Grooming secrets decoded

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Let shine and sparkle, and make them look spectacular

Grooming time is when you strengthen the bond of love and care with your pet. Keep your grooming sessions fun and positive. While weekly de-shedding is fine for short hair pets, medium to long hair pets may need to be de-shedded a few minutes each day to prevent mats, tangles and dirt. Remember, you can always take a break and continue the session later if necessary. –by Sadhwi Sondhi

Sadhwi Sondhi
The way your pet’s coat looks depends a lot on their overall health and diet. Feeding your pet advanced nutritional food has many benefits for improved overall health, like a shinier coat, strong muscles, and healthy teeth and bones. Breeds with continuously growing hair, such as Poodle or Shih Tzu, typically need their hair cut every 2 – 4 weeks depending on the breed of dog and style of the cut. Take your dog to a professional groomer so they can help you give your dog a hair style.
If your pet is a long-haired breed, make it a point to brush him every single day. Many pet parents have a hard time doing this but making it part of your nightly routine helps prevent headache and heartache. Focus on your pet’s underside, especially his armpits. Cutting hair of long coat dogs is advisable during hotter months. Although cutting it too short may lead to them getting sun burnt.
Get the right tools—Combs
Use the right comb for best results. Fine-toothed combs are used for soft, thin or silky coats, medium-toothed combs are used for normal coats and wide-toothed combs are best for heavy and thick coats.
Rakes are ideal for removing dead undercoat hair in larger dogs with coarser and thicker coats, like Golden Retriever or German Shepherd.
Slicker brushes are also for grooming the undercoat. They are also a good general brush for all breeds if used lightly.
Pin Brushes, with rounded tips to prevent damage to the skin, are good for dogs with long, fine hair such as Silky Terriers. They can also be used to fluff the coat by brushing against the direction of hair growth.
Bristle Brushes are for dogs with very long coats, such as Afghan, and help add shine to short coat.
Grooming Mitts are for short-haired breeds to add polish and shine once the loose hairs are removed.
Keep that long luscious coat smooth and shiny
Keeping the coat and skin healthy begins from the inside out. Feeding your pet a diet complete with protein, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids is essential. Supplements and treats formulated with skin nourishing supplements are a great way to reward your dog and care for his coat at the same time.
Make grooming an everyday routine
Shaving is never a good option to control de-shedding. It can change the texture of the coat, interrupt the natural shedding cycle, and impair your dog’s ability to regulate body temperature. So talk to your vet about before getting your pet’s coat trimmed and make sure to get it done by a professional groomer only. The best way to control shedding is by using the right tools and through regular grooming.To enhance the effectiveness of de-shedding tools, bathe your pet and don’t forget to use a pet friendly conditioner. Make sure that your pet’s coat is completely dry before using a de-shedding tool.
Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout their coat, preventing tangles and keeping the skin clean and irritation free.Breeds like Bulldogs who have loose, folded skin require special attention when grooming. Use some dog wipes to clean between the wrinkles. For those tough places between deep wrinkles that always seem to get a dry try rubbing occasionally with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Clean your pet’s ear regularly to avoid fungal and other infections in the ear canal. You can use popular ear cleaning solutions that safely clean his ears without harming them.
Kick those troublesome ticks and fleas away
Grooming time is a great time to check for fleas and flea dirt. Those little black specks indicate your pet is playing host to a flea family.For a nontoxic approach to fighting fleas wash your pet’s bedding weekly and use the flea comb daily. Kill the fleas that come off your animal’s coat by dipping them into soapy water. Vacuuming daily can be a big help, but you must discard the vacuum bag to keep the fleas from escaping. Most experts recommend sealing it with tape and wrapping in a plastic bag.
Clip those nails for no painful wails
Keep your dog’s nails regularly trimmed to prevent split and damaged claws. Regular exercise on hard ground will help keep the nails trimmed in condition and lengthen the time between trims as the ground acts like a nail file.Your dog’s paw pads can often get cracked, blistered and dry. It is important to always check their paw pads. You can use paw pad balm to help heal their paws or use a dab of olive oil regularly to keep them moisturised and healthy.
Make your pet a water baby with fun bath time
Bathe your dog at least once a month or once in 20 days if they get too dirty. Bathing them excessively is not a great idea as it strips out the essential oils from their coat. When bathing a long-haired breed at home you MUST brush him out completely before his hair has a chance to dry. This is the most common way that a dog becomes matted, especially for curly-haired breeds.
(Sadhwi Sondhi is a professional and certified pet groomer at Red Paws Pet Spa & Shop, New Delhi which has its own boutique that sells unique dog accessories, treats, toys, collars, leashes and many other goodies).