To adopt a dog or be a pet-parent is one of the best feelings in the world. However, all dog owners know that their little fur babies need a lot of care in terms of grooming. From keeping them clean and hygienic to ensure they don’t have fleas or ticks, to using products and tools for aesthetic appeal, dog grooming has a lot of different facets. Some basic grooming is needed for all dogs, but of course, you can go that extra mile with hair cuts and dog spas if you want your pet to indulge a little.

Simple Ways To Initiate Grooming At Home

  1. Firstly, invest in the right grooming equipment like a good pair of scissors, nail-trimmer or clippers, a brush or comb, shampoo, and any other additional accessory that your vet may suggest.
  2. Dog coats need to be brushed every single day to avoid knots and keep their mane healthy. Dogs with longer and double coats need extra attention and investing in a metal-pinned brush would be a great idea. On the other hand, dogs with short hair or a shorter coat could be brushed with a rubber brush.
  1. Dog paws require attention to detail. You need to keep an eye on your dog’s paws after a walk outside since ticks climb in from there. It is best advised to wash their paws with mild dog shampoo or disinfectant and dry them out completely to not leave any moisture in between. Also, inspect this area for dryness or redness, both of which can indicate you need to take your dog to the vet.
  2. Post-meal, it would be a great idea to wipe their mouths and jaw-area to clean up any leftovers that might be stuck in their teeth or on the skin. Leftover food for a long period of time creates fungal infections. 

Easy Steps To Follow While Bathing Your Dog

Bathing your dog is one of the most fun exercises to indulge in and helps create a bond between both of you. It might feel a little overwhelming when you start off, but you’ll totally ace your game once you have completed a couple of baths. Always remember that bathing is an alien concept to your dog so introducing them to a shower and shampoo is tough on them! Here are some basic things to remember when bathing your dog:

  1. Always use a mild shampoo, preferably without any scent, and with lukewarm water. If you are bathing a puppy, take it into your hand and gently start off in the washbasin. Bigger dogs could be gently tied down and slowly introduced to water before going for a full lather up. 
  2. To start with, soak your pet fully and then work your way up with each leg, main body (top and under) and then towards the tail and behind. Make sure the shampoo or water do not get into their eyes or ears directly.
  3. Once you are at it, make sure to brush the teeth. There are special jaw-brushes and paste available. It keeps the germs and foul-smell away. Regular brushing gives the dog a healthy-mouth, teeth and gum hygiene.
  1. Once you have lathered your dog, make sure to gently scrub through their body. Work at getting off all the dirt and grime, and massage them to make this a more calming and soothing experience. Then wash out all the shampoo and make sure there is no residue left on the body or paws. 
  2. Once the bath is over, towel-dry them perfectly. Try to not leave excess water because moisture isn’t skin-friendly. Try to introduce a blow-drying session from a young age. Hold the dryer far and keep it on a cold setting. If the noise bothers them too much, let them naturally dry out under the fan. Make sure to let them dry out completely before letting them loose to run around so that the wet skin does not sweat.

Step-By-Step Guide For Nail-Trimming 

It is crucial to get your dog used to their grooming schedules. One of the main grooming habits for your dog is nail clipping. Keeping your dog’s nails at the perfect length is crucial. Dogs use their nails to walk, dig, hunt, scratch and so on, and it is important that their nails aren’t blunt. However, the nails shouldn’t be too long as they might end up hurting you or themselves while playing or running around. Here are simple ways to undertake dog nail trimming at home:

  1. The best way to start this process is by being prepared with all your equipment and medical kit, just in case you trim a bit more and the paw starts bleeding. Choose a perfect time-slot in the day when you know your dog is usually relaxed. 
  2. The act of nail trimming usually produces anxiety in most dogs. Thus, it is necessary that you gently introduce them to the process and calm them down for starters. A good way to keep them distracted during the process is by giving them a chewy or a bone to munch on while getting on with your work. 
  1. Once your dog is relaxed, take one paw and one nail at a time. Gently hold the paw and determine the ‘quick’ of the nail. Quick is the blood vessel in a dog’s nail which shouldn’t be trimmed. Indulge in trimming off only the ‘white portion’ of the nail that is extra and overgrown. 
  2. If you are new to dog nail clipping, it is common to make a mistake and trim through the ‘quick’. Thus, if you find your dog’s paw bleeding, do not worry! Apply some clotting powder to stop the bleeding. Calm your dog for a few minutes and it’ll be fine. 
  3. If you are too nervous to do this, best you leave it to the experts and have the vet trim your dog’s nails on their monthly visit to the doctor.

Keeping Your Dog Grooming Frequency In Check

Understanding the frequency of dog grooming at home is necessary. It is one of the basic etiquettes to understand and follow once you bring your dog home. However, it is crucial to read up all about dogs, the breed that you have adopted, their behaviour, their food habits and most importantly their physical health. It is a common mistake to justify that a dog’s need is similar to a human one. For example, feeding your dog home-cooked meals isn’t advisable, not being strict with their physical routine is unhealthy, and not potty training them is actually unnerving for your dog because they get screamed at from time to time for relieving themselves in the wrong place, even though they haven’t been taught better. Here are simple ways to keep the grooming frequency in check.

  1. Understanding how to bathe a dog and its frequency differs from breed to breed. While some say twice a week, others say once a month. Our best bet says once a week! However, you can always ask your vet before choosing the right frequency for your dog. 
  2. Indulging in trimming your dog’s nails depends on how quick the nails grow. Keep a check on the growth of the nail and only trim it when necessary. Do not over chip them.
  3. Brushing your dog’s coat should be an everyday ritual. It removes knots, keeps the hair smooth and your dog will love the feeling too. 

Dos & Don’ts Of Dog Grooming

With different dog breeds come different schedules and ways of engaging them. The grooming techniques become customised too. Here are some dos and don’ts of dog grooming for a better understanding: 

Dos

  1. Dog grooming is something you need to be regular at. Be persistent and ditch the laziness. After all, it’s your fur baby and it needs attention.
  2. Dogs can easily get anxious. Thus, indulge in your grooming hygiene when your dog is relaxed. You can even offer them toys or chew sticks to keep them distracted. 
  3. It is a great idea to dedicate space at home that is well-lit and possibly has a corner to have your dog seated and gently tied so as to make the grooming process easy to execute.
  4. Investing in the right equipment is very important. Read up and ask your vet if need be, but always buy the right products even if they are pricey.
  5. Understanding your dog’s behaviour is crucial. As a pet parent, you should be able to recognise when your dog is anxious, scared, nervous or angry. These basics will help when you undertake grooming and hygiene steps.

Don’ts

  1. Never be anxious while dealing with your dog. They can sense your vibes and might react in the same way! Always be calm, especially while grooming. 
  2. If your pet isn’t in the mood to listen, do not end up yelling or hitting it. That’s the worst way to groom them. They’ll only get more anxious and make it tougher. 
  3. Scented shampoos are a complete no-no! With added chemicals, such shampoos are harsh on the skin and cause problems. 
  4. Do not bathe your dog too often because it isn’t skin-friendly. Once a week is good enough for most dogs. 
  5. Ear-health is very important. Indulge in cleaning out the ear wax once in a while to keep the ears healthy and clean. 

Dog grooming is easy and a fun way to bond with your dog. So, before you adopt one, it is advisable to learn the basics of dog training, read up on dog behaviour and be prepared to welcome your fur-kid as a prepared pet parent!  

Kirti Panchal
Kirti Panchal

An avid traveller with 25 countries stamped on her passport, Kirti Panchal is the founder of a travel and lifestyle blog (Been There, Done That!). She is a media geek with a decade-long experience and a published writer in magazines and portals.

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