Tips for Home Dog Grooming
Taking your dog to the groomer every other week can be expensive. Sometimes our schedules don’t allow us to even make it to an appointment. Most of the time, our money is wasted once they’re set loose in the backyard (rolling in dirt or grass is their perfect way to distress after a day of grooming). Unfortunately due to our dogs’ levels of sensitivity or hyperactivity, home grooming can be intimidating. Here are some tips to help you provide your pups with the at home spa treatment they deserve.
If your dog is prone to running away from water, I highly suggest another person helping you. It wouldn’t hurt to have a collar specifically used for bath time. This way you can use a leash to keep them close and in place. If you have to leave the collar on because you don’t have someone to help, make sure you rinse around it thoroughly, and take it off once they are ready to be dried. If you leave a wet collar on, you are leaving them vulnerable to sores around their neck. Keep soap out of their eyes, and avoid water getting into their ears.
Products you use need to be specifically made for dogs. Human hygiene products can lead to flaky skin and damage to their coat. For pups with dry skin or dander, I suggest using oatmeal soap made for dogs. An oily coat can be washed with a little bit of Dawn dish soap. Do not use dawn often, and speak to your veterinarian before use.
Begin bathing in a secure environment. If your dog is easily spooked, make sure the area and themselves are secure. Do not bathe outside in cold weather. If you are bathing during the winter season, do so inside using the shower or bathtub. Before wetting them, make sure the temperature of the water is lukewarm. Not too cold, and not too hot.
Taking proper care of your pet’s coat, means using the right tools. For heavier coats, you want a brush made to take out the clumps of hair already shedding from their coat. Shorter coats use softer bristles made to comb out dander and dirt, as well as shedding hair. Be careful when using brushes with metal bristles, go slow and steady so you do not harm their skin.
Teeth brushing should be done during every bathing session. It promotes dental health and will help as your pup ages. Preventing dental cleanings and surgery in the future. Do not use human toothpaste on your dog, because of the toxic chemical known as xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is dangerous for your dog’s health.
Ear cleaning is very important, especially for dogs with long drooping ears such as Basset Hounds, Beagles, English Cocker Spaniels, and etc. Longer ears allow dirt to become trapped making them prone to yeast and ear infections. Check each ear using your sight and smell. Ears can be cleaned by carefully using cotton balls and cleaning solutions. Ask your veterinarian which solution is best for your dog. Do not over clean, this can also lead to ear infections.
Overall, a simple bath and hygiene care can save you money, and add quality time with your fur baby. Try these tips out with care and awareness. If you need help, ask. If you are uncomfortable with certain aspects of home grooming, or have questions about certain products, reach out to your veterinarian! They are here to help.