Humans invest in grooming for a variety of reasons. It isn’t just about looking good, but also about feeling good and maintaining a routine. Well, the same is true for our canine buddies. Dogs, too, need to be groomed in a consistent manner. While some prefer to take their dogs to professional grooming places, others like to do the procedure at home, but not everyone is comfortable doing the latter. However, it’s important to know how to groom your dog at home, especially given the current period when the world is facing a pandemic. It really is all about building trust and a deeper bond with your dog.
What to Remember When Grooming Your Dog at Home
Once your dog is comfortable with the idea of you grooming them at home, it becomes a lot easier. If you’re planning on grooming your dog at home, here are a few things to remember:
· Gather All the Material Beforehand
Before you begin grooming your dog at home, make sure that you have all the necessary items in place so that you don’t have to go about looking for them right before you start the process. Look up and research well about the items you will require, such as scissors, nail clippers, trimmers, and so on. Consult your vet to be absolutely sure about the equipment that’s best and safest for your dog. You can also perhaps engage in a bit of pre-grooming playtime with your dog so that they’re slightly tired before getting groomed, and will hence sit still and be quieter during the process.
· Start with Combing
A very good way to keep mats out of the question is by combing your dog’s coat either daily or every other day during the week. Simple brushing is not enough to get rid of the mats. Combing thoroughly, therefore, should be the first step of the dog grooming process, because once the mats dry up, they will only become less manageable. Start from the head and go down to the tail. Be careful around the belly area because that’s sensitive.
If while combing, you come across a tangle, just take a brush to untangle it. Make sure that you don’t brush for too long, because that could end up burning your dog’s skin if you do it on the same spot for a long time. Keep checking under the fur to see any signs of irritation. Gloves and curry brushes can be used to brush dogs with short hair. Medium and long-coated dogs should be combed and brushed using tools such as slickers, steel combs, or a pin brush.
· Praise Your Dog and Give Them Breaks
Your dog will obey you better if you praise them and acknowledge their good behavior while going through a grooming session. Reward their cool and calm behavior with treats so that they feel better about themselves and the grooming part gets easier in the future. This is especially important in puppies, so that they’re more tolerant towards home grooming as they grow up. Also, give them breaks so that they can relax and play around a little. Going at it continuously will only get them exhausted or agitated.
· Cleaning the Ears
Even if your dog’s ears are clean, they could contain a little bit of wax inside, which is totally normal. However, it shouldn’t have a funky smell. In order to clean your puppy’s ears, get some cleaning solution and pour it on a cotton pad. Don’t pour too much, or else it might spill inside their ear. Clean it till all the dirt and wax washes away, making sure that you don’t rub too hard, because this could cause sores. Don’t push the solution too far inside their ear either. When in doubt, you can follow what the groomers do: See to it that the cleaning solution is up to body temperature before you put it inside your dog’s ears. Once you’re done cleaning their ears, pat them with a dry cloth. Make sure you praise your dog for going through this, because their ears are sensitive, and they will need and appreciate your comforting words.
· Brushing the Teeth
Using a dog toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth every day is the best way to make sure they have healthy teeth and gums. However, it can take a while for you to get there. Be sure to use a dog toothpaste and not one made for humans, because those contain ingredients that could be harmful for your dog, such as fluoride. If you feel your dog could bite you, it’s best to not rush into the process. If your dog feels overwhelmed during the brushing process, give them some time to calm down.
Take a small amount of dog toothpaste on your fingers and spread it across your dog’s teeth for a few seconds. Once your dog is okay with you doing that, you can then slowly move on to finger toothbrushes before making your way onto a dog toothbrush.
· Trimming the Nails
Be very careful before using nail grinders and clippers to trim your dog’s nails. If your dog has white nails, clip until you see the pink part. If they have black nails, keep clipping little-by-little till a solid black dot is visible on the tip. Clip slowly and close the clippers quickly, making sure that you don’t use dull clippers, because they can cause chipping and splitting.
· The Bathing Process
While some dogs love water, others don’t enjoy it so much. Praise your dog and encourage them before a bath, especially if they seem anxious. Make sure that the bath space is big enough and that the temperature of the water is neither too cold nor too hot. If a tub-type bath is something your dog does not prefer, you can also go for a sponge bath by using a soft cloth to apply water and shampoo on them. Be careful that it doesn’t go inside your dog’s eyes, because that will sting them. Once you’re done bathing them, ensure there’s no soap residue on them, or else it could lead to dermatitis.