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Dog Grooming Tips

Dog Grooming Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Home

bull dog being groomedDog grooming tips # 1

  • Begin by cleaning the face with a damp washcloth daily to wipe away left over food around the muzzel as well as any debris around the eyes or ears.

    Daily brushing is best for most breeds, but at the very least try to set aside time about three days per week to keep them in tip-top shape.

    Brushing distributes the healthy oils throughout your pet's skin and coat which helps keep odors at bay and shedding to a minimum.

Brushing also helps to prevent hair-matting. During my time as a pet groomer I've seen dogs and cats so badly matted, that shaving them down to the skin was the only option. Not to mention a breeding ground for uninvited pests!

Fleas and ticks are not the only predators that are happy to make your pets matted coat their home. Truth is, a variety of creepy-crawlers including maggots have been known to live and thrive on an animal who's grooming has been badly neglected.

Grooming tip #3
  • Shedding is another good reason for regular brushing. The amount of shedding a dogs coat goes through depends on several factors. Do you know that many short hair breeds such as labs actually shed more than some longer-haired breeds.
cute dog and cat
Many of the heavier-coated breeds such as the Great Pyrenees or St. Bernard will "blow" their coat once or twice a year. "Blowing" is term used to describe a heavy shedding process. During this seasonal shed it's especially important to brush daily to help remove the dead hair and encourage the new coat growth.

Grooming tip #4
  • Fur-free home and furniture. Sitting down in the easy chair todog brush relax should not include a complimentary fur coat! Regular brushing and grooming keeps the shedding down so you can live in a fur-free environment.
Grooming tip #5
  • Tools: The type of brush/comb you choose depends on the type and texture of your dog's coat. The wire "slicker" brush is my default brush of choice for most coat types. Finer, thinner coated dogs such as the Yorkie, may do fine with a simple natural bristle brush or pin brush.

Grooming tip #6
  • In my humble opinion, and experience as a groomer, a stainless steel comb is a must-have. Stainless steel can't be beat for ease of use. They don't pull and snag on pet hair like less expensive combs. 

slicker dog brushIf shedding is an issue and your pet is short-to-medium haired with a fairly thick undercoat, there are some great new tools for "de-furring" your pet. Tools and rakes made specifically to address a thick undercoat are especially helpful tools.
Unless you have some experience grooming animals, I would stay away from de-mattering tools that use razor blades or other sharp objects that could cause harm to your pet.

Grooming tip #7
  • Brushing technique: Start at back of the animal, (hind quarters) and work towards the front of the animal brushing from underneath to the surface. Brush in the direction of the hair growth first to de-tangle, then brush against the grain. (Breeds with corded hair, such as the Puli should not be brushed in this manner)

    Take extra care when brushing around the head and face where an animal's skin is thinner and more sensitive.
If you're using a stiff wire brush, be sure not to "dig-in" too deeply to avoid scratching or irritating the skin.

Additional Dog Grooming Tips -
  • If it's time for a full-on bath, be sure to choose a shampoo approved for dogs. There are many formulas to choose from depending on the condition of your dog's skin and coat. Place a cotton ball in each ear to keep the water from soaking the ear canal.

    If using a bathtub or sink, make sure to place a non-slip matt underneath your dog to avoid accidents. Never, ever leave a pet unattended in a bathtub or sink.

Grooming your pet's paws, ears, and eyes...

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