Part of caring for your pup is keeping up on their grooming. You groom because you love your dog and want to him to be healthy (and because, let’s be honest, nothing is worse than a stinky dog with foul-smelling breath). Sure you can just drop your dog off to see a professional dog groomer, but doing the grooming yourself isn’t rocket science—and your dog should be benefiting from more daily grooming techniques. But if you’re intimidated to do it yourself, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! As a company that specializes in keeping dogs clean, we’re gonna give you the ins and outs of proper dog grooming.
First things first. Get on a schedule. Routines are good, in fact, your whole household will benefit from scheduled routine groomings: your home will be cleaner, your bond with your pooch will be stronger, and your dog will be happier and healthier. You might be wondering, How often? The answer depends on what part of the grooming process you’re talking about. If you have a long-hair breed, a dog that’s prone to shedding, or dog with a double coat (like a Husky or a Newfoundland), you should be brushing them daily (or at least every-other-day). If you have a short-hair breed, you can brush once a week. When it comes to bathing, it’s recommended you bathe your dog at least once every month to two months. Keep in might that you might have to bathe them more often if they have a skin issue, fleas, or if they’re keen on playing in the dirt or mud. For teeth cleaning, it’s recommended you at least brush their teeth a few times a week. Trimming the toenails can be done a couple times a month and giving them a haircut can be pushed out to every couple months. We’ll break down the specifics below, but just start creating the routine and sticking to it and before you know it, it’ll become like second nature and you’ll be looking forward to these times of bonding with your pet.
Brushing is essential to maintaining healthy skin and a healthy coat. Yes, regular brushing keeps your dog’s coat from tangling and matting, but it also spreads natural oils throughout your dog’s coat, stimulates hair growth, removes excess dirt, and maintains skin health. It’s kind of like the flossing your teeth, brushing is the one thing that most dog owners skimp over, but it’s the one practice can lead to optimal skin and coat health if done regularly. Like we mentioned above, the frequency of brushing will depend on your dog’s breed and coat type. If you have a long-hair breed, a dog that’s prone to shedding, you should be brushing them daily (or at least every-other-day). Use a long and widely spaced bristle brush or a brush with wire pins. After using bristle brushes or wire pin brushes, use a slicker brush to help remove the tangles and matted hair. And don’t forget the undercoat rake to help eliminate dead hair if have a dog with a double-coat like a Husky or a Newfoundland. If you have a short-hair breed, you can brush once a week with a tightly packed bristle brush. And if you have breed with short smooth hair, use a rubber brush to loosen up the dead skin and dirt and a follow with a bristle brush to remove the dead hair.
Like we mentioned above, when it comes to bathing, it’s recommended you bathe your dog at least once every month to two months. Again, keep in might that you might have to bathe them more often if they have a skin issue, fleas, or if they’re keen on playing in the dirt or mud. The most important thing to remember when bathing your pooch is to use the right products. Never use human shampoos and conditioners because humans and dogs have different needs when it comes to maintaining the right pH balance. Human products can irritate your dog’s skin and coats. And just because a product says it’s gentle and safe does not mean that it’s safe for your furry friend. At Petology, we’ve developed a wide range of veterinarian-recommended shampoos, conditioners, and hydrating sprays. Your dog’s skin needs moisture and all our products are specially formulated with your dog’s skin in mind. In fact, all Petology® formulas include the following:
As you’re bathing your dog, try to keep shampoo from getting into the eyes, mouth, or ears. In fact, you can stick cotton balls in their ears to protect water from getting in if need be. If you are treating your dog for fleas, remember that all Petology products are compatible with flea and tick treatments. And don’t be afraid to wash more often when you’re treating a skin condition—check out Petology’s line for specialized skin care and coat needs.
Don’t forget your dog’s pearly whites! Most dogs show signs of gum disease by the time they are four years old because they haven’t had proper oral care. Like we mentioned above, you should be brushing your dog’s teeth at least three times a week, but you can brush them daily if you’re so inclined (or if you want to help keep your pooch’s breath fresh). Use a dog toothbrush and toothpaste to do the job (never use human toothpaste, which can cause stomach issues). Brush in circular motions and don’t forget to gently brush the gums. If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth at home, start by using your finger to massage their lips daily while they get used to the idea of having your hand in their mouth and then work up to brushing their teeth. And don’t forget chew toys. Gnawing on a chew toy satisfies your dog’s desire to chomp while also strengthening his teeth, massaging his gums, and cleaning his teeth by scraping away soft tartar buildup.
If you hear a clicking sound when your dog walks on a hard surface, it’s a sign that it’s time to trim your pooch’s nails. This should be done about every two weeks. If your dog happens to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors walking on hard, rough surfaces, then you might be able to go longer in between clippings. You can use small canine nail scissors or larger canine clippers depending on your dog’s size and needs. Take your time as you’re clipping each nail, paying special attention to the angle and the amount you’re clipping. Clip little by little so you don’t get too close to the quick, the vein that runs into the nail. Finish their pedicure off by filing with a canine emery board.
If you want to take a stab at giving your dog a haircut at home, this can be done every six to eight weeks. Obviously use your judgment, if your pooch can’t see properly, you’ll need to do trim more often! To prep your dog, brush them—paying attention to any matted or tangled sections—and then follow it with good bath to clean the hair and skin. Using hair clippers, cut in the direction of the hair growth and use scissors for trimming hair around the face, ears, and legs. For the feet, follow the direction of the hair growth. Brushing the hair in that direction pushes up the hair between the toes up so you can easily trim it with scissors. Use clippers on the underside of the paws.
For more detailed grooming care and techniques, check out:
* The articles and information on the Petology Blog are presented for informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product. The content offers the reader information and opinions written by our staff, guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care products. The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian.