Dog Grooming at Home: A Little Goes a Long Way
Has your dog been looking a little…shall we say, shaggy, lately? It may be time for some dog grooming at home. Dog grooming at home can be enjoyable for both of you and can go a long way to supporting good health.
Grooming not only reduces shedding, it also keeps you in touch with your pet’s normal body condition. A regular once over allows you to better notice changes in weight, coat, and skin. In turn, you can seek advice and treatment earlier, resulting in better health for your beloved friend.
Dog Grooming at Home
Schertz Animal Hospital has compiled the following tips to help you get started on dog grooming at home:
- Buy the right tools. Ask us what you’ll need for your dog. Depending on your pet’s coat – long, short, thick – you’ll need a variety of combs and brushes to get the job done right.
- Start slow. Starting any new habit requires a gentle introduction. You’ll want your dog to enjoy this time, so make it positive and start with short grooming sessions at first.
- Give praise and reward often. One of the best benefits of dog grooming at home is all the bonding. Praise and reward make this a pleasurable time for you both.
- Check for fleas and ticks. Grooming your dog is the best opportunity to look for parasites before they become a big problem. Ask us about monthly preventives to help control fleas and ticks.
Brushing your dog regularly is the best way to remove mats, reduce shedding, and, of course, bond with your dog. A few tips on brushing:
- Ask us how often you need to brush based on your dog’s breed and coat.
- Be gentle, and don’t pull.
- If you see mats, ask us how to remove them.
- Don’t forget the tail and feet.
You can bathe your dog at home without a disaster! Here are some ideas:
- Create a positive association – praise, praise, praise.
- Use lukewarm water and a pet shampoo.
- Wet the feet first, then the body.
- Avoid the face, nose, and eyes.
- Rinse completely.
- Gently clean ears with a cotton ball (see us if your pet’s ears are crusty, waxy, or red).
A Word About Nails
Any dog can benefit from regular nail trimming. Trim nails when your dog is relaxed, and be careful not to cut them too short. There’s a nerve (and blood vessels) along the nail called the quick. If it’s cut, it will be painful for your pet. Watch your pet carefully, and please call us for a nail trimming appointment if your dog shows any signs of stress or reluctance.
It’s reported that 85% of pets over the age of 3 have dental disease. Coupled with professional dental cleaning, you can prevent this by brushing your dog’s teeth at home daily. Like any other grooming, start slowly and provide lots of praise. More tips:
- Use a toothpaste and brush designed for your dog (one that’s curved to reach back teeth).
- First, let your dog lick the toothpaste off your finger. It’s yummy!
- Then lift the lip, and touch your pet’s teeth and gums. This gets them used to having their mouth handled.
- Next, touch teeth and gums with the toothbrush.
- Brush the top front teeth first, then front back teeth, then move on to the bottom teeth.
- Praise, praise, praise!
Dog grooming at home can be a wonderful way to keep your pet’s coat, skin, ears, teeth, and nails looking great. Of course, all the extra love and time with your dog makes for a win-win situation!
Please give us a call for other tips or if you’d like assistance with dog grooming at home. We’re always here to help!