Why early grooming is the right start?


A well-groomed pooch is a pet parent’s delight. It takes time, love and attention to give your pooch a pawfect look. Here’s how to make your pet a showstopper every day.

Sitara with Whisky
Start early: Accustom your puppy to brushing and physical examination (ears, nails, paw pads, teeth, etc) so that they get used to the process of grooming.
Dry bath: Dry bath is recommended for young puppies.
Tooth care: Accustom your dog to brushing teeth. Take half teaspoon dog toothpaste in your finger and move your finger alongside their teeth. Once they get used to this use a toothbrush.
Nail care: Clip the nails with care as dog’s nails have ‘the quick’ which has a nerve. If you clip ‘the quick’ the nail will bleed and the dog will experience pain. So, get it safely done by a vet or a groomer.
Ear care: Dog’s ears can get infected easily, especially the droopy ears as there is less room for air to enter their ear canal. Regular checking is recommended to avoid complications.
Brushing – a must: Brushing is recommended regularly for long-coated dogs to avoid matt or tangles and at least twice a week for small/medium-coated breeds.
Don’t be hard on his skin: Ensure that you do not press the brush too hard on the skin that could scrape the skin.
Removing mats: Mat is painful for your dog. Work on small portions at a time while de-matting. Hold the skin with one hand and insert the end of the comb into the mat with your other hand and slowly try to remove the mat. After de-matting, comb thoroughly. If mat is too close to the skin, try cutting it out with a scissor.
Ready for grooming: If your dog gets restless, it might be wise to take him for a walk or exercise before brushing, bathing, trimming or nail clipping. It will lessen any excess energy and make it easier to accomplish the task.
Hair clipping: Take your dog to a groomer for the pawfect look. 
Get ready for bath: Prevent water from entering the ear canal.
Warm bath: Bathe your dog with luke warm water, always check the warmth on the back of your palm.
Bathing tips: Use only dog shampoo to bathe your dog. First bathe the body and shampoo the head at last with a tearless shampoo. Rinse well to avoid skin irritation.
Drying dos: Towel dry the head and ears first. Then towel dry the body. Take dry cotton and dry clean the ears. Use a pet dryer to dry the coat. Be careful of the ears. Keep a check of the temperature of the dryer.
Paw care: Clipping off hair from the under paw pads will prevent unwanted plants, twigs, etc from getting stuck.
It’s always wise to start grooming and nail clipping when your dog is a puppy. It will get him accustomed to the process and make it easier on everyone in ensuing years. Introducing grown up dogs to home grooming is usually a greater challenge.

(Sitara Samnotra runs Barkers Den, a boutique, spa and escape for pooches in Jammu.)