Do it yourself dog grooming is an ideal way to bond with your dog and keep them healthy. Dog grooming doesn't have to be hard so why not check out these easy to follow DIY dog grooming tips
Why should you groom your dog? Don’t They just keep themselves clean?
Grooming your dog is a vital part of their ongoing care and like most aspects of good dog care is something you really need to factor in if you want to be a responsible dog owner.
DIY dog grooming doesn’t have to be difficult and there are many breeds that require minimal attention in order to keep them in tip-top condition.
An often overlooked part of home dog grooming is the sense of bonding and connection that is created between you and your faithful friend. Grooming can be a very relaxing and enjoyable pasttime for all concerned. Not only will your dog be more comfortable with you in the familiar setting of your home but it also gives you the opportunity to check out your dog’s overall physical shape.
The condition of your dog’s coat and skin can offer important clues or pointers to any underlying health problems your dog may be experiencing; greasy flaky skin or a dull lacklustre coat may be clues that your dog is unwell, prompting a visit to the vet.
The act of grooming not only stimulates your dog’s skin and coat to grow healthily but can reduce the chance of certain skin problems developing in the first place. Grooming also affords you the opportunity to check for any lumps, bumps, cuts or crawling beastie’s your dog may have picked up on their adventures.
The benefits of brushing
Most dogs love to be brushed and as we have seen – regular grooming and brushing goes a long way to strengthen the bond between owner and dog.
The frequency with which you need to brush your dog and the types of brushes you use very much depends on the length and density of your dog’s coat coat, but I think a brush every 3-4 weeks should be considered an absolute minimum.
Carrying out a good brushing on your dog keeps their coat in good condition by removing dead hair, knots and tangles and also has the effect of stimulating your dog’s oil producing glands and massages their muscles
Don’t press too hard against your dog’s coat as you brush, you cetasinly don’t want to scrape their skin. When you come across a mat or ‘clogger’ in the fur, try to work it loose by holding it tight to your dog’s skin and and inserting the comb. If this proves impossible then consider cutting the mat out with some small scissors. Once doggy is smooth and clog free, then comb them all the way through to the skin
There are a number of brushes available and depending on the type of coat your dog has will influence the type of brushing you do.
- Bristle brushes-
The most widely used and versatile brushes used for a variety of coats. Use longer widely spaced bristles for longer coats and short close spaced bristles for short hair. Used for general grooming and finishing off the coat to bring out the shine.
- Pin brushes-
Primarily for dogs with long hair or curly/wavy coats as they are useful for untangling fur.
- Slicker brushes–Used normally after brushing, used to smooth and take out tangles, they usually consist of a brush with the wire pins bent at an angle halfway down the pin, useful for heavier longer or curlier coats.
Don’t be squeamish about nail trimming
Nail trimming is an essential part of your DIY dog grooming routine. If you allow your dog’s nails to grow too long they will eventually start to curl inward on themselves making it uncomfortable to walk, in extreme cases they can start growing back into the dog’s paw pad crippling the dog and leading to infection or extreme pain.
Many new dog owners are initially nervous about trimming their dog’s nails, but if you are confident and understand the right technique then it really isn’t too hard. The main thing to remember is that when you are calm, your dog will also be calm.
How to trim your dog’s nails without fuss
First, get yourself a simple set of doggy clippers, you know their nails need trimming when ‘Fido’ starts making that ‘clicky-
The simple rule is, don’t cut too close to the dog’s nail quick as this has a nerve and blood supply rather like your own nails. Snipping into the quick will cause your dog pain, it will bleed and your dog is likely to be a lot more wary of having their nails snipped in future
In clear nails the quick is clearly visible as a darker or pinker area but with black and brown nails the quick is invisible, so you will need to take very small measured snips to minimise the chance of hurting them.
Bathing your dog
Bathing you dog is probably best done outdoors in the garden or yard if possible, either with a hosepipe or doused in water from a bucket. Outdoors on a warm day is preferable, though if you have to use the bath tub or shower use warm rather than hot water.
Make sure you use a mild shampoo which is well diluted, especially if your dog isn’t filthy and always ensure they are well rinsed with clean water afterwards, so that no shampoo residue remains behind to irritate the skin.
Remember; dogs generally do not require frequent baths and the detergent in shampoo can strip a coat of its naturally protective oils if used too often.
- If your dog’s coat is heavily matted or very thick you might want to brush or clip any cloggers out first .
- Start doggy’s shampooing at the legs and body either using your hands or a smooth brush, make good even circular motions as you work your way around up to his back neck and head.
- Make sure you don’t get water in your dogs eyes and especially not especially down their ears. Some people place cotton wool lightly in the ears to prevent water getting in or protect the eyes with a cloth.
- Leave the shampoo to work its magic for a few minutes before rinsing off thoroughly.
- All that remains now is to gently towel dry your furry friend, making sure there are no mats in the fur. Fido is then ready to face the world again all agleam and smelling of roses.
Talking of ears…
No DIY dog grooming routine would be complete without a thoroughly checking your dog’s ears. Mites, fungal growth and waxy buildup can all cause discomfort for your dog and lead to infection. Pay particular attention if your dog has droopy ears. This is because the warm moist cosiness of the flapped ear can be a real paradise for harmful bacteria and creepy crawlies .
Don’t forget their gnashers
While you are at it, you should consider checking out your dog’s teeth, gums and mouth, especially if they have the kind of fetid breath that can strip wall-
Dogs don’t have ‘ bad breath’ naturally so halitosis may be symptomatic of gum disease, ulcers or an abcess. Besides breath, be sure to look out for inflammation around the gums, blood in the mouth and around the teeth or any discolouration.
When all said and done, hours of labor intensive DIY dog grooming isn’t for everyone and unless you want your dog to look like its ready for a show then I suggest you choose a dog breed that doesn’t require too much grooming attention; or you spend the money and take your dog to the grooming parlor regularly.
Having said that regardless of how much grooming your dog needs, it is your responsibility to do right by them and keep them all spruced and spangly. So just follow the principles of basic home grooming here and you won’t go far wrong.
Any Questions ?
If you have any questions, about do it yourself dog grooming or taking care of your dog please ask them here and we would love to help you out