Leave the long coat for winter. This one is pretty straight forward, it gets pretty cold here in the winter time, and you wouldn’t want to be outside with no coat either.  Your dog’s hair allows the coat to trap air and keep it close to the body.  This layer of trapped air is warm from the body heat of the dog, and keeps them insulated from the cold.  If the hair is too short, it won’t allow them to trap enough air to stay warm.  This is especially important for older dogs, as it is harder for them to stay warm.  During the winter months, it is extra important to regularly brush your dog to ensure that their longer hair doesn’t become tangled, matted and uncomfortable, because you don’t want to have to trim the coat away during the coldest months of the year.
  4. Clean and check the ears and anal glands. This is a step that is often overlooked, but can be one of the most important for the overall health maintenance of your dog.  Cleaning the ears regularly will prevent infections that will require treatment and sometimes even surgery.  Cleaning the anal glands is also a very important part of keeping your dog healthy.  By taking care of these tasks while grooming, you will be doing a world of good with preventative health care.  Remember that if you are not comfortable with performing these tasks on your own, you can always reach out to a professional.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t bathe your dog before taking out tangles, knots and matting. If you bathe your pet while the dog still has matted fur, it will make it nearly impossible to take out without cutting it off.  This will be a hassle for you, and if it happens to be during the winter time, a hassle for you dog as well
  2. Don’t use human shampoos and soaps on your dog. You can purchase special shampoos that are specifically designed for use on your dogs.  Using a shampoo or soap that is meant for human use can damage the coat of your pet.
  3. Don’t wait too long to start getting your pet used to grooming. The earlier you begin getting your dog used to the grooming routine and practices, the easier it will be to perform the task at hand.
  4. Don’t bring your pet to the groomer without taking him or her for a bathroom stop! Your groomer certainly does not want to have to deal with that kind of a mess.  Poop Happens, so before taking your dog in to the pros, make sure you pick it up and bag it!

 

Good luck with your dog grooming everyone!  Remember that if things don’t quite go as planned… #PoopHappens

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