Just like human, dogs need some physical maintenance to look and feel their best as well, hence the need for some basic grooming.
Unlike human, dogs need not bath as often, you though need to understand how much grooming your dog needs and establish a schedule for it.
In general, a dog’s grooming needs is dependent on the breed and hair type. If your dog has any kind of skin, ear or nail condition, you need to follow your veterinarian’s instructions with regards to the grooming of your dog.
It’s important to use the appropriate grooming tools too regardless of how basic it is. Here are 6 basic tips for you as a start to keep your best friend looking sharp and feeling good!
Most dogs enjoy being brushed, and of course during the brushing sessions it will strengthen the bond with your dog while maintaining a healthy coat for him.
Note that a dog’s brushing is dependent on hair type as well. You have to choose the right tools and follow these guidelines:
- Long-haired dogs usually require daily brushing to prevent tangling of hair – Rub them gently with your hand locating any matted hair
- Medium-haired dogs may be prone to matting and tangles and should be brushed at least weekly
- Short-haired dogs can typically go a few weeks in-between brushing – Use a brush with shorter bristles for them when brushing
Regardless of hair type, brushing your dog daily is doable- especially if he enjoys it anyway. Regular brushing keeps the coat shiny and healthy and more frequent brushing during a shedding season can also help prevent hair build-up and excess shedding.
Nail trimming is for sure not a favorite activity for dogs and dog owners alike. Dogs hate it when their nails are cut too short (it hurts) and dog owners are uncomfortable with the fear of hurting their dogs.
The best to avoid your dog being conditioned to being afraid of nail trimming due to previous painful experience is to learn the proper way of trimming the nails correctly.
Typically trimming on a monthly basis is fine, depending on the rate of growth of their nails though it may be more or less. An alternative to nail trimming is the use of a rotary tool to file down the nails instead.
Brush the teeth 3 times a week beginning with the soft bristle dog toothbrush until your dog becomes okay with this “invasion” of his mouth.
After that, you can then use the stiffer bristle brush for serious tarter and plaque removal.
Bathing is definitely another dreadful activity for most dogs and dog owners. Bathing doesn’t have to a nightmare scenario of your dogs running about dripping wet if you can get your dog to be used to this activity – keeping the experience as positive as possible. He’ll be much easier to manage even though he may still not be a fan.
Most dogs should be bathed monthly, as bathing too often removes the natural oils in their body to keep their skin soft and hair from becoming brittle. However, bathing as often as once a week is not considered harmful too.
Always use a soap-free shampoo intended for dogs only. Your veterinarian may actually recommend a specific shampoo depending on the condition of your dog’s skin and coat. Hence in that case, just be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions about bathing.
If not kept clean, your dog’s ears can be a haven for bacteria and yeast, so be mindful of this. Some dogs can go their whole lives without any ear problems, and what you only need is the monthly bath as a routine ear cleaning.
Other dogs though have chronic ear disease and require multiple cleanings a day, so you have to adjust the schedule accordingly.
Genetics could be a reason for dogs’ ear problems. For instance dogs with floppy ears or long hair tend to be more prone to ear problems due to the ear canal not having as much air exposure.
If your dog has excess debris or foul odor in his ears, he may be prescribed some special ear cleaners and medications by your veterinarian to clear the issues.
For dogs with continuously growing hair such as a Shih Tzu, you typically need to have their hair cut once every 2-4 weeks depending on the breed and the style of the cut that you prefer your dogs to adopt.
You can certainly do the job yourself with some basic maintenance cuts, though it’s still best to leave the job to professional groomers for the best results (instead of having the inexperienced you possibly spoiling the cut).