Dog Grooming Dog Brushing Dog Dental Care

Buster’s Vision Education Tool

Dog Grooming

By Renuka Rahul, “Adopt the innocent ones, understand the meaning of true love!”
Editor, Anne Marie Powless

December 22, 2017

Dog Grooming

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Let’s admit it! When our fur-babies smell bad and look shabby, it’s no fun!

After all, these furry creatures enrich our lives, making us happier and healthier. Your fur-baby deserves to look good and smell good. Keeping your dog clean and well-groomed is about much more than looks. It’s about keeping your dog healthy too. Many people prefer professional groomers, as they can make dogs look great while using their professional expertise to keep them safe. However, with some effort you can groom your dog at home and thus save money. You can also keep an eye on your dog’s coat, teeth, eyes, ears, and nails for signs of problems during grooming sessions.

Basic grooming involves bathing, brushing, nail trimming, and haircuts.

General Tips:

Tools required: Dog shampoo, towel, conditioner (optional), waterproof apron (optional), scissors/clippers, brush, and treats.

Give your dog treats and praise as you work. It will make it more enjoyable for both of you. You can give him treats periodically or a long-lasting treat or toy with treats inside.

Start grooming your fur-baby as young as possible. This will help make them comfortable. You should also pay attention to what your dog likes and doesn’t like. If your dog hates nail trims, do that part last. If he loves getting brushed, make sure to spend some extra time brushing his coat. In addition, you can  add in a little massage time at the end of a grooming session.

Dog Grooming tools:

Whatever the breed, this list of basic dog grooming supplies will give you a solid start:

  • Comb: A medium toothed comb is a good all purpose comb. Get a fine toothed comb for thin hair or a wide toothed comb for thick hair. And get a flea comb for both removing fleas and tangles.
  • Brush: A slicker brush is a good all purpose brush, but get a curry brush if your dog has short hair or a pin brush if your dog has a long single coat.
  • pH balanced shampoo and conditioner made for dogs: Keep plenty of old towels on hand for drying.
  • A toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs.
  • Dog toenail clippers and styptic powder: The powder helps stop bleeding in case you clip too close to the quick.
  • Optic solution, forceps, and gauze: Use these tools to clean your dog’s ears.
  • Electric clipper: If your dog’s coat needs to be clipped. You need a good electric clipper and No. 10 Oster blade.
Dog Bathing

Regular Baths are essential for a dog’s hygiene. But they don’t need daily baths like people. Your dog’s breed and the environment in which he lives and plays will largely determine the optimum frequency of bathing. Too frequent washing removes natural oils and causes the coat to become dry and harsh.

Dog Bath
  • Bathing your dog once a month is a good rule-of-thumb.
  • Use a formulated shampoo specifically for dogs.
  • Pre-fill the tub with lukewarm water
  • Keep your dog in the bath tub, if your dog likes to make a run. Use a dog bath lead.
  • Make sure your dog is totally wet.
  • Avoid getting water in your dog’s ears. Water in the ears can cause an infection.
  • Now shampoo the dog. Begin at the neck and move downward toward the rear and legs, using your fingers to spread the shampoo and work it in down to the skin.
  • Clean his head separately. Please be careful not to soap around eyes and ears
  • Rinse thoroughly. Remember not to use running water if your dog’s afraid of the sound.
  • Dry your dog. Towel dry him as best you can while he’s still in the tub so you don’t make a mess. Many dogs will learn the “bath rules” and wait to shake until you have placed the towel over them to contain the water droplets.
Dog Brushing

Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition.

Most dogs love a good brush. Brushing also helps to prevent skin irritation by removing dead hair from your dog’s coat before it mats.

The way you brush your pet, and how often, will largely depend on his or her coat type.

  • Smooth, Short Coats: brush once a week. Use a rubber brush to loosen dead skin, dirt, and follow with bristle brush to remove dead hair.
  • Short, Dense Fur: brush once a week. Use a slicker brush to remove tangles and catch dead hair with a bristle brush
  • Long, Silky Coats: Brush everyday. Every day you’ll need to remove tangles with a slicker brush. Next, brush her coat with a bristle brush.
  • Long Hair That’s Frequently Matted: Gently tease out tangles with a slicker brush, and then brush your pet with a bristle brush. If matting is particularly dense, you may try clipping the hair, taking care not to come near the skin.
Dog Nail Trimming

As a rule of thumb, a dog’s nails should be trimmed when they just about touch the ground when he or she walks. Unless your pet is a very active outdoor dog, its nails will need to be trimmed on a regular basis; anywhere from once a week to once a month.

Dog Nail Trimming

There are two basic styles of nail clippers for dogs: a scissors type and a guillotine type. They both work equally well, so choose the design that you’re most comfortable with.

Begin by spreading each of your dog's feet to inspect for dirt and debris.
  • Take your dog’s paw and hold it firmly, but gently. Hold your trimmer so that you’re cutting the nail from top to bottom at a slight angle, not side to side, and insert a very small length of nail through the trimmer’s opening to cut off the tip of each nail. Don’t trim at a blunt angle as to maintain the existing curvature of the nail.
  • Cut a little bit of nail with each pass until you can see the beginning of a circle, still nail colored, appear on the cut surface. The circle indicates that you are nearing the quick, a vein that runs into the nail, so it’s time to stop that nail and move on to the next.
  • If your dog has black nails, however, the quick will not be as easily discernible, so be extra careful. If you do accidentally cut into the quick, it may bleed, in which case you can apply some styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
  • Once your fur-baby's nails are cut. Use an emery board to smooth any rough edges.

Find a veterinarian or a professional groomer to help with nail trimming. Petco and PetSmart are very reasonable and have frequent specials. Also look for coupons if you are on a budget.

Ear Care
  • Clean your dog’s ears once a month.
  • Clean the outer part of the ear only, using a damp cloth or a cotton swab soaked in mineral oil.
  • Be sure to lift away the dirt and wax rather than rubbing it into the ear.
  • Inner-ear skin is delicate, so allow your vet to demonstrate the proper method for cleaning your dog’s ears.
Dental Care

Brushing your dog’s teeth every day with dog toothpaste is the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums.

Dog Dental Care

Take Baby Steps:

  • Start by placing a small amount of dog toothpaste on your finger and spreading it across the teeth for a few seconds. Reward the dog for cooperating.
  • Once the dog lets you work your finger in his mouth for 20-30 seconds, you can graduate to gauze or finger toothbrushes from the pet store. Work your way up to a dog toothbrush.
  • No matter what, ease your dog into the process so that it can be a pleasant experience rather than a stressful one.

Be sure to make grooming as enjoyable as possible for both of you. Caring for a dog takes a lot of responsibility and commitment, and he also teaches us to be more patient and less selfish. They can make you a better person and give you unconditional love.