Warmer weather usually means spending more time outdoors with your dog. These grooming tips will help your dog feel fresh and comfortable. As a bonus, they will also improve the relationship you have with your pet.
“Grooming is one of the most powerful ways to bond in nature,” says Jorge Bendersky, certified master groomer and best-selling author. “It’s a way to show our love.” Even if you have a designated groomer, there are things you can do at home between visits.
Brushing your dog
Brushing your dog regularly has many clear benefits, from reduced shedding to a cleaner coat. But you might not know that it’s a great way to keep a dog cool while giving you the chance to spot any irregularities in their skin – think infections or allergies or fleas and ticks. Meg Marrs, Founder and CEO of K9 of Mine, says, “Regular brushing will remove any mats that may have developed in your dog’s coat. Carpets are troublesome in the summer because they trap moisture and irritate your dog’s skin. Regular brushing also removes dead hair and promotes circulation to the outer layer of skin.
Time needed to brush your dog. How long you spend will depend on your dog’s coat. Double-coated dogs, such as the Golden Retriever, Old English Sheepdog, Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu, often need more time. “The undercoat is softer and usually a different texture, which requires special attention,” says Bendersky.
More hair on a bigger dog does not necessarily mean more time. Bendersky points out that an Afghan Hound that’s brushed regularly will likely take less time than a Pekingese that hasn’t been brushed in weeks.
Teach your dog to love it. Los Angeles-based certified behaviorist and dog trainer Russ Hartstein suggests brushing your dog while he’s in all positions — standing, sitting, and lying — to condition him. If he doesn’t like being touched, especially in sensitive areas, offer a reward to create a positive experience. Young dogs who will need their coat trimmed may be afraid of noise and vibration. Gently running a children’s electric toothbrush through a puppy’s coat can help him get used to these sensations.
Start slowly. Hold one of the tools you are working with in one hand while stroking it gently with the other. If your dog is curious, let him sniff the tool. You can offer a treat, so he begins to associate grooming tools with something positive. When brushing, start with small, gentle strokes where he likes to be touched. When you start brushing your teeth, praise your pup by keeping him in a relaxed state. from there you can progress to longer strokes. If you notice he is uncomfortable, let him go. Getting a dog used to being groomed can take time. it is a discipline for both of you.
Use the right tools. Different breeds also have different grooming needs. It is a process that must be done correctly and with the right tools and methods. Bendersky recommends owners of double-coated dogs use a slicker brush and wide-toothed comb, while single-coated dogs can be safely brushed with a pin brush and comb.
Bathe your dog
Not all dogs like to take a bath, so giving yours may not be as easy as you’d hope. Fortunately, dogs don’t need the same type of grooming schedule that we do, and daily bathing isn’t necessary or even good for the dog. But when it comes to bathing your pup, there are some important tips to follow to make bath time a safe and positive experience.
Remove dead hair and carpets before bathing. Brush your dog first and/or use a wet-dry brush designed for use when shampoo makes his coat easier to brush.
Work from the neck down. Pay attention to your dog’s eyes, ears and mouth. Use a damp cloth to clean your pup’s face, and for rinsing, use a cup or hand sprayer to control the direction of the water.
Prevent water from entering the ears. One way to make sure water doesn’t get into your dog’s ears is to carefully place a dry cotton ball at the top of the ear canal. Bendersky points out that a soaked cotton ball will allow water to penetrate, so changing them several times during a bath is a good idea. He also recommends applying an ear cleaning solution before and after bathing – before cleaning off any wax and dirt that may have built up, and after changing the PH of any moisture left behind, preventing potential overgrowth. of bacteria. Clean and dry your dog’s ears thoroughly after bathing to avoid possible infection.
Rinse, rinse and rinse again. This is the most important step and should take as long as shampooing. A dog’s skin is not as airtight as a human’s. where we have one hair for each follicle, a dog can have multiple hairs growing from each hair follicle. “Any product that’s not formulated as a leave-in product can penetrate a deeper layer of skin, causing irritation that can range from an itch to a chemical burn,” says Bendersky.
Use dog shampoo. Because the pH of a dog’s skin is different from that of a person, it’s important to use a shampoo formulated specifically for dogs. Human shampoo is designed to remove oils from our hair, but with dogs, oils help keep their skin and coat healthy and shiny, so we don’t want to strip them. And it’s best to use cool or lukewarm water, never hot.
Avoid slips and falls. When bathing your dog, place a non-slippery towel or mat on the bottom of the tub or sink, so he won’t slip. Bendersky also suggests keeping a loose leash around your dog to give you a little more control if he tries to run away. After bathing, dry your dog with a towel, especially his paws. “Slippery paws can lead to accidents,” says Bendersky.
Don’t bathe your dog too often. Every few weeks or once a month is enough. Frequent baths can wash away essential oils, cause itchy skin and dry coat. If you need to clean your dog between baths, there are leave-in sprays that condition and cleanse, and you can use a damp towel to wipe away dirt.
Trim your dog’s hair
“Dogs can’t sweat like people, so their body heat needs outside help to get out,” says Lazhar Ichir, founder of Breeding Business. Especially for dogs with longer or thicker coats, you may want to consider a summer haircut to keep them cool and their fur more manageable.
Your dog’s coat actually acts as an insulator. However, this insulating layer can backfire on continued hot weather, as it can make it harder for dogs to lower their body temperature. Without the insulating layer, dogs are susceptible to heatstroke, so don’t shave your dog down to the skin. In addition to removing this insulation, you make it more susceptible to sunburn.
If it is advisable to help your dog stay cool by giving him a haircut, you can invest in a pair of professional clippers or scissors. When trimming, only use the tips of the scissors to trim the feet, face and tail; this way you will avoid accidentally pinching your dog if he makes sudden movements. Leave at least an inch of hair and be sure to keep the trimmer cool. If you need a little advice in this area, consult a professional groomer. Online video tutorials can also guide you through the process.
Cut dogs nails
Another essential part of basic dog grooming is regular nail trimming. If you’re planning on giving your pooch a pedicure, make sure you have the right tools, as well as some styptic powder in case you cut too close to the snitch (an incredibly sensitive part inside the nail) .
Whether you plan to use a clipper or a nail grinder, getting your dog used to the sound of the tool can make the experience a little easier. “Always make positive associations with any new equipment and all the sounds, sights, smells and surfaces that come with it,” advises Hartstein.
Most dogs have black nails, making it impossible to see where the quick is from the top of the nail. Cut small pieces at a time until you see a solid black dot on the tip; that’s when you know you’ve hit the snitch. If you accidentally cut too far, immediately press the styptic powder against the nail to stop any bleeding. Trimming white nails is a bit easier, as the bright can be seen from the outside of the nail. Once you see a pink dot in the center, you’ll know you’ve reached it.
If your dog is panting or trying to lick his paws while you mow, these are indicators that he is feeling stressed. stop right away and give your dog a break.
AKC SAFE Grooming Program
Grooming safety should always be a top priority, whether you are a professional groomer or a dog owner who performs some of these tasks at home. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has designed the AKC SAFE (Safety, Assurance, Fundamentals, Education) Grooming Program to support the grooming industry’s effort to self-regulate through education. Classes are given to help professionals better understand safety measures and protocols within the grooming establishment. Through AKC GroomerFinder, dog owners can find professionals in their area. And, they have peace of mind knowing their canine companion is in the hands of a professional who values and champions animal safety. You can contact AKC Groomer Education at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about AKC SAFE