You just adopted a dog and you would like to know if there is a particular routine that you should follow for his hygiene and grooming (teeth washing, ear washing, grooming, claws, etc.)? Check out our top 10 tips for dog groomers and perfect results.
Dog grooming involves many aspects from washing, trimming to shaving and also should you do it yourself or do you have to go to a grooming center?
Before we cover our top recommendations for perfect grooming results here are the most important aspects to consider in caring for your canine companion.
If you have a long-haired dog (such as Shih tzu, Lhasa apso, Poodle, Schnauzer, etc.), you should have it shorn when the season changes (so 4 times a year). If you are inexperienced in the area, I suggest you find a specialist at a grooming salon near you. Ask for references and go visit the place as you must have complete confidence in this person.
Why not do it yourself? Because I have repeatedly seen patients injured by dog owners that had the best intentions in the world, but had no grooming experience.
General tips for dog groomers
You should never (except on the advice of your veterinarian if your pet has special needs) give your doggie friend more than one bath per month. If your puppy gets dirty and needs cleaning more often, simply rinse him with plenty of clean water.
Never get water in your dog’s ears. To wash your dog’s head, use a wet towel. Always dry doggie properly after bathing, especially the paws, armpits and groins, all areas that retain moisture.
Clean your dog’s ears once a week. I advise you to do this also after each bath, each swim and when your dog comes back from the groomer. This will ensure the ears are clean and dry and will prevent ear infections.
Use a good quality cleaning product (some products will irritate the ear and do more harm than good). Fill the ear with cleaning fluid, massage the base of the ear to hear sucking noises, allow the animal to shake its head, then dry the ear thoroughly with a tissue. Never use earpicks in your dog’s ears.
The eyes of long-haired dogs should be cleaned every day. Hair that falls in front of doggie eyes should be trimmed regularly to keep the eyes clear and make maintenance easier.
There are different products available to reduce the discoloration of the coat of light-colored dogs from their tears. Some are effective, but all require daily use, otherwise the effectiveness is greatly diminished.
If your dog has a dark coat or if you don’t mind tear marks, you can also use warm water to wash his eyes.
The claws should be trimmed at least once a month. If you don’t do this often enough, the vein in the claw will lengthen, and then it will be impossible to shorten the claws to the correct length without causing your dog to bleed and hurt.
When you have a puppy, trim a little bit of the claw every week, it will desensitize it and get you used to this manipulation. Besides, take advantage of play time with your puppy to play with its toes! This will help you later.
Finally, you also need to take care of its teeth. After 24 hours, the food that is trapped in the teeth, with the effect of bacteria build up in the mouth, forms plaque and then tartar. Brushing its teeth should be done every day to be fully effective. Obviously, it is still better to do it twice a week than not at all!
You can use toothpaste for animals (fluoride is toxic to them…) which has enzymatic activity to destroyplaque and tartar (depending on the quality). Use water if you don’t want to buy toothpaste.
You can use any type of soft bristle brush. There are also small finger cots that are put on the index finger which are easier to use than a brush. Otherwise, a cloth on your index finger may do the trick very well. Rub the outside of the teeth (the face towards the cheek, the one towards the tongue being much less prone to tartar) and do not forget the incisors (the small front teeth).
There are a few good dental hygiene products on the market (dental food, chewing sticks and slips, etc.), but remember that nothing can replace good brushing! The earlier you incorporate these good grooming habits into your dog’s routine and the more consistent you are, the less difficult it will be! It only takes a little discipline.
Our top 10 tips for dog groomers … and outstanding results!
1) Take breaks as soon as your pet expresses the need. If you force him to continue, he may become stressed and not let go, or even be aggressive. Go at his own pace, grooming doesn’t have to be a bad experience for your dog.
2) Do not hesitate to hold your dog with a leash while bathing or trimming the coat. This can help calm him down.
3) Seek advice from a professional groomer. He will be able to tell you the right actions and the necessary care according to the breed and character of your animal.
4) If you use an hair dryer, make sure that the fan and heat are adjustable to put avoid burning the skin of your dog.
5) Regularly reward your dog for being docile, but only then!
6) If you notice any irritation, scars or any form of injury, take him to the vet right away.
7) Get your dog used to bathing at an early age to make the time enjoyable for both of you.
8) Don’t wash your dog too often. Wait until it gets dirty or its hair smells bad. As mentioned above, the genral rule is not more than a bath per month but ideally every 2 to 3 months is quite enough.
9) Prepare your grooming well in advance so that you have everything on hand, you will reduce the stress level for you … and your dog!
10) Use only products and tools suitable for dogs. Shampoos, care products or scissors for humans are not suitable!