Are you unsure of how to groom your dog and keep them healthy?
This article will show you the steps you need to take to groom your dog properly. You will learn how to keep your dog’s coat looking shiny and clean. I will go through the process step by step to understand what you need to do for your dog.
If you are a beginner at cleaning your dog, then this is the perfect guide for you. After reading this article, if you are still unsure of anything, be sure to get assistance from a vet or a pet specialty store.
Grooming your dog should be a positive experience for both of you. With this guide, the process should be easy.
The Dog Grooming Process
Let’s take a look at what I will cover in this article:
- Step 1: Brushing
- Step 2: Trimming Hair
- Step 3: Bathing
- Step 4: Drying
Brushing is an important first step in the grooming process.
You want to brush your dog before washing as this is needed to get rid of knots, matted, and dead hair. This prepares the coat for a wash to ensure you get a thorough clean.
Brushing is needed to distribute the skin oils that lubricate and protect the skin from infection and scaling.
Brush the hair in the direction of hair growth. Start by using a slicker brush, which will help with the matted hair. For longer-haired coats, use a pin brush to help lift out debris and loose hairs.
Finally, give your pet a combing to loosen dead skin. A furminator can be used if your dog is has a shedding coat.
Ensure to get towards the skin with brushing and combing to make sure you are getting all the dirt and dead skin removed.
You can brush your dog outside to keep your house clean, as this process can involve some mess.
How often should I brush my dog?
Brushing frequency depends on the type of dog you have the length of hair. A short-haired dog can be brushed weekly, but a longer-haired dog may need even more brushing to keep up with matted hairs.
Some dogs will need regular trimming if hair occludes the buttocks, genital and facial areas.
Hair growing around the eyes can impair vision, whilst hair growing at the jaw can lead to trapped food particles and bacterial infections.
Hair growing around the buttocks can trap fecal matter, and hair around the genitals can trap urine.
If shaving is warranted in your dog for these reasons, use a trimmer appropriate for dogs’ skin. A 1/16th inch clipper is recommended. Check with your vet or pet specialty store for help selecting a clipper for your dog.
When you trim these areas, use good lighting and find an area that is appropriate for the task. A small dog can be placed on a table to make the job easier. When accessing the buttocks or genital area, gently raise their leg.
Very carefully shave around these areas, being mindful not to shave directly on the areas themselves. Shave with the direction of hair growth.
Use treats for positive reinforcement during the process.
How often should I trim my dog?
If your dog needs trimming, this should be performed once monthly using the 1/16th inch clippers.
After a brush and trim, your dog is now ready for a bath.
If your dog isn’t due for a trim, then you can skip that step.
Bathing completes the process started with brushing, helping to clear off the skin, hair, and debris. It also gets rid of mud and dirt that has accumulated on your dog.
Whilst some small dogs could potentially be bathed in a bathtub (be careful not to make sure the water is being drained), a larger dog will need to be taken outside in a clean part of the backyard.
A hose at low pressure is recommended for cleaning. The temperature of the water should be warm, but not too hot. Check with your hand before proceeding.
Before starting, apply cotton balls to your dog’s ears to prevent water from lodging inside them.
What shampoo should I use?
You need to use a shampoo designed is designed for dogs.
Dogs’ skin is at a different pH level from humans and requires a specialty product that is also hypoallergenic.
A flea control shampoo may be warranted for certain dogs if fleas are a problem.
How do you bathe your dog?
To bathe your dog, start by lathering your dog carefully and thoroughly.
Once you are done, start by rinsing off the face while avoiding getting water in the snout. Then rinse out every area of the body.
Repeat the process to ensure no shampoo is remaining on your dog. Scrub the direction you want the hair to grow to keep the hair growing correctly with no ingrown hairs.
Always ensure the temperature of the hose is set correctly and the stream is not too powerful.
To make this a positive experience, make sure to use treats to train your dog to enjoy the process. Don’t do anything unpleasant like pour water in the snout or eyes as this can be unpleasant. Ensure to take your time and do things carefully.
How frequently should I bathe my dog?
This will depend on your dog and its activities.
If the dog plays outside in the grass and dirt regularly, it might need more bathing from a dog that stays inside.
If you notice an unpleasant odor or visibly notice poor hygiene, establish a bathing schedule that is appropriate to manage the health of your dog.
Some dogs with oily coats, such as a Bassett Hound, may need once a week cleaning.
Other dogs may only need to be washed once a month or even less than that.
After your dog is done with their wash, make sure you don’t let them run off and roll around in the grass.
Carefully wrap one or two large towels around your dog and pat them dry. Use a blow dry at low heat and dry off your dog.
Make sure you don’t concentrate the blow-dry on one area for too long as this will cause the area to overheat and become uncomfortable for the dog.
If you need to train your dog to follow this process, you can provide treats.
In this article, I have talked about how to groom your dog for hygiene purposes.
It really isn’t that difficult for the most part as long as you take things slowly and carefully using the right products for the job.
To recap, start by brushing your dog, then trim (if needed), bathe (shampoo and rinse), and dry your dog. By following this process when needed, your dog’s coat will stay clean, unmatted, and healthy.
If you are unsure of what to do for a specific breed, then it is best to talk further about the matter with a vet for specific guidance. Learn more about dog grooming here!