They say loyalty cannot be bought, tell that to someone who owns a dog! Speaking of dog owners, one of the best ways to appreciate your furry friend is to make sure they groomed properly. Grooming your dog should be at the top of the list of things to do to help your dog stay healthy. Most of the infections that hit dogs are as a result of poor grooming by the dog owner.
The fact is, dog grooming doesn’t just make your dog look good, it also shields them from some (if not most) infections. From bad teeth, which are known to cause discomfort and pain, overgrown nails to anal glands. If you are a new dog owner, you need to check these amazing dog grooming for new dog owners.
18 Grooming Tips for New Dog Owners
Prepare the dog
The first grooming experience is very important. You’ve got to prepare your dog for this. What you need to do before their first grooming experience is to familiarize your dog with it. Your dog needs to get used to this process. The reason why you have some dogs getting agitated during a grooming session is due to the absence of a groomer.
So, what’s the secret? Have a regular groom time with your dog. A regular playtime where you run your hand through your dog’s face, paws, body, and tails will create a subconscious feeling in their head. The goal is to teach your dog to love grooming.
Basic Tools You Need For Grooming
What are the necessary tools you need to groom your dog? All the tools you need to groom your dog properly can be found in pet supply stores in your community. Some of these tools include:
- Nail Clipper
The nail clipper, just as the name implies is used to cut pet nails. Avoid the cheap nail clippers, if you don’t have an idea of how to get the right one, you can ask the clerk to help with it. This is very important.
Your dog’s coat determines the kind of brush you will get. For instance, dogs such as Great Danes and Boston, who are known to have very short hairs, the best brush would be Rubber Curry brushes. Alternatively, you can get the bristle brush. The same goes for short shedding hair. But unlike dogs with very short hair, a shedding tool will be a perfect alternate brush.
Dogs with short, thick, and shedding hair should be groomed with an undercoat rake/slicker brush. Alternatively, a shedding tool will be just fine. Golden Retrievers and Border Collies, which are both examples of dogs with medium hair, can be groomed using a slicker brush. A pin brush is the best brush for dogs with straight hair. Lastly, bichon and poodles, which are dogs with curly hair, should be groomed using a greyhound comb/metal comb.
Other tools you need include a towel, dog toothbrush and paste, and organic flea control.
Get Your Dog Used to Grooming Early
When is the best time to start grooming your dog? Actually, there isn’t a perfect time to start grooming your dog. So, the right answer to that question would be now! One of the best ways to get your dog accustomed to grooming is to save their favorite treat until they are done with their grooming session. As early as possible, you need to get them accustomed to things such as vacuuming, amongst other things. Getting your dog used to grooming soon will save you a whole lot in the future. This will help avoid drama when you take your dog to a professional.
Brushing Your Dog
Asides having the proper tool (just as we’ve stated above), You need to know the right technique to help remove dead furs and hair. You probably have the right tool for this. The first thing you need to understand is that brushing should be down and out. Dogs aren’t comfortable with their hair been brushed backward. Additionally, this tends to remove dead furs from their coat.
Secondly, make sure that this is done gently or else, your dog’s coat will be damaged. Be gentle, untangle the snarls without causing the dog discomfort. Lastly, apply a coat conditioner. While brushing our dog’s hair, we tend to encounter mats. This can be tackled by applying coat conditioner on the dog’s coat and leave it for a few minutes before using a mat – splitting or a wide-toothed comb to straighten the snarls.
It is normal for a dog to shed. Dogs lose damaged or outgrown hair through what is known as shedding. This can’t be stopped, but you can reduce it. How do you reduce your dog’s shedding? Brush your dog regularly. We’ve stated the types of brush that’d be great for any dog breed, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Not only is it important that you get the right brush, but you also need the right shedding tool. There are shedding tool that is designed to help control this. It could be in the form of a brush that has a closed – space tines which help to remove the undercoat. In addition to all of these, make sure your dog is getting a healthy meal, proper water intake, and bath them regularly.
When we talk about dogs having skin problems, the first culprit that comes to mind is the flea. Next to ticks, they are both known to cause skin problems for dogs. Not forgetting scabies mites. You can go through the natural route or visit your vet. We strongly advise that you visit the vet. Meanwhile, there are natural treatments for skin problems in dogs.
These natural treatments include apple cider vinegar, lavender, peppermint, aloe vera, or chamomile tea. This might sound counterproductive, but overbathing your dog can also expose them to skin infections. Overbathing your dog will dry out the skin, and that would lead to loss of natural oil from the dog’s skin. As we’ve pointed out earlier, when it’s starting to spiral out of control, you should see a vet.
Learn How To Handle Nails
Nail cutting is important if you truly want your dog to experience proper grooming. All dogs need this. But you’ve got to be careful. Dog’s have quick in their nails. It’s a vein that bleeds when their nail is not trimmed correctly. Trim the nails weekly. There are nail clippers designed for dogs.
What’s the best way to cut your dog’s nail? Make sure your dog is in a position where it will be comfortable for you to switch the dog’s paws and flip them while trimming. In case your dog has white nails, the quick veins will be visible, that way, you know how low you can cut. How do you know you are close to the quick vein? When you start to see black dot with a white dot around it, then you are close. This is where you should stop.
The best way to avoid bleeding or cutting the dog’s quick vein is to get a nail grinder. A nail grinder will cut your dog’s nail smooth without touching the quick vein.
Some dog owners often ignore their dog’s teeth. More than 70% of dogs are known to have periodontal disease or any form of the disease when they are 3 years old. Gum disease is not something to be joked with. An infected gum will lead to a broken jaw, teeth falling out, heart disease, abscesses, or in extreme cases, death. How do you solve this? One of the things to do to avoid this trouble is t make sure that their teeth are brushed regularly. If your dog isn’t comfortable with brushing (in this case, their teeth), then you can opt-in for tooth wipes or dental sprays.
This is one aspect of dog grooming that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This dog breed is known to be prone to eye problems. The shocking part is that this happens ones in a week. Take time out, look closely at your dog’s eyes. When they aren’t as bright and clear as they ought to be, you should keep tabs on them. In a situation where you have colored discharge coming from your dog’s eyes, then you should keep tabs on it. Also, trim the hair that seems to be growing in the corner of their eyes. This should be done regularly. In summary, make sure the dog’s face is cleaned regularly, and trim the hair around their eye.
There are things you can do to make sure your dog’s ears are cleaned. Remove the debris that is found in the ear canal, this should be done gently. You should also learn to dry your dog’s ears with cotton balls, especially after swimming. During grooming, you should use cotton balls to clean your dog’s ears to avoid moistures from irritating your dog’s ears. The hair that is on either side of the dog’s ears (both in and around) should be trimmed.
Some dogs are known to grow hair between the pads that are on the bottom of their feet. One of the negatives of having such hair beneath their feet is that it traps strange things such as debris, pesticides, and sidewalks. You can’t stop this from happening, but you can reduce it. One of the simple but effective ways to go about it is to use trimmers or scissors. But the trimmer and scissors should be used with utmost caution. You don’t want to nick your dog.
Think of Grooming as Bonding
One of the mistakes dog owners makes rushing through this session. The grooming session with your dog should be seen as a time to bond with him. Don’t go in with the mentality of “Get it quickly.” Take your time, and you will see that it’s a great way to spend time with your dog and bond with him. Think about it. During this session, your dog will get lots of attention from you. At this point, you will also learn a lot about your dog, something that can’t necessarily be known to spend a few minutes with it. In addition to this, you will also get to find out ‘on-time’ if funny things are happening to your dog.
Keep Your Dog Groomed Year-Round
Looking back at some of the things we’ve talked about. Your dog should be kept clean always. It doesn’t matter when just make sure it is done regularly. When you don’t groom your dog as at when due, it will start to grow tangles coats that will be painful to brush out. Another problem posed by irregular grooming is that it kills the grooming habit which you’ve instilled in your dog. How frequently should your dog be groomed?
- For short-haired dogs, grooming should be done four times a year.
- For double-coated dogs with long hair, they shed seasonally. With this kind of dog (double-coated dogs), you should pay attention to their long furs. The feathers on their butts, bellies, ears, and feet should be trimmed regularly to avoid matting.
- Dogs with thick undercoats should be groomed every three months. Meanwhile, the undercoat should be removed seasonally. If not taken care of properly, dogs with thick undercoats tend to develop severe matting.
- Wavy and Curly coated dogs need a lot of attention. They mat a lot. Once their hair is longer than half an inch, you should ensure that they are brushed every 4 to 6 weeks to avoid matting.
- Terriers: these dogs are slightly prone to matting. They can go 1 to 3 months without grooming.
- Silky-coated dogs: This dog breeds have coats that grow continuously. Cutting their hair short can last two to three months. But in a situation when you’ve got a dog whose hair is more than an inch, it needs to be groomed four to six weeks.
Develop a Regular Brushing Routine
Another tip to take note of is developing a regular brushing routine. The dog’s coat defines the kind of routine that you’d develop. For instance, if your dog has a short coat, then daily brushing your best. Why? Apart from aiding the distribution of oil over your dog’s skin and coat, it also helps to remove dead furs and tangled coats. It will also help to get rid of skin patches that may be on your dog’s skin. With a regular brushing routine, there will be an increase in blood flow. A perfect way to prevent your dog from getting destructive in the home.
Don’t Bathe Your Dog Too Often
We slightly touched on over-bathing your dogs, but it needs to be discussed clearly. As one is trying to develop a regular brushing routine, you should also avoid excess bathing your dog. Excess soaps and shampoos could actually cause skin dryness.
Bathing your dog is not as important as brushing his coats. Rather than over-bathing your dog, you should focus more on developing a regular brushing routine. Sometimes, you should bath them. In this case, go for shampoos that are designed to work perfectly with the dog’s skin oil. The verdict is, you should bathe your dog at least once in three months.
Don’t Let Your Dog Get Matted
One thing that hits the mind of a dog owner at its core is when their dog gets matted. It’s a big concern for most pet owners. Though some dogs are meant to be that way (matted), in a situation where it’s a dog that shouldn’t be, it tends to be a painful experience for them. When you start to notice their hair getting tangled or matted, the best thing to do is to get a clipper and cut the excessive furs.
Take It Slow With New Dogs
Grooming routines are fine, but when it comes to new dogs, you’ve got to take it easy. The dog still needs time to trust you, and we all know that dogs aren’t comfortable when they are touched by people they don’t trust. They need to trust you, and rushing them with your grooming routines won’t make this easy. This takes months or sometimes years before they finally absorb that vibe. You can start by having little grooming sessions with them. This shouldn’t take long. Do this till you feel that they’ve trusted you enough.
Professional Groomer or Do it Yourself?
It’s not as complicated as you think. As a new dog owner, you might not be able to deal with your dog during the grooming sessions. Especially if your dog has behavioral issues or lots of hair. Taking him to a professional might be the best option. Do this till you’ve gathered enough knowledge on taking care of your fluffy friend yourself. Meanwhile, there are little things you can do between appointments to a professional groomer. You can clean their ear and brush their hair while yourself.
As a new dog owner, you need to realize that grooming takes time, effort, and willingness. A little research on the type of coat your dog has will go a long way. With the tips we’ve provided, taking care of your dog will no longer be exhausting. And if you feel that you haven’t gathered enough experience, you can always take the dog to a groomer to help with it. It saves you more time. Finally, go gentle on your dog. The goal here is to be gentle while grooming and doing it effectively.