Grooming Your Dog
Ever watched your dog roll on the ground, lick her coat or
chew at a mat on her fur? These are her ways of keeping clean. Sometimes,
though, she’ll need a little extra help from her friend to look her best.
Make Grooming as Enjoyable as Possible-For the Both of You!
Grooming sessions should always be fun, so be sure to schedule
them when your dog’s relaxed, especially if she’s the excitable type. Until
your pet is used to being groomed, keep the sessions short-just 5 to 10
minutes. Gradually lengthen the time until it becomes routine for your dog. You
can help her get comfortable with being touched and handled by making a habit
of petting every single part of your dog, including such potentially sensitive
areas as the ears, tail, belly, back and feet.
And here’s one of our most important tips of all-pile on the
praise and offer your pooch a treat when the session is finished!
Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s
hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her
coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free. And
grooming time’s a great time to check for fleas and flea dirt--those little
black specks that indicate your pet is playing host to a flea family.
If your dog has a smooth, short coat (like that of a chihuahua,
boxer or basset hound), you only need to brush once a week:
- First, use a rubber brush to loosen dead skin and dirt.
- Next, use a bristle brush to remove dead hair.
- Now, polish your low-maintenance pooch with a chamois cloth
and she’s ready to shine!
If your dog has short, dense fur that’s prone to matting, like
that of a retriever, here’s your weekly routine:
- Use a slicker brush to remove tangles.
- Next, catch dead hair with a bristle brush.
- Don’t forget to comb her tail.
If your dog has a long, luxurious coat, such as that of a
Yorkshire terrier, she’ll need daily attention:
- Every day you’ll need to remove tangles with a slicker
- Gently tease mats out with a slicker brush.
- Next, brush her coat with a bristle brush.
- If you have a long-haired dog with a coat like a collie’s or
an Afghan hound’s, follow the steps above, and also be sure to comb through the
fur and trim the hair around the hocks and feet.
The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog every 3 months or so;
your pet may require more frequent baths in the summertime if she spends lots
of time with your outdoors. Always use a mild shampoo that’s safe to use on
dogs, and follow these easy steps:
- First, give your pet a good brushing to remove all dead hair
- Place a rubber bath mat in the bathtub to provide secure
footing, and fill the tub with about 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water.
- Use a spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not
to spray directly in her ears, eyes or nose. If you don’t have a spray hose, a
large plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup will do.
- Gently massage in shampoo, working from head to tail.
- Thoroughly rinse with a spray hose or pitcher; again, avoid
the ears, eyes and nose.
- Check the ears for any foul odors or excessive debris; if you
choose to use a cleansing solution on a cotton ball, take care not to insert it
into the ear canal.
- Dry your pet with a large towel or blow dryer, but carefully
monitor the level of heat.
Please note: Some animals seem to think that bathtime is a
perfect time to act goofy. Young puppies especially will wiggle and bounce all
over the place while you try to brush them, and tend to nip at bathtime. If
this sounds like your pet, put a toy that floats in the tub with her so she can
focus on the toy rather than on mouthing you.