by Mark Robards, iClean DogWash
In order to groom your dog efficiently, it is very important that you know and understand the whole process and have the essentials within easy reach. It is equally important to remember that regular grooming of your dog will not only add to its looks but also serve to keep it healthy and happy. For example, if your pet goes without a visit to the dog wash for a few days, it could give rise to pest infestations that would lead to a lot of trouble.
Grooming your dog by yourself can be a difficult, messy and downright unpleasant process. Still, if you’re willing to learn and put in the effort, you can do a fairly good job of making your dog look his best.
Listed below are a few tips that every dog owner should be aware of.
Having The Equipment Handy
The first step in the grooming process is to identify the breed of your dog and learn about its particular requirements. The type of equipment is heavily dependent on the particular breed of dog, especially the thickness or length of their fur coats. Some of the essential pieces of equipment that you should have are:
Bristle brush: A brush that can be used to remove finer dirt from your dog’s coat.
Slicker brush: This type of brush can help remove matted and tangled hair as well as untangle knots in longer coats.
Clippers: Some clippers designed especially for dogs nowadays come with snap-on attachments that allow for more precision than your regular old fashioned barber style clippers.
Rubber brush: A brush with rubber bristles is suitable to brush down the dogs with short-hair coats.
Mini vacuum: Can be very useful to scoop up those clumps of dog furs and strands of hair that tend to stick on to clothes and furniture around the house.
The best way of ensuring zero tangles in your dog’s coat is to brush him down regularly. It is a wise idea to start brushing dogs from an early age so that your dog gets used to the routine.
Wet hair is more likely to get tangled, which can make brushing pretty painful later on. A quick brush before a bath or dog wash can loosen any dead hair or tangles in the fur coat. Doing so will prevent discomfort later on when you towel dry or have to shave your dog after the bath. Doing this before the bath will speed up the drying time as well.
The Right Shampoo
It’s advisable not to use human shampoo on dogs. A dog’s fur coat is not the same as human hair and has totally different requirements. It is advisable to use a dog shampoo for the best results. The region around the belly, tail, ears, neck, armpits, and face require special attention as these parts are where pests and parasites are likely to infest.
If your dog has a light colored fur coat, you should use a shampoo that enhances its color and removes any dirt and stains. To treat allergies, you should use a medicinal shampoo that helps treat the condition and nourish the skin or coat. If you want to, you can go for all-natural shampoos that do not contain chemicals and are better suited to your canine’s skin.
Always use a pair of clean and sturdy clippers and pay close attention to your dog’s nails while you are clipping them. Ensure that you use sharp clippers and replace them regularly. Dull clippers tend to crush nails instead of cutting, that can lead to slipping and injuries later on.
Exercise caution when cutting close to pink skin around the root portion in order to avoid getting your dog’s nails injured. Afterwards a dab of coconut oil on dry, scaly paw pads will soothe and heal.
Hiring Professional Services
While you can very well accomplish the basic grooming of your dog by yourself, it makes sense to opt for professional dog groomers once in a while. There’s a good reason for dog groomers to get paid to do what they do–they really know what they’re doing.
Going in for a full fledged grooming session will not only make your dog feel pampered, it might give you a fresh perspective or some hands on experience on how to care for your best friend the better.
Try to groom your pet in as stress-free of an environment as possible. Make sure to give your pet plenty of praise while bathing and brushing the fur. Try and turn the session into a positive experience, and be patient. Your pet may be nervous and fidgety at first, but keep at it with a firm hand. This will reduce the chances of your dog exhibiting anxiety that can make the grooming experience miserable for both of you.
About the Author:
Mark Robards, Content Architect at iClean International, Netherlands.
Mark has been a pet lover since childhood and now are best friends (and roommates) with a great dane, 2 labradors and a cocker spaniel. He has successfully incorporated his love for animals with work and is now the resident expert on all matters related to pet care at iClean International.