Regular grooming makes a dog look good and smell good, but it also helps keep them healthy. When a dog’s hair gets too long and matted, for example, it can cause skin disorders and lead to infection. And if the nails get too long, they can wind up curling back into the pads of the feet.
Dog grooming guidelines
How much grooming does the average dog or puppy need? While it depends on its coat type, some daily attention helps accustom pups to being handled and examined.
Here are some other guidelines for grooming your dog:
• A long coat must be brushed and combed daily to remove loose hair. Brush and comb in the direction the fur grows and pay particular attention to the feathering on limbs and tail.
• As centrally heated houses cause puppies to be too warm and molt year round, use a saw-toothed stripping comb to remove loose hairs. Stripping is particularly helpful in the summer when heavy-coated breeds tend to suffer from excessive heat.
Short and Wire-haired Breeds
• Short-haired dog breeds (Boxer, Dalmation, Greyhound, Pug and Whippet) may be brushed or groomed with a rough mitt.
• Wire-haired terrier breeds (Airedale, Fox, and Sealyham) need grooming with a very stiff brush and metal comb.
• Do it daily, even if briefly. Many terriers also benefit from being stripped in summer.
• Bathing’s not usually recommended for puppies under six months of age.
• Use a shampoo recommended for pets and rinse off each application thoroughly. Towel dry and finish with a hair dryer.
• Puppies benefit from having their teeth cleaned with a toothbrush and water at an early age.
• Regular cleaning prevents plaque buildup and, later, tartar. If tartar deposits accumulate, the result will be receding gums, loosened teeth and bad breath.
• Puppies most at risk for oral problems are members of short-faced and toy breeds, which usually have over-crowded teeth.
Clipping and Trimming
• Take puppies such as poodles and some terrier breeds to a professional pet salon while they’re young. Some owners become adept at giving a simple trim after they’ve seen it done a few times.
• Owners of long-haired puppies should use scissors to groom and trim between the digits to prevent it from becoming matted and around the anus to prevent matting from dried feces.
• Nail clipping isn’t advised for very young puppies, but may become necessary as they mature. A regular walk on pavement helps keep the nails trim.
• Use a grooming session to check the puppy’s general condition. Ears should be clean, with no signs of discharge or debris such as plant burrs. The eyes and nose should be clear and free of discharge.
• Check paws for grit or thorns between the pads.
So there you have it – the ultimate guide for dog grooming. Now go ahead and make your dog happy.