Dog Grooming

Good grooming isn”t just a luxury for your dog. His health depends on regular coat care and the occasional bath.

Dog Bathing

Most of you probably dread bathing your dog. Well, you”re not alone. A lot of dogs don”t relish being cleaned either, but for your dog”s health, dog bathing is a necessity.

Before tackling this trying task, you can avoid clogging the drain by first brushing your furry fellow. It will help keep tangles to a minimum after the bath and could even prepare your dog for the ordeal by calming him.

The next step is to lure your pal into the tub. Bathing can be a fearful matter for dogs, so do your best to keep it leisurely for him. If you rush into it, your touchy buddy may hightail it to his favorite hideout. Before you place him in the shower or tub, make sure that he can stand without slipping or sliding around. If you bathe him outdoors, keep him away from areas that can turn muddy.

Next, check the water pressure and temperature and get him wet. Using the bucket or a detachable showerhead, start near his head and work your way towards his tail. Shampoo him with a good shampoo recommended by a vet or pet store. Human soaps and shampoos can dry his skin. While lathering, be considerate of his eyes and ears. Nasty infections are often due to careless cleaning. Once your dog is well lathered, a good rinse is vital. Poor rinsing is another cause of dry skin.

Finally, drain the tub and try to towel-dry your soaked dog. Some people use hair dryers on their hounds, but be careful if you do so. Keep it at least six inches from his fur and even farther from his face. Also, brushing while you blow-dry cuts down on tangles. For more information on bathing, ask the vet or simply skip the whole event and make a date with the groomer.

Other Aspects of Dog Grooming

Other hygienic routines that dogs will fight tooth and nail (and ear) include brushing, clipping and cleaning. While they involve substantial effort, in the long run it”s easier and healthier to do each one regularly.

As a part of your daily devotion to your dog, brush his teeth. Plenty of toothbrushes, pastes and kits are available to make this mission meaningful. Using a gentle massaging motion, brush his teeth like you would your own, back and forth, up and down. After a few weeks he”ll become used to it and may even love you more for it (particularly the beef-flavored toothpaste).

Don”t wait for your doggie”s nails to get caught in the carpet to clip them. Using sharpened nail clippers designed for dogs, begin at the tip, taking only tiny bits at a time. Don”t go too far! Inside his nails are tiny blood vessels. If these are clipped, the nails will bleed and be painful for your pal.

Your dog”s ears should be checked and cleaned weekly. Use a cotton ball and ear wash that you can buy at a pet store or from your veterinarian. After moistening the cotton ball, gently rub it inside your dog”s ear, working from the inside out. Be sure to get the folds and watch out for the ear canal. If your dog”s ears are unnaturally waxy or smelly, let the vet do the dirty work; smelly discharge could be an indication of an ear infection (yeast is the common culprit).

As always, when caring for your pet, direct your concerns and questions to the one who know pets best: your vet.