From the Editors of Exceptional Canine
When it comes to your dog, good grooming is more than pretty pink bows or a jaunty new collar. Your regular care makes a difference in your dog’s appearance and health -- and in your relationship.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a basic guide to keeping your best friend looking his or her best.
Regular Brushing Is Important
Make sure your dog never has a bad hair day by giving him regular brushings. Not only will his coat shine, but you will also help socialize your dog as you touch him. This also offers an opportunity to look for pests like fleas and ticks, as well as health problems indicated by lesions or lumps.
Choose from the following equipment:
Begin your grooming session by using the slicker or pin brush to remove dead hair, debris and tangles. (You might need both tools if you have a long-haired breed or if your shorthaired pet spent the afternoon romping in a bog.) For tough snarls, hold the tangle at the root and brush it out to avoid painful pulling. Smooth the coat with a bristle brush or comb. Please note that you’ll want to give your dog a break every few minutes.
After a thorough brushing, your dog might be ready for a bath. He can go two to three weeks between bathing sessions, though you can dunk him in the tub if he gets especially stinky.
Proper Paw Care
Dogs generally don’t like having their paws handled, but it is necessary to make sure the fur between their toes and pads does not become matted or infected. Here’s how to do it:
Next, trim his nails. Again, he won’t think this is nearly as fun as a game of fetch, but it is necessary to ensure his good health. Do the following every few weeks:
During your dog’s bath, wash the outside of his ear with water. You can then remove interior wax with an ear-cleaning solution:
Taking care of your dog’s grooming needs does not have to be a hair-raising experience for either of you. With practice and patience, he might even begin to enjoy his turn in the salon chair.