Dog grooming often gets a reputation as a “luxury” service or something we only need to do after our pup takes a dip in a mud puddle. But failing to properly groom your dog can have major affects on your dog’s health, including disease and discomfort. To keep your pet happy and healthy, it’s important to engage in consistent grooming sessions to maintain their level of cleanliness. Here are five essential dog grooming practices that every dog owner needs to follow.
1. Regularly Check Their Eyes, Ears, & Teeth
All responsible dog owners do regular check-ups for their dog’s eyes, ears, and teeth. When checking their eyes, look out for redness, cloudiness, or tearing that might indicate problems like glaucoma, a scratched cornea, or dry eye. While cleaning out ears with a cotton ball or ear cleaner, inspect them for any smell, waxy build-up, or redness. Daily teeth brushing is deal, but healthy pups can manage with just three days a week. Scope out any broken or loose teeth or recessed gums.
2. Trim Nails At Least Once a Month
Trimming your dog’s nails is essential to their overall health. If left uncared for, nails can grow too long and begin to chip or break, causing your dog pain. Long nails can also cause arthritis due to the nails pushing toe bones into unnatural positions. Trimming also becomes more difficult the longer you wait between sessions and can cause the nails to bleed. To keep nails at a healthy length, it’s important to trim nails at least once or twice a month. Also remember that cutting dog’s nails too short can damage blood vessels and veins present at the base of their nails.
3. Use the Right Brush for Your Breed
Different dog breeds have different coats of fur, so make sure you’re using the right brush for their unique needs. My Pet Warehouse has a great article on the best brush for your dog to help you decide what grooming tool suits your needs. Brushing your dog regularly reduces shedding, prevents and removes matted hair, promotes bonding, and stimulates healthy oil production. Brushing is also a great opportunity to examine your pup’s skin and fur for any abnormalities like lumps or spots.
4. Bathe Regularly with Dog Shampoo
When it comes to giving your dogs a bath, beware of using any human products. Dog and human skin have different pH balances, which means human shampoo can dry out your dog’s skin and leave them vulnerable to parasites. To make things easier when washing your dog, you should always brush first to pick apart any mat-like coats of fur. This helps clean the overall coat. Rinse your dog thoroughly to prevent shampoo being left on the dog and make sure to blow dry to help prevent mats from coming back.
5. Inspect Fur for Ticks, Fleas, or Lice
Checking for these tiny little monsters can be a pain, but it’s absolutely necessary. These insects are so small that they are sometimes mistaken for dirt, but a thorough inspection should allow you to find them. It’s best to perform these checks frequently (especially after your dog spends a long time outdoors) to catch the problem early and avoid infestations. Be sure to also use a flea and tick prevention technique, whether it’s a collar, topic treatment, oral tablet, or spray, to help stop the problem before it starts.
As we tell any child before they receive their first puppy, a dog is a big responsibility! Before adopting a dog, make sure you have the time and resources to commit to their basic care and health. Following these essential dog grooming practices will help ensure that your pup stays happy and healthy – don’t let them down!