A BBC report in March this year said that in UK alone, a total of 3.2 million homes have acquired a pet since the beginning of the pandemic. Similar reports have come up in India as well. We all know at least one family that has brought a furry friend home to cope with the loneliness that Covid and lockdowns forced upon us. Social isolation has caused children to be the driving force behind these decisions. Whoever or whatever led you to get yourself a pet, now that you’ve got one, you’ve got to look after it.
Dogs bring love and joy into the home but they also need to be taken care of. They need to be regularly groomed, especially those with big bodies and thick fur. While there are grooming salons for pets, you also need to keep up the regular grooming of your beloved pet. With the right products and tools, you can groom your dog yourself and even have fun with it. Not only will it help you understand your dog’s needs better, but it will also help you bond with them. There are many dog grooming kits available in the market which have all the requisite dog grooming tools to help you with the process. In addition, here are a few grooming tips to help you out.
As different dogs have different kinds of fur, you need to be sure of what products work for your beloved pet. From dog hair shampoos to conditioners, dog grooming brush to special tools to remove matted or tangled fur, a dog grooming kit contains all of these and more. Look for the one that suits your needs best.
One of the most important tips to follow, especially with a dog that has a good amount of hair or fur, like a golden retriever or a saint bernard, is to groom regularly. As with humans, dogs too shed hair and dander and their fur tends to get tangled as well as dirty. If you take your dog out every day, it is extremely important to give him a good brushing once you are back. This will not only help untangle his tresses but also brush out any impediments or dirt that sticks to his body. Even with dogs that have little to no fur, like a pug, labrador, or a rottweiler, it is important to brush his coat down regularly to keep it dander-free, shiny, and glossy.
Regular grooming also protects the dog’s coat from getting matted. Matted hair can cause irritation and pain in dogs which may lead them to lick themselves continuously leading to infections and diseases. If you take your dog outside, chances are his body will have dust particles, grass and plant seeds, and pollen, insect bites, etc, which can get inside his skin, causing an abscess. It can lead to various infections as well.
2) Trimming and washing
It is true that a professional groomer is best at washing and trimming your dog’s coat. However, if your dog gets dirty way too often and needs a wash and trim, you can do it yourself.
When it comes to washing, ensure that you use the right products. There are soaps and shampoos available for different kinds of dog coats and fur, meant for different purposes. If you are dealing with dandruff or ticks, you can use medicated shampoos. If you are simply looking to clean and make your dog’s coat glossy, simple shampoos can work very well. Similarly, during the monsoon and winter seasons, it is not possible to give a bath regularly. In such a scenario, dry shampoos work perfectly.
You can use hair dryers to dry your dog’s coat. However, if your dog is scared of it, it would be better to simply wipe them down thoroughly, before letting them air dry. Generally, dogs tend to clean themselves by rolling around, so provide them with a clean mat or carpet to roll on else they’ll roll in mud or grass defeating the purpose of a bath.
Trimming is a much more delicate process. For starters, you need to have a good pair of scissors or trimmers. With various blade settings, electric trimmers work wonderfully on thick fur. However, you must be careful while using them near your dog’s paws, ears and eyes. Ensure that your dog is comfortable with your touch before you go in with the trimmers. Talk to them and give them treats for good behavior.
It is important to maintain a clean dry coat for dogs. Wetness or wrong products or injuries caused due to trimming may not be immediately visible but may cause huge problems for them later.
3) Mouth, ears, and paws
Leaving the mouth uncleaned can be an annoyance to you more than your dog. Dogs use their tongue and mouth for all sorts of activities, including showing love with licks. To keep their mouth clean you can use a dental spray. Brushing their teeth with a small brush is also a good option. You can even make the whole process easier and hassle-free with dental care treats. That one is a win-win for sure.
Ears and paws are extremely sensitive parts of a dog. That’s why it is important to not only groom them well but also to take care of them.
Regular checking of ears is extremely important in dogs. Ear wax or bacteria build-up can lead to serious infections and diseases in them. Keep an eye on behavioral changes in them. Unchecked ear wax or dirt built-up can lead the dog to scratch themselves to the extent of causing injury to ear pinna and the internal ear canal. Keep up with their ear medications.
Dogs are extremely sensitive about their paws as they have various nerve endings. This also makes them much more prone to infections, calluses, and ingrown nails. They can be painful and uncomfortable. In most cases, the dog may lick their paws to resolve the condition. However, it is advisable to cut their overgrown nails regularly to avoid discomfort. Similarly, ensure to wash and dry their paws while bathing them. You can even moisturize them with paw butter to keep them healthy.
In most cases, because of the coat, the dog’s skin remains neglected. A shiny glossy coat does not mean healthy skin in dogs. That’s why it is important to check your dog’s skin when you groom them.
Dogs are very much prone to allergies which can irritate. They may end up licking, biting, or scratching the irritation which may lead to injury and/or infection. Other than these, there are parasites like mites, fleas, ticks, etc, which may cause serious diseases or even those like tapeworms. You can keep an eye out for such things by regularly checking your dog’s skin.
Simply run your hands through their coats while grooming them. If there are some unusual bumps or lumps, you might feel them. You can simply part the fur to check it for rashes or irritation or injury.
5) General tips
Most dogs do not like to be groomed because it restricts their movement. To resolve this, try to make the grooming session more fun for your buddy. You can give them a treat and groom him while he enjoys the treat. If done regularly, your dog will get used to it and expect it every day.
Apart from treats, words of encouragement and pats work too. This is especially for puppies and untrained young dogs. Take it slow and give more pats and treats in the beginning.
Keep his grooming tools, brushes, products, towels, and mats separately. When you bring it out, he will know that it is time to be comfortable and pampered. Treat him well so that he looks forward to the next session.
Go ahead and use these tips to give your best buddy a great grooming experience.
Buy a full grooming kit here
Here’s another helpful guide to avoiding mistakes we make with our pets.
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