Here Are Some DIY Tips for Bathing or Grooming Your Dog At Home
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As a responsible Northern VA dog owner, you want to make sure your pooch is getting the right care, and quality dog grooming is essential to keep your pet happy and healthy. Not only does bathing and grooming give you the chance to check for fleas or infections, it can help you to bond with your pet, giving you both quality time together that is both structured and fun.
Ideally, taking your beloved pet to a grooming salon will ensure that they have the most positive experience, having your dog groomed by trained professionals who will leave your pooch feeling like a million bucks. However, if you are grooming your dog for the first time at home, here are our top Dos and Don’ts to make the process more successful for both you and your pet.
Brush their hair regularly. It doesn’t matter what breed of dog you have, whether it’s a short-haired chihuahua or a full on mop for a dog(!), regularly brushing of their hair can keep their coat healthy. Not only does it make the hair shine, but it also prevents matting, reduces the amount of dirt and grass seeds in their hair, and helps to remove any loose hair, keeping their coat fresh.
Give them baths. Some dogs hate water, while others thrive in it. Either way, it can’t hurt to give your dog an occasional doggie bath. How often should you wash them? As often as you like, provided your dog is healthy. A lot of people wash their dog when they start to smell – and once every 2-3 months. Best practices is to wash your dog every 4-6 weeks. Some prefer to wash their pet weekly, though this is not recommended if your dog suffers from a skin condition or other health problem. Washing this often can also dry out their skin and coat. If your dog does have a skin condition, you should heck with your vet for information prior to washing.
Trim their hair. It’s okay to trim your pet’s hair if it is getting into their eyes, ears, or if it seems to be uncomfortable – or matted. By trimming the hair around your dog’s eyes, you can prevent damage to the eyes; and trimming inside the ears can also help to improve air flow and prevent infection. If you’re going to do this, make sure your dog is calm and relaxed. Work slowly and be cautious with scissors close to your pet’s skin. If this makes you particularly nervous, it might be best left to a grooming salon.
Be patient. If your pooch suffers from anxiety, like 70% of dogs do, you need to be patient when grooming them. Dogs can sense if you’re feeling stressed or anxious yourself, and they may react to specific tools, including the hair clippers, bathwater, and nail trimmers. Take it slow. Introduce your pet to each new grooming tool slowly and see how they react. Do a little bit at a time if preferred and try to make it a positive experience – include treats, have your dog’s favorite toys or bed nearby, and give lots of praise.
If you are coming up against any concerns or difficulties, taking your dog to a professional grooming salon can make all the difference. Being groomed by people who are trained and experienced in keeping dogs calm whilst being groomed can transform their feelings towards the whole process – never mind that you can put your feet up while your pooch gets pampered!
Bathe in the cold. Always try to use warm water and have a warm room where you’re bathing your dog. Cold weather can cause your dog’s body temperature to drop – this, in turn, slows their heart rate and breathing.
Cut their nails too short. If you want to cut your dog’s nails, keep in mind you should only trim them – never cut them too short. Under a dog’s nail is a blood vessel called the “quick”. If you accidentally cut into this, it can be quite painful for the dog and can lead to bleeding. Try to cut the nails when your dog is calm, or even asleep, and trim the edges (or any hooks) only.
Try to do too much at once. When you’re grooming at home, stick with one thing at a time. Let them have a bath one day, trim nails the next, haircut the day after. Shorter sessions, more frequently, will help your dog avoid any anxiety – and let’s face it, not many dogs are willing to sit still for an hour while you poke and prod them.
Though you’ll have to bathe your dog every now and then, when he or she needs proper grooming it’s advised to take them to a certified groomer. They’re trained to deal with all types of dogs, temperaments, and situations and can make your pooch feel comfortable and happy! They’re also experienced in the beauty regime, so your pet is more likely to leave looking like a catalog-ready-dog, rather than a test subject.