Grooming Your Dog is More than Just a Haircut

When most dog owners think of grooming, the image of a creatively-trimmed poodle or pomeranian comes to mind. However, grooming your pet is much more than just appearance-based – it has a huge impact on the dog’s health as well. Squeaky Clean! You often hear how important it is to brush your own teeth, but […]
Dog being groomed

When most dog owners think of grooming, the image of a creatively-trimmed poodle or pomeranian comes to mind. However, grooming your pet is much more than just appearance-based – it has a huge impact on the dog’s health as well.

Squeaky Clean!

You often hear how important it is to brush your own teeth, but how many times have you remembered to brush your pet’s? Plaque can build up on Fido’s chompers and cause bad breath, gingivitis, and possibly even heart disease. 
Remember to invest in teeth-cleaning treats or brushes made specifically for your pup, or you both could pay the price down the road! Just don’t buy human toothpaste for anyone but yourself – your dog will thank you!

Clip the Claws!

If you walk your dog enough, long claws can get worn down and not pose that much of a problem.However, if you have an older dog that can’t move around as much (or maybe Rexis an apartment dweller and doesn’t have much space to move around), it’sessential to keep nails trimmed short. If they grow out too long they cansplinter and cut the dog’s feet, or simply leave unsightly marks in yourcarpet. You don’t need any fancy equipment for nail-trimmingeither – just stop by your local grocery store and pick up a set of pet clawcutters and you’re good to go

Trim the Fringe!

Again, when a pet owner imagines grooming their dog, most think of getting Rita’s fur cut. Here’s where they wouldn’t be far off! Many breeds of dog, like poodles or Shih Tzus, need to have their hair cut regularly or they won’t be able to see.  That hair also can mat, leaving your beloved pet in a lot of discomforts. Other dogs, like labs or golden retrievers, may not need such intensive hair cutting, but they can shed up a storm and need a good brush now and then. Here’s where buying some trimmers and brushes can come in handy!

Food for Champions!

Again, grooming your pet goes far beyond just taking them for a quick haircut. The quality of Lexi’s coat, and the quality of her life, depends on a steady diet of healthy food. Stay away from dog foods that use animal byproducts, massive amounts of plant material (like corn or rice), or other suspicious ingredients.

It’s better to spend a bit extra on bagged or wet food that contain mostly food-grade meat; this allows your pet’s diet to be as close as possible to its natural preferences. If your dog’s coat seems dull or greasy, it’s possible that its food is to blame. Switch to more organic food and watch your pet’s appearance and mood improve by leaps and bounds!

Scrub-a-Dub-Dub!

Without regular baths, your pup can get pretty smelly really fast. It’s also a great way to prevent dermatitis, which would have Gracie scratching at everything she can reach and making the whole situation worse.

It’s best to use soap and warm water, as well as shampoo specifically made for dogs (no, human soap won’t cut it!). A soap exists for every ailment you can think of, from fleas to dermatitis to grass allergies. Whatever Lila might need for her skin, you can bet there’s a bathtime friend for the job!

What a Workout!

You might not think good exercise is important to how your dog’s fur looks, but you’d be surprised! A daily run or jog around the block is essential for Spot’s health and well-being, and that will reflect itself in the quality of his appearance. Good cardio pushes blood through the blood vessels, which will enrich the skin and hair follicles. It’s amazing what such a simple effort will do for your pup’s good looks! Now that we’ve covered the basics of helping your dog look and feel its best, let’s jump into the nitty-gritty of how to groom your dog. This is where we’ll discuss which haircuts work best for each breed, as well as what products to use for which grooming technique.

Grooming Tools

Long-haired/Hypoallergenic dogs:

These pups require the most attentive careShih since their fur can get out of hand quite quickly. Hypoallergenic dogs don’t shed (or shed very little), which means that their hair grows like us humans. 

These types of dogs include schnauzers and Shih Tzus, and their hair needs to be trimmed regularly to prevent it from growing too long, matting or covering your dog’s eyes, ears, and mouth.

The best tool for the job is a clipper with adjustable heads, which allows you to customize your pet’s trim. A pair of small scissors works well for around sensitive areas like the eyes and nose. Between trims, using a comb or fine-toothed brush on the dog’s pelt can prevent matting and keep Sal looking like a million bucks!

Medium-haired dogs:

Dogs like cocker spaniels or huskies fall in-between long- and short-haired dogs where hair grooming is concerned. Since their fur sheds at different paces (and with differing frequencies), your pup’s need for brushing or haircuts can have vastly different schedules depending on the breed. It’s best to brush your pet with a stiff-toothed brush every other day to keep shedding and matting to a minimum and follow your vet or groomer’s advice when it comes to cuts. Chances are, if Laddie is looking on the shaggy side, it’s time for a brush and trim!

Short-haired dogs:

While your standard lab or beagle may not be as high maintenance as some other breeds of canine, they still need some loving care. Since short-haired dogs shed their locks away, they’ll need a good brushing with a strong, metal-bristle dog brush to wick the hair away from their skin. Once a week, go over your pet with this brush and comb out all the loose fur, and your pet (and carpet and upholstery and family!) will thank you!

While dog grooming is more than what’s included here, this should be a good start to taking care of your best friend. Diet, bathing, brushing and trimming are just part of the love you show your doggy, and should be taken seriously and with dedication.

So long as you treat your pet like a member of your family, Sparky will live happily alongside you for years to come.

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