Right now, you probably have a pretty shaggy member of the house. We are of course talking about the family dog. Owners who usually use a groomer for their pet care now do it themselves, we asked Susan Divine Sholar, owner and grooming instructor at the International College of Pet Careers, Inc. for advice.
“Owners who have their dogs groomed regularly tend to assume that their dog does not need any maintenance between grooms. This is absolutely a mistake,” says Sholar. “Owing to the COVID-19 virus, owners are temporarily unable to have their pets groomed at their groomers, so they must keep their pet well-groomed at home.”
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First of all, Sholar said, don’t try to trim or shave your dog’s hair yourself without proper training. “Many owners have attempted this with disastrous results which were worse than giving their pet a bad hair day. Many made deep cuts in the animal and had to go to the vet for treatment.”
Sholar answered a few questions about basic grooming tips for your dog:
What should you do if you have a long-haired or furry breed that has a tendency to tangle?
Longhair dogs will drown when not brushed at home, so owning a longhair dog requires daily brushing. An owner should view this animal as a young child unable to brush their hair properly. A thorough brushing per day will keep the carpets away. It will also save additional grooming costs when you can return to your groomer. Groomers charge for disentangling and this is in addition to the regular grooming that is normally done on a breed.
Have a smoother brush, pin brush, and comb when you start the brushing process. If the animal has rugs (a tip from the groomer here), remove the cornstarch as well.
Rub cornstarch into each mat. This allows you to work this loose carpet by gently pulling the pile of the carpet in four directions. You can also use the smooth brush to brush the cornstarch mat. I generally use both techniques when grooming.
The comb is used to check the quality of your disentangling. When you feel the rugs are all done, brush the coat again and see how easy it is to brush. Even though you feel that you have done a good job, you are now painting the dog from the skin. If the comb is not stopped by a mat, your job is done
What about nail trimming? Best tool?
If you hear your pet’s fingernails clicking on the ground, the fingernails need to be clipped. Most owners are afraid of making nails for fear of quickly cutting the animal’s nails (the core of the nail bed which contains a nerve, a blood vessel) and injuring them. But the appropriate size nail clippers for your pet’s size. If your pets are different sizes, buy one of each.
You may need an extra pair of hands to help control the animal. It’s not their favorite part of the grooming process. Look at the nail, see where the nail starts to curl, then just go over and cut. It is the best judgment you can make to avoid the quick.
If you break the fast, there is a product to stop the bleeding. I recommend that you purchase such a product for your pet grooming tool kit. Put the product on the nail and apply some pressure. It’s easier to stop this bleeding if you let the dog roll onto his back and keep the pressure on the quick with the dog’s feet in the air.
Remember that you can cut a fast and your pet can bark; However, if you let the fingernails continue to grow to the point that the dog walks on their fingernails instead of the pads of their feet, the feet can break and develop arthritis. Cutting quickly hurts for a while; arthritis hurts for the rest of your pet’s life.
What should you do to keep your dog clean and healthy?
There are many good pet shampoos on the market. Find the one you like, read the directions on the bottle, and bathe the animal after completing a deep brushing and combing. You can dry them and, when completely dry, comb the coat again to untangle any mats developed during the washing or drying process.
Proper and thorough brushing between baths will work wonders. It will help remove the daily grime buildup, get rid of the dead coat you hate to see falling all over your home, and keep the skin and coat looking healthy and shiny.
How to calm your dog down before attempting a shampoo or house cleaning (especially if you’ve never done it before!)
Massage their feet, touch their toenails as you talk to them softly and give them their favorite treat. This goes for every process required to desensitize a pet; touch the ears, brush the coat, examine the teeth to determine if the animal needs to see a dental hygienist veterinarian. Your dog should feel comfortable rubbing your hands over them, brushing and combing these gorgeous long coats.
Products to avoid?
Use shampoos formulated for dogs and made by manufacturers who only make coat and skin products. They focused on their formulas to be suitable for the animal. We have a lot of choices these days. Some shampoos are even organic. I warn you that not all dogs will react physiologically to shampoo. If you use shampoo and your pet begins to show redness or itching, immediately rinse the animal thoroughly and know that this is not the shampoo for your pet.
Finally, is it okay if your dog is a little dirty and matted or should pet owners really try to keep up with the grooming?
All owners of long-haired purebreds should make brushing their hair a regular routine with their pets; just like they do their hair or their children’s hair. Nothing better to snuggle up in a cute, clean and fluffy pet.
Karen Croke is the community content editor for lohud.com and poughkeepsiejournal.com. Find my stories here and subscription offers here. Contact me at email@example.com