A clean dog is a healthy and happy dog. If you have never groomed a dog before, it may seem like a lot at first and maybe ever overwhelming; however, once you get the hang of it, it won’t be as overwhelming as it may seem. Knowing that your dog will be clean and healthy once each step is complete will be worth the great deal of time and effort. We have broken down some important dog grooming steps to help you create a checklist, and learn how to groom your dog properly. Today we are going to look at a few easy steps of grooming your dog before their bath time.
1. Gather Grooming Materials
Before you even give your dog a bath or start grooming, you will want to be sure that you have all of the tools you need at your disposal, otherwise it will be more chaotic having to run around, trying to find them.
2. Brush Your Dog
Brushing is an important step, as it will help work through any mats in your dog’s coat. The reason this is an essential step before bathing is because water will make mats extremely tangled and unmanageable. As you brush your dog, make sure to praise him or her to encourage good behavior. Knowing what type of brush your dog needs will be a great help, for example:
- Short and smooth coat – brush once a week with a rubber brush first, then a bristle brush.
- Short but dense coat – brush once a week with slicker brush to rid of tangles, then use a bristle brush to rid of dead hair.
- Long coat – brush your dog daily to remove tangles and get mats out, then use bristle brush.
Tip: If you are brushing a puppy, make sure to give him or her little breaks in between brushing and bathing if needed. You want to encourage them to enjoy the process and not get overwhelmed. If you train your puppy at a young age, they will be able to tolerate grooming much better.
What To Do With Unmanageable Mats
If your dog has a mat that you cannot brush out, you may need to shave it off; however, please avoid using scissors, at it is more dangerous. If you are having difficulty shaving an unruly mat from your dog and don’t want to hurt your dog, make sure to bring him or her into a professional groomer. Also, mats that are close to the skin may get an infection underneath, so be sure to remove them as quickly as possible. If you think your dog may have an infection, you will need to bring them to the vet.
3. Nail Clipping
Clipping your dog’s nails is very important because when they grow too long the can cause joint damage by twisting their toes or curling under their paws. So how do you know when your dog’s nails are too long? Simply, listen to them walk and if you can hear their nails on the floor, that’s a sure way to tell that they are too long. If your dog isn’t used to have their paws touched, start by holding their paws and touching each toe, rewarding them with treats. While each dog is different and it may take longer for some to warm up to their daily foot rub, after a week or so they will be more used to it and able to tolerate the clipping. A few nail clipping tips are:
- Use dog nail clippers (human nail clippers are okay for puppies).
- Trim nails about 1/16 of an inch. Be sure not to cut too far or you may clip a blood vessel.
- If you accidentally clip it too far and it bleeds, use styptic powder or corn start to stop the bleeding.
- After clipping, use a nail file to smooth the nails.
If you are interested in learning how to groom dogs to become a professional dog groomer, attending a grooming academy is the best place to start. Whether you want to be a professional dog groomer, or simply learn the best way to groom your own dog, we hope this blog has helped and we are always here to answer any of your questions!