Caring for your dog
Grooming a dog accomplishes much more than
just making its coat look nice and shiny. It will provide an opportunity
to spend some "quality time" with the dog, combing, brushing,
bathing and generally bonding with it.
Check the dog closely for any problems while grooming.
Move the hair aside and examine the skin closely for signs of fleas
or skin irritations. Look for any unusual problems with the coat
such as mats, tangles, dandruff, etc. Carefully remove all mats
and tangles while grooming.
Learn where the dog likes to be combed and brushed
and where it does not. All dogs have sensitive areas that need grooming
a little more gently and carefully. By paying special attention
to these areas, it will help make the dog more comfortable while
being groomed and it will not resist future grooming sessions.
Let your dog sniff the brush and comb before beginning
grooming, and then talk to the dog in a reassuring tone while grooming.
If the grooming procedure is made comfortable for the dog, it will
begin to look forward to regular grooming sessions.
Regular grooming is essential to a dog's
health and well being. Regular combing and brushing with will keep
the coat clean and healthy. It will stimulate the skin, and allow
the natural oils to circulate to the coat. It will also provide
an opportunity to check for potentially serious problems. Check
areas for hair loss, inflammation, unusual tenderness or lumps under
the skin. Constant scratching in a particular area may also be an
indication of a problem. Check with a veterinarian about any unusual
Like children, puppies have short attention
spans. They will require some special attention. Select a time when
the puppy is less energetic. Begin with short grooming sessions,
five minutes or so. Constantly talk to the puppy in a gentle, reassuring
tone while grooming to make it feel comfortable. Be sure to check
its ears, paws, teeth, and underside during the grooming procedure.
This will make it accustomed to being handled and examined. Eventually,
it will be quite comfortable being groomed, and will look forward
to these sessions.
It is important to establish and stick to
a regular schedule of grooming sessions. Schedule these at a convenient
time. A good time to do this is after returning from a walk. Select
a time when there will be no interruptions and there is ample time
to do a proper grooming. Daily grooming is often required for longhaired
dogs, while shorthaired breeds may require grooming only twice a
Regular nail trimming is important to the
dog's health and well-being. Never use ordinary scissors to trim
a dog's nails. Use nail clippers that are specially designed for
dogs. Hold the dog's paw firmly, and cut off the tip of the nail
with a single stroke. Be very careful to stop short of the quick,
the blood vessel inside the nail. The quick is easily seen in dogs
with white nails. More care should be taken with dogs with black
nails. Cutting the nails right after bathing will make the quick
Some breeds require more commitment to grooming
than others. A professional groomer can help with this. A discussion
with the groomer will have the dog looking just the way the owner
wants, whether in a show clip, or an easy maintenance pet clip.
Even with professional grooming though, some grooming will be necessary
in the home.