You love your pup, and you want to ensure that he is comfortable and healthy at all times. To do this, you need to be vigilant about grooming him.
Here are some tips and best practices to follow when grooming your pup:
- Bathe your dog once every two to four months, when you see fleas on him, or if he’s dirty. Dogs don’t need to bathe as often as humans because it depletes the natural oils from their coats as well as dries out their skin. When it is time to give him a bath, use only dog shampoo as human shampoo may irritate his coat and skin. Also, try not to get shampoo in his ears, mouth, or eyes. After you bathe him for fleas, make sure you also apply an effective flea medicine.
- If your dog has long hair, you may want to brush him once a day starting from the time he’s a puppy. This will let him get used to your touch and the sensation of the brush so he isn’t nervous when he’s older.
- When you brush your dog, you should use a long and widely spaced bristle brush if he has longer hair, and a short, tightly packed bristle brush if he has shorter hair. Dogs with medium or longer-length coats (or dogs with curly hair) will benefit from a wire pin brush. After using a wire pin or bristle brush, finish off your grooming routine with a slicker brush, which takes tangles and matted hair off the coat. If you have a Siberian Husky, a Newfoundland, or another dog with a double-coat, buy an undercoat rake to eliminate dead hair.
- When you brush your pup, make sure he’s lying down on the floor and not too squirmy. If you need to, bribe him with some yummy treats to keep him calm.
- Once your dog is relaxed and ready to be groomed, brush him from head to tail on one side, against the direction in which his hair grows. Brush in sections, then move on to the other side. When you’re finished, brush from tail to head in the same direction of the hair.
- If you want to cut your dog’s hair at home, this can be done every six to eight weeks on average. If you notice that matted sections are forming frequently, or there is so much hair that your pup can’t see properly, you’ll need to do it more often.
- Give you pup a bath to prep for his haircut. Then, brush out any matted sections or knots. Using clippers, cut in the direction of hair growth, and utilize scissors around the legs, ears, and face. When trimming hair on his feet, brush against the direction in which the hair grows. This will push the hair between the toes up, so that you can easily cut it with scissors. Use clippers on the underside of the paws.
- Dogs require toenail maintenance about once every two weeks. If your pup’s nails click on the floor when he walks, that’s your signal it’s time for a trim. The best way to trim the nails is to use small scissor clippers. If you have a bigger dog, you may need larger clippers. You need to keep your clippers sharp, which means replacing or sharpening them when they go dull.
- You can brush your dog’s teeth as much as once a day, but you should be doing it three times a week ideally. To do so, you’ll need to use a dog toothbrush (finger brushing will do if your dog is less than 30 pounds.) Dog toothpaste should be used because human toothpaste can cause stomach issues.
- When you’re brushing your dog’s teeth, lift his upper lip, then angle the bristles so that they can reach the mouth’s gum line. If you put the bristles at a 45-degree angle, then you can gently massage his gum line and get rid of any plaque. You can brush in small circles along the tops and bottoms of the teeth. Light bleeding may occur the first couple times, but this is to be expected.
Keeping your dog clean helps to ensure he has a long, happy, and healthy life. By taking care of his nails, teeth, and coat, you’re contributing to his overall wellbeing and making sure he feels great.