Grooming your dog regularly is essential doggy care, especially if you want your little friend to be generally healthy and content with life.
Everyone knows that.
But for new owners, how to groom a dog can be a little hard to figure out a schedule or plan things in a way that grooming doesn’t become too expensive or laborious.
Simple routines can make the process easier as a whole, and shrink the cost a long way.
And seeing that the grooming sessions aren’t stressful on your pup is also something to be mindful of. You don’t want to get to a point where you have to contend with escape attempts.
With these simple tips and tricks for grooming your dog at home, you can save on both time and money, and also make the experience smoother for both you and your dog.
1. Brushing 2-3 Times a Week to Keep the Coat and Skin Tidy
Look at it this way:
What if you don’t comb your hair for 3-4 days straight? Just thinking about it makes your skin crawl, doesn’t it?
It’s the same for your dog. A lot of dirt, gunk, and even bugs get collected and entangled in that coat within days. The natural oils secreted by your dog’s skin also collect some matter.
So giving a quick brush every now and then can dislodge and sweep away all the filth, straightening out the hair and letting the skin breathe more. Brushing your dog’s coat at least 2-3 times a week would really help with his general cleanliness and hygiene, and also really reduce the amount of cleaning needed during bathing time.
Here are some things to keep in mind while brushing:
- Make sure you have the right brush! Longer hair will need a slicker brush for untangling, and perhaps an undercoat rake along with a bristle brush to be thorough.
- Make sure not to miss the tail and the underside. Start from the head and brush right down to the tail, doing the same for the underside.
- Be careful when dealing with matting. You may need to wash or clip off the matted portion entirely if it doesn’t untangle cleanly.
While most dogs love a nice, relaxing spell of brushing, try praising and treats to get him into the habit if yours doesn’t quite enjoy it.
Puppies and younger dogs would find it hard to sit through long baths and grooming sessions. Quick brushes every few days is a great way to keep them clean.
In this informative best dog brush article, you can easily find the best dog brushes for your dog.
For some dogs that have a hair shedding problem, you can try to adjust their diet by feeding them dog food for shedding. This kind of food will help reduce shedding and make your dog coat and skin healthier.
2. Keeping the Eyes and Ears Clean
Certain breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, need more attention than others on their face and eyes to clean up visible tear stains.
But here’s the thing…
It’s the simplest thing to keep the face clean on a daily basis. Just use a soft cloth or tissue with some warm water to gently wipe out the corners of the eyes, and face is. Just like we wash our faces every morning.
If your dog’s tear stains are more frequent or persistent, you might want to head over to our post on dealing with dog tear stains here, for a better idea of what to do.
And for breeds with long facial hair, you might have to gently comb it clean as well after you’re done with the eyes.
For bulldogs and other breeds with facial folds, you must not forget to clean out the folds of skin! These need not be done as frequently as the general face area.
But at least a couple of times a week and definitely after a bath – you must clean out the wrinkles. Check out our post on cleaning bulldog wrinkles here for more help.
As for the ears, a swift wipe with a dog ear cleaning solution of the visible part of the inner ear – don’t go deeper – whenever you see wax building up too much takes care of most of the upkeep. But make sure you ask your vet to have a look, and possibly have it cleaned out more thoroughly during your scheduled visits as well.
Don’t forget to check their skin often, especially the skin folded area, ear, paw, and more.
If you see any sign of yeast infection or skin problem, you can try to use some dog yeast infection treatment to help heal their skin faster.
3. Daily Dental Hygiene!
Something, unfortunately, ignored by a lot of dog owners.
Getting your dog into the habit of getting his teeth brushed every day, or at the very least every 2-3 days, from a young age, is an excellent, really healthy choice to make.
It may be tricky to get your puppy to go along with it at first, but the benefits are immense. Your dog’s dental problems when he gets older would most certainly reduce significantly. There are some options such as the best dental chews for dogs, but his day-to-day health and general well-being will also improve noticeably.
The trick is to start slow.
Here are some tips on how to maintain daily dental hygiene from our post on dealing with bad doggy breath:
- Start gradually, a few teeth at a time, until your puppy is used to the taste of the toothpaste and the sensation of brushing.
- Focus on the upper teeth, for plaque tends to build up there easily.
- Schedule a regular time, like evenings or after dinner, when your puppy is calm and relaxed.
- It may be trickier, but don’t forget to floss or cleaning the tongue!
4. Clip Those Nails Before They Hurt Themselves!
Another area neglected by many owners is trimming doggy nails.
Usually, vets may point it out during regular visits or the groomer may do it for a tidy extra, but trimming your puppy’s nails doesn’t take too much. And can be done without professional help or fees.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do it at home. This Dog Nail Grinder article can make your life so much easier.
Make sure you take care of them, at home or otherwise, before they grow too long. They can curl inwards to hurt the paws or cause your pup to slip and slide while running.
Just keep an eye on your pup’s nails from now on, and make note of how fast they grow. That way, you can schedule timely trims and clips. If you hear noisy tapping or scratching as your dog walks or runs across a hard floor – you know it’s time.
Trimming and clipping are pretty straightforward:
- Be careful not to trim or clip too much – especially with dark or opaque nails.
- Try to be as even as possible
- Make it as relaxed an event as possible. Don’t want Fido making jerking movements at the wrong time.
For a better idea about technique, the next time your vet or groomer clips your dog’s nails, make a point to stand by and observe them carefully.
Our final tips, concerning doggy bathing, can all be found in great detail in our post on making tips puppy bathing more convenient.
Do share your own thoughts and experiences on dog grooming in our comments section below!