Why Regular Grooming Is Important
Life has a tendency to become overwhelming, so often a mundane task like grooming your dog can seem like a chore. You may even think that taking the time to groom your four-legged friend isn’t that important - after all, their coat doesn’t look too bad, so why bother? However, grooming at home benefits not only your pup but you too!
Grooming takes many different forms, whether it’s clipping your dog’s nails, cleaning their teeth for a healthy smile, wiping their ears and eyes, and of course, washing and brushing their coat to bring out its natural shine.
Think about grooming your dog the same way you think about your own self-care. Just as brushing your teeth makes you feel more put-together and also helps prevent dental issues in the future. Grooming your dog has the same effect.
For example, cleaning their eyes helps wipe away existing tear stains, but it also removes debris that could cause damage. Brushing their coat to remove tangles on a regular basis means you don’t need to worry about large mats that could develop over time - saving you and your dog the frustration later.
One of the great benefits of grooming is that you will become more familiar with every part of your best friend - you’ll soon be able to quickly feel any lumps and bumps and notice any changes. Early detection of irregularities is important, so using regular grooming to go over your dog’s body will improve your chances of finding anything abnormal early on and bringing it to your vets’ attention.
Aside from helping your dog look and feel amazing, regular grooming also ensures your home remains clean. The more you clean your dog, the more hair you catch in the brush or wash out during shampooing. As a result, there is less hair for you to worry about around the house.
Additionally, grooming builds your pet’s trust – cleaning sensitive areas, such as their ears, can be uncomfortable for your dog, but as you ease them through the situation, they learn that you mean no harm and the bond between you becomes that little bit stronger.
Regular grooming improves your pup’s overall wellbeing while making life easier for you and your best friend in the long run, and when you look at it as a chance to give your furry friend some love and attention, it doesn’t seem like such daunting responsibility anymore!
Trimming your dog’s nails is one of the most important parts of grooming as long nails cause problems when they walk, arthritis, and can even bend into the pads of their paws if left to get too long.
As a general rule, their nails should be trimmed once a month, but this will change depending on your dog – so keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get too long.
Of course, when you do trim their nails, be careful not to cut them too short as there is a vein that will hurt them if cut. If they have white nails, you will easily see the vein and know where to cut, but for dogs with black nails, you will need to cut a little bit at a time to be safe. When you a small black dot surrounded by white, you have reached the vein and should stop.
Every dog, even short-haired ones, need regular brushing to remove loose hairs and spread their natural oils through their coat for a healthy shine. It’s recommended to brush your dog once a week to keep their coat healthy and your home free of loose hair.
Bathing your dog is an important exercise to remove dirt, excess grease, and grime from their coats, but bathing them too often is never a good idea. Ideally, you should aim for no more than once a month, but no less than once every three months.
It’s important to use a shampoo that has been produced specifically for dogs, as humans have a different PH – even baby shampoo will be too harsh for their skin. Hypoallergenic or oatmeal shampoo are great choices.
Brushing their teeth
Teeth brushing is one of the most overlooked grooming procedures for dog owners, but probably one of the most important. Gum disease in dogs can lead to teeth falling out, heart disease, and in some cases, even death.
You should brush your dog's teeth every day by using a dog-specific toothpaste, never human toothpaste. Start slowly by letting them sniff the toothpaste first and then using your finger to rub it over their teeth and gums. Eventually, you will be able to work your way up to a finger toothbrush.
Letting them chew toys is also a great, fun way of making sure their teeth stay clean.
Ears and Paws
Using a cotton ball and some warm water, you should clean your dog’s ears at least once a month. Expect to see some dirt, but if there is a build-up of gunk or a bad small it means they probably have an infection and will need a trip to the vet.
Many dogs also have hair that grows between the pads of their paws. When this gets too long it can pick up parasites as well as cause them to slip on tiled or wooden floors. To prevent this from happening, you can carefully trim the hair using a nail scissor. But be sure not to dig between their paw pads as you don’t want to nick them.
While this may seem like a lot to keep up with, getting ahead of your dogs grooming needs will help prevent any diseases or difficulties in the future.
And if it is something that you won’t have time to do on a regular basis, a trip to the groomers may be all you need to keep your four-legged friend in tip-top shape.