Dogs need grooming. Grooming is vital not only to maintain their outward look but also for their health. With lots of patience and practice, it is possible to keep your canine friend well groomed.
We have curated a list of tips from professional dog groomers and long-time dog owners to help you succeed and have a well-groomed pet.
Pet grooming: Nails & Toes
Train your dog to understand basic commands which you give him. Patiently teach him to listen to more than one command at a time once he starts grasping single commands like below:
- Wait - You can teach him to be still to cut just the right length of the toenail
- Allow - Teach him to allow you to hold his toenail and paw while you trim his nails
Since dogs are unaware of the common grooming techniques, it may take time to teach and train them. Pitch in with small treats and cuddle rewards once they exhibit good behavior and allow you to do their nails.
Using the “wait” or “leave it” command can also work wonders in making him still. To trim his toenails, try keeping a treat in front of him, tell him to wait and then cut his nails.
He will wait for you till you are done trimming his nails. Once its all done, allow him to have the treat. The same thing works if you use food-filled chew toys at a higher height, where they can lick the toy while you trim their nails.
Make sure you have all the tools and instruments you need to get the job done. Before you start, keep everything in one place and then ask your canine friend to come. Choose from the scissor style trimmers or the other guillotine-style. You can even try both to see, which one your pooch prefers.
Use the one he is comfortable with, nail trimmers or nail grinders. Having a styptic product is also an option as it can help stop any sudden nail or toe bleeds.
Shears are pretty useful for cleaning and tidying up the coat in and around the paws. Pick the ones with rounded tips to avoid hurting your pooch.
You can groom your pooch’s ears yourself or get them done professionally. Not keeping their ears well maintained can cause a variety of ear issues. Though ear issues are difficult to identify, keep on the lookout for excessive ear wax or dirt blocking the ear canals.
Another symptom can be grumpy behavior or difficulty in hearing. Get help from your veterinarian immediately once you notice any of the symptoms as noted above.
For regular cleaning, use a soft washcloth dipped in lukewarm water and wipe the earflap very gently. You can consider using the soothing and preservative free ear cleaners once a month.
Dogs have a unique phenomenon where they develop little stains around their eyes. Dogs having large eyes, short noses and white coats are somehow more prone to developing more stains.
The stain is caused by porphryins, generated once the red blood cells break down. Since they contain iron, they release a light red color and stain the dog’s fur and coat. They can be released by saliva, urine and tears. To reduce staining on the dog’s coat, consider the below options:
- Take advise from your veterinarian
- Daily clean the under-eye area with a soft washcloth dipped in lukewarm water
- Direct fur away from the eyes when grooming
- Feed using ceramic, stainless steel bowls and include a high-quality diet
- Hydrate your pooch with filtered water only (and not tap water)
You should try and make the experience fun. Forceful behavior should never be used as that can make the pet averse to the entire grooming process.
Take some simple steps and use the right tools, training to groom your dog well and maintain his health too! Ongoing rewards and warm behavior with the right treats and cuddles will help you have an obedient dog who allows you to groom him well. Pet grooming is so important!