Grooming a dog from time to time ensures their emotional as well as physical well being. Sessions of grooming provide the dog with undivided personal attention. Similarly, as at the time of grooming the entire body of the dog is under scrutiny, any anomalies can be spotted quite early on. With timely intervention and prompt action, many diseases can be checked well in time, and even prevented altogether.
There are many professional grooming centres operational today, offering a wide range of services at fairly competitive prices. While getting your dog groomed professionally might be the better option for pet parents with neither the time nor inclination to do it themselves, grooming can also be done at home fairly easily.
With all varieties of grooming accessories available online at the click of a button, there is indeed no dearth of options to choose from. Usually delivered right at your doorstep, you can order online from all kinds of shampoos, brushes, combs, clippers and trimmers.
For grooming your dog at home, the following will be required:
- Dog hair clipper
- Dog hair trimmer
- Brush – which can be either a bristle brush, pin brush or a slicker brush
- Comb – de-matting or ending comb.
Do keep in mind that there is a basic difference between a clipper and a trimmer. While a clipper is a fairly large-sized instrument used for cutting long hair, a trimmer is comparatively smaller in size and used for styling or finishing purposes.
Procedure for Grooming
Before commencing with grooming, it is important to ensure that your dog is at ease and not unduly agitated for any reason. If you sense that your dog is upset, give him some treats to settle him down. While a treat might work for some dogs, other dogs might require be taken for a walk in order to work off the extra energy.
There are many things that are taken care of in a grooming session. These are:
Bathing. Veterinarians generally suggest bathing your dog every 3 months. While this might suffice for most breeds, dogs that get habitually dirty might require to be bathed more often.
Brushing. Brushing with a good quality brush helps to remove tangles as well as aids in distributing natural oils across the body. Blood circulation also gets boosted in the process.
Paws and Nails. As any extra hair at the paws can be a breeding ground for ticks and fleas, it should be trimmed regularly. Nails should also be clipped and kept at a proper length.
Eyes. While grooming, closely inspect the eyes of your pet. The signs to look out for are tearing, bulging, eyelids sticking together or redness in the white region of the eye. Also, see if the inner eyelid is a healthy pink in color and not white or red.
Ears. The area in and around the eras is a common ground for the nesting of fleas and ticks. Make sure that the same is clean by trimming excess hair. Also, use a wet wipe or cotton wool to gently clean inside the ears.
Teeth. When cleaning the teeth of your dog, make sure that you select only toothpastes and toothbrushes made specifically for canine use. In case your dog does not like the taste of toothpaste, you can clean his teeth with baking soda or just plain water instead.
Regular grooming has many benefits for your pet. Grooming, especially when done personally by the dog parent, greatly enhances the sense of well being of the dog.
Grooming with Clipper
Firstly, select the best dog grooming clipper set for your dog based on the breed, coat type and size. Also, as per your preference, you can opt for a battery-operated version in place of the usual plug-in version. Always ensure that you detach or attach the blade of the clipper only when the clipper is switched off.
While clipping your dog at home, do keep in mind the following:
- Before you begin, give your dog a thorough brushing to remove any tangles or knots. The kind of brush ideal for your dog depends on the hair length and texture.
- Commence clipping your dog’s hair by starting from the shoulders and gradually moving towards the tail.
- While clipping the body hair, the blade should be laid flat against the coat. In an ideal situation, the clipper ought to glide effortlessly over the hair. If, however, the clipper gets stuck, simply move the clipper many times over the same place in order to ease out the knot or tangle.
- Clip all extra fur, as well as fur that appears to be hanging from the body.
- Take special care while clipping hair on and around the ears, eyes and the muzzle. As any sudden movements by the dog while clipping in these sensitive regions can cause grievous injury, proceed with extreme caution.
The length of hair to be retained depends upon the preference of the pet parent. While many pet parents opt for a practical and low maintenance haircut by going in for shorter hair, there are others who choose style over practicality.
In either case, the dog’s hair ought not to be cut short more than half an inch’s length. Clipping any more than that can expose the dog to the elements, causing serious skin conditions later on.
Simply brush the hair from the clipper with the help of a toothbrush. Follow up with a clipper spray. Using a clipper spray also keeps the blade clean and lubricated.
Grooming dog with clippers at home is fairly easy, once you get the hang of it. For first-timers, watching how-to videos online as well as reading some write-ups would be advisable in order to get a fairly decent idea of the process involved.
Catherine Bono is an professional dog trainer, who is passionate about dogs. She created the Crittersitca.com after an experience with her own dog, Molly! to shares her experience as she studies to become a qualified vet.