Dog grooming is essential. It not only keeps your dog looking at its best but also helps the two of you bond. Scientific evidence shows that grooming your dog is a perfect way of reducing stress. Regular grooming helps to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. It also gives you an opportunity to check your dog’s general health.
If your dog does not enjoy being groomed, here are 5 valuable tips on how you can make it enjoyable. But before then let’s discuss some of the tools and supplies needed for grooming your dog and why you should groom your dog.
Why should You Groom Your Dog?
Grooming is a very crucial part of the general well being and healthiness of your dog. The amount of grooming that your dog needs depends on its breed, health, and age. Regular grooming will ensure that the dog is not only healthy but also comfortable. Here are some of the key reasons why you should groom your dog:
- It enhances the general cleanliness of your dog.
- Helps in monitoring the dog’s general health, by checking scratch, trash, and other skin defects.
- Helps to forge a closer bond between you and your dog.
- Allows you to check for illness signs such as cuts and changes in temperament.
- It ensures that there is reduced attacks by external parasites such as ticks
Tools and Supplies Required for Dog Grooming.
Although dog grooming is not a complicated task, there are specific tools that will help make the job easier. They include:
Scissors and Clippers
The two tools are necessary for shortening hair in sensitive areas of your dog’s coat. However, not all types of coats are perfect for clipping. For example, you should not clip the double coats of breeds such as border collies during winter sessions.
An ideal pair of dog grooming scissors should measure between 6.5 and 9 inches in length. Some scissors are made with blunt tips to prevent injuries that may occur during grooming if the dog moves around.
This is a tool made of plastic or rubber teeth to stimulate the dog’s skin. The tool is gently rubbed over the dog’s coat to loosen hair, dirt and other trash.
If your dog has long shedding hair, the curry brush is a must-have grooming tool. The brush is also ideal for untangling knots on some parts of the dog, including paws, tail, and ears. Although a perfect tool, care should be taken while using it since it can easily harm your dog’s skin.
A shedding blade is made from metal for durability. It is designed with short and dull teeth that remove dead hair from your dog’s coat. The blade is often used hand in hand with the curry brush for efficient grooming. However, the blade is not ideal for cutting dog’s hair since it is very dull.
Stripping Combs and Knives
These tools are used to remove long hairs from your dog’s coat. The pull out the hairs out by the root, ensuring that the cot is smooth and free from external parasites. The tools are mostly used to show dogs.
How Often Should You Groom Your Dog?
How often you should groom your dog depends on its status. The grooming needs of a dog depend on its coat type and length as well as their recent activities. Age and health are also crucial determinants. Dogs that have short coats need less grooming compared to those with medium and long-haired coats. The longer the coat, the easier it becomes for debris, mats, and tangles to get trapped in.
Some short-haired dogs may not require traditional grooming. For such dogs, it is advisable that you use a soft grooming glove to remove hair. This should be done at least twice a week.
You should monitor the condition of your dog’s coat. Look for dullness, tangles, and debris. They indicate that your dog requires some grooming. Grooming can take a few minutes or some hours depending on the condition of your dog’s coat.
Generally, the following is a simple guide on how often dogs should be groomed:
- Short and densely furred dogs: The dogs can generally be groomed fortnightly or once a week.
- Smooth and short-coated dogs: These dogs can be groomed once after two or three weeks to remove any loose hair. Be careful with such dogs since they shed hair at times. They require gently brushing.
- Long and double coated dogs: You can groom such a dog on a weekly basis. This helps to remove tangles and prevent mats
- Puppies: It is essential to train your puppies to feel comfortable while being groomed on various parts of their bodies. This helps to prepare the puppies for health examinations.
5 Tips on how to Make Dog Grooming Enjoyable
Tip 1: Touch your Dog with Love
Dog grooming is based on touch. In fact, it is difficult to finish a grooming session without touching your dog. Groom your dog with a touch of intelligence and love, in the way of communication. It is only with a touch that you will be able to understand the language of your dog.
The way you touch her and how you listen to what she is saying results in a loop of feedback. The feedback helps to reduce the old cycle of pain, irritation, and mistrust.
Tip 2: Buy a Special Grooming Toy
If possible, get a particular toy for use during grooming sessions only. Allow your dog to play with it only during the grooming sessions. It is a wise way of keeping her busy while carrying out the grooming.
Consider buying a chew toy. It will keep your dog distracted and stationary all through the grooming session. However, ensure that the toy does not affect the dog’s mental being. The toy should make the grooming environment better.
Tip 3: Give Some Treats
Every time your dog passes through a grooming stage and shows positive reactions, shower her with praises and rewards. For example, you can give her some tasty dog food as the way of saying “thank you for allowing me to handle you.”
Tip 4: Keep Grooming Sessions Short
Grooming sessions should be brief to make them enjoyable. An ideal session should last 5 to 10 minutes. To achieve such short sessions, you consider grooming your dog regularly. This will ensure the dog’s coat, and skin is always tamed. The grooming sessions will thus be easy and short.
Tip 5: Start Afresh
Starting afresh involves assuming that you have never groomed your dog before. This gives you a chance to look at your dog afresh, without any judgments or side comments. You are then able to analyze her features and behaviors. You will be able to know whether she is delicate, long, short, lean, round, huge, tiny or sturdy. By critically analyzing her behaviors, you will be able to groom her most comfortable.
Think about her physical and emotional sensitivity. This will help you to determine whether she is nervous, shrinking or swooning. Keenly note her coat: whether it is thin, thick, and fine, course, long or short. Remind yourself about how she has been approaching things. Remember all her particular issues, for example, whether she is old, infirm, disabled, allergic, energetic or inexperienced.
After reminding yourself about her attributes, imagine her going through the same process all over again. Analyze the whole grooming process, identifying some of the procedures that you could change to make the re-grooming smoother.
Critically evaluate the grooming environment. Think about how comfortable or safe the dog was during the various stages of grooming. If you realize that the process had some defaults, repeat it all again, ensuring that you avoid all activities and stages that would make the dog feel uncomfortable.
7 Crucial Steps on How to Train your Dog to Enjoy Grooming
Train your dog to be comfortable with handling. You can pat or stroke her various body parts to make her more comfortable to handle. You can start by patting your dog gently on the chest area, then the shoulders gradually towards other parts such as the back and the legs.
Reward and praise her for remaining calm and allowing you to handle her. You can give the dog some tasty dog food treats. This will make the dog unlikely to react during the next grooming period.
When the dog is entirely used to general handling, you may slowly introduce her to a brush. If you feel that the dog might resist, associate the brushing with positive things such as tasty dog food. Alternatively, you can use reward-based training. This will make the dog to associate the brush with something pleasant. As a result, the grooming process will be more comfortable and enjoyable.
After your dog is used brushing next to them and especially when asleep, the next thing is to try to brush her lightly and gently on the chest area. If the dog reacts positively, reward her with some tasty treats.
As she gets more used to the brushes, you can increase the number of strokes. You can also extend the brushing to other parts of her body. However, be careful to brush in the direction of hair growth.
When you are sure that the dog is comfortable with your brushing strokes in the direction of hair growth, it’s time to move on. You can now try to brush it in the direction opposite to hair growth. This will enable you to do a quick check of her skin and look for any abnormalities.
Before you leave step 4, ensure that the brushing experience is soothing and comfortable for your dog. In case there are mats, tangles or knots, have them trimmed off instead of brushing them. This will help to prevent jerking movements, which would cause pain and discomfort.
In case your dog appears uncomfortable, stop the grooming process and resume another day. Be careful to start on a body part that the dog is comfortable with.
Be keen to observe the dog’s reactions to your stroke. If your dogs still seem uncomfortable, trying checking out the type of tools that you are using. Ensure that the tools are not too hard and heavy to cause physical discomfort. Consult your local veterinary specialist for advice on the best tools to use.
Keep the grooming sessions as short as possible. This will ensure that your dog does not get overwhelmed. Always remember to praise and reward your dog throughout the grooming session.
For example, you can give her some tasty dog foods. This will help to reinforce the process positively. It will also make it pleasant, comfortable and enjoyable to your dog. Believe me or not, your dog will always be longing for grooming!
6 Expert Proven Benefits of Grooming your Dog
1. Preventative Health Care
Brushing, clipping nails, cleaning their teeth and bathing your dog enable you to inspect its abnormalities. You are therefore able to take the necessary health precautions to avoid complex issues in the future.
You May Also Interested In: 10 Best Dog Nail Clippers Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
2. Helps Remove Dead Hair and Skin
Brushing enables you to remove dead skin and hair from your dog’s coat. This improves air circulation to its skin. It also improves the look of the coat as well.
3. Increased Blood Flow to Hair Follicles
Grooming your dog helps to enhance blood flow to its hair follicles. This enhances the general health of the coat and skin.
4. Easy Vet Checks
As you take your dog for vet consults and health examination, she will be more comfortable and used to being handled around its body parts. This will ensure less stress for those involved.
5. Increased Sociability
Grooming and brushing become a positive experience for both you and your dog. The time you spend interacting with your dog during grooming helps to strengthen bonds between the both of you.
6. lt helps to understand your Dog’s Body
As you groom your dog, you become more familiar with her. After some time, you are able to identify any abnormalities on her body. The dog will also let you know when something is hurting her as you groom her body with your hands.
With a good understanding of the above information, you will undoubtedly have an easy time making your dog grooming sessions enjoyable. Consider hiring the services of a professional dog groomer if you need any assistance.
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