By Nancy Cope
Brushing your dog often is important, especially for longer haired breeds.
Even for short coated dogs brushing is important, because it helps remove the loose undercoat which can be very itchy and irritating. For short coated breeds use a curry comb or rake to bring up the loose hairs and remove them. You’ll be surprised at how much hair comes off of your dog!
For longer haired breeds use a brush with metal bristles to untangle mats, and then smooth the coat with a fine bristled brush. Taking care of mats is very important because if left they can trap moisture next to the skin which can lead to hot spots. Brush your dog at least three times a week for a glorious coat.
Rub a Dub Dub, One Doggy in the Tub
Bathing your dog is also important, but how often depends on his lifestyle.
Is your dog outside a lot, or does he prefer the great indoors? Indoor dogs should only require a bath about once a month, unless they get into something stinky or yucky (such as dead animals or mud).
A dog who spends time outdoors will get dirty more quickly, and will require more frequent baths. Still, you should restrict bathing to once a week at the most, too much bathing will dry out your dog’s skin. After bathing try rubbing some tea tree oil into your dog’s coat, it’s a great natural deterrent to fleas and ticks.
Don’t forget to clip your dog’s toenails as well. Long or jagged nails can be very painful for your pup, and can leave him vulnerable to all of the bacteria on the ground.
To familiarize your dog with nail clippers start using them when he is a puppy, and feel free to give him lots of love and treats during and after the experience. Be careful not to cut the quick, which contains blood and nerves. To avoid this simply cut away from the point where the nail turns pink, or where the nail is hollow underneath (easier to find on dogs with white nails). Also, if your dog has a jagged edge, file it down so as to make him more comfortable.
Grooming your dog at home can save you lots of money, and help you to form a closer relationship with your dog. Have fun getting beautiful!
Nancy Cope is the owner of four rescue dogs and Pampered Dog Gifts.