Every dog needs to be groomed and grooming can be a great bonding experience for both you and your dog! Check out these tips to make your next grooming session a fun experience.
Photo Credit: Lily Red Studios
Before beginning a grooming session, it’s best to have your dog as relaxed as possible. If your dog isn’t used to being groomed, keep the time short at first—five to ten minutes—and it’s always best to start grooming them when they’re puppies so you won’t have a problem later on. To get your dog used to being handled, pat them everywhere including sensitive areas like the feet, belly, tail, and ears. Let’s not forget one of the most important dog grooming tips of all: give your dog lots of praise and a treat after you’ve finished a grooming session!
Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears: It’s important to check your dog’s ears occasionally for ear mites, wax and fungus; dogs with long or floppy ears need to be checked weekly. Begin by holding up the flap of your dog’s ear so you can see inside. Gently clean out the ear canal with a cotton ball or gauze moistened with water or an ear cleaning solution. If the ear is still dirty, clean it again. Don’t forget to clean the other ear and complete the process by drying your dog’s head. Be sure to give him that treat for being so good!
Nail Clipping: Most dogs don’t like having their nails clipped, or their paws touched for that matter. It’s important to handle your dog’s paws at least once a day; the ideal time to start this is when they’re puppies. When they get used to the massage, they will feel comfortable with you trimming their nails. Clipping the nails should be done once a month, but it really depends on how fast the nails grow and the type of dog. To start, spread the dog’s paws to check for debris. Be sure to use sharp nail clippers for dogs and cut your dog’s nails at an angle; only cut each nail tip right before where the nail starts to curve. Be very careful and never cut into the quick! The quick is the pink part where a vein runs into the dog’s nail; however, it will be practically invisible on dogs with black nails. If you cut into the quick, your dog will feel pain and the quick will bleed; if you accidentally clip into the quick, apply some styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Once the nails are clipped, you can go over any rough-edged nails with an emery board. After all that, your dog will definitely deserve a treat and some praise.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lily Red Studios
Brushing Your Dog: Brushing is the most time-consuming of all grooming stages. Most dogs love to be brushed and it builds the bond between you and your dog as well as keeps a healthy coat. How often you brush or comb your dog depends on their hair type. For dogs with short coats, like a Boxer, Labrador Retreiver or Basset Hound, brush weekly with a rubber brush to take away dirt and dead skin. Then use a bristle brush to get out all the dead hair. Don’t forget about brushing his tail! Dogs with long, rich coats, such as a Yorkshire Terrier, need to be brushed daily. Use a slicker brush to get out tangles and mats; then remove the dead hair with a bristle brush. Long-haired dogs like a Collie or Afghan Hound require the same daily process as well as combing through the coat and trimming the hair around the feet and hocks. During the shedding season, you may need to brush your dog more often to prevent build-up of their fur which leads to extra shedding. A note about using a slicker brush: you don’t want to brush your dog too hard with this wire brush because you could end up scraping the skin and causing your dog brush burn. To remove a mat with a slicker brush, hold the mat near the skin and work the end tooth of the brush through the mat to loosen it. If this doesn’t work, try cutting out the mat rather than causing your dog unnecessary pain. If your dog is prone to having an odor, try M&J’s Freshen Up Coat Tonic; just spray evenly over the dog’s coat in between the monthly baths and it will keep your dog looking and smelling good. After this long activity, your dog will welcome the treat!
Photo Credit: Lily Red Studios
Bathing: You can wash your dog as frequently or as infrequently as you would like! At M&J Dog Essentials we recommend bathing your dog with Purely Clean Shampoo & Conditioner every 2 weeks to keep your dog clean. Before beginning your grooming session, gather your dog grooming products and several large towels. Then put down a non-slip rubber bath mat in the bath tub so the dog won’t slip and then get the dog into the tub. When using a removable shower head, spray the dog with lukewarm water and be very careful not to get water into his eyes, ears and nose. You can also use a large unbreakable pitcher or cup if you don’t have a sprayer. To keep water from going into the ears, you can gently put one cotton ball just inside each ear. Be sure to test the water temperature on your arm first! If you keep a hand on your dog’s head, it should prevent that instinctive shake. Using a shampoo made especially for dogs, such as Purely Clean Shampoo & Conditioner from M&J Dog Essentials, massage the shampoo into the dog’s fur from body to tail; the head should be washed last. To keep from using too much shampoo, apply small amounts at a time. Scrub, massage and rub for a few minutes; clean your dog’s fur as you would your own hair or you can use M&J’s Dog Bath Sponge. Don’t forget to wash the feet and belly! Then rinse! After thoroughly rinsing your dog, squeeze out the water from his coat as best as you can, stand back and let him have a few good shakes. For dogs like Pugs that have loose skin on the face or wrinkles, be sure to clean the folds with a damp cloth to remove bacteria and dirt. For those dogs that get a lot of mats or tangles, why not try our Show Dog Shine Leave-in Conditioner? This product has many uses but it works great as a detangler! Just apply after a bath and rinse out. Then towel dry your dog—a beach towel works wonders for larger dogs—and don’t forget to dry the areas in between your dog’s folds and wrinkles if you have such a dog. Be sure to have a towel on the floor because lots of dogs like to rub themselves dry on this towel. Don’t forget to brush out his coat while praising him on what a good boy he’s been and keep him inside until his coat completely dries.
If you are looking for natural dog grooming products to use during your dogs next spa day, check out M&J Dog Essentials products, your dog will love you for it!