Breathtaking Benefits of Grooming
The countdown for our 100th issue has begun. To sparkle and celebrate our 99th issue, here are 50 Grooming Tips for our furry delights. Our 100th issue will feature another 50 breed-specific grooming tips. –by Varsha Verma
A well-groomed dog is a healthy and happy dog. Here are 50 tips to make grooming your pooch easy. Charm your way to a healthy and happy dog!
1. Start grooming from day one: Get your dog accustomed to grooming. Start early, when he is a pup.
2. Making grooming fun: Take it slow and make it enjoyable for your pet. Use a comfortable environment. Give him his favourite treat after the session is over so that he’ll associate the experience with positive reinforcement.
3. Set a grooming routine: Develop a mutually-suitable routine. Groom him in a designated place at designated time with the same designated tools. Do not surprise your dog or he will become anxious.
4. Find the right tools: Use breed-specific tools for your dog. A brush for a short-haired dog will not be good for the long-haired one. So, find the right tools with the help of your dog groomer, breeder or vet.
5. Steady surface: Ensure your pet is on a steady surface and is comfortable with your love and care.
6. Use only dog-friendly products: Use only dog-friendly products.
7. Keep all grooming things ready before you start: Keep everything handy. Do not look for tools or shampoo, once you have an anxious dog in your hand. Make the process calm and smooth.
8. Ask for a helping hand: Grooming your dog alone might not be easy. Ask for a helping hand from a person your dog trusts and is comfortable with.
9. Identify your dog’s needs: Every grooming session can be different. While at one time, just brushing would be enough, sometimes it would be best to bathe your dog. So, identify your dog’s needs and then set a routine.
10. Brush your pooch frequently: When you find the right brush for your dog, brush him frequently to remove dirt and debris, prevent matting and control shedding.
11. Brush properly: Begin at the bottom of the hind legs and work your way up, first one side, then the other. It’s important to brush the dog from the skin out.
12. Wipe him clean: Whenever your pooch comes from outside, he might have any dirt, sand or any other debris on his coat. Wipe him clean with a damp towel.
13. Take care of his smile: Your dog’s teeth need to be brushed regularly. Use a small tooth-brush. Wipe the teeth and massage the gums. Use dog-friendly toothpaste only.
14. Give chew toys to clean teeth: You can also give them a few chew toys as gnawing can help massage gums and keep teeth clean by scrapping tartar.
15. Check for ticks and fleas: Whenever you groom your dog, check him for ticks and fleas. If you find any tick, remove it immediately. Consult your vet for more information.
16. Check the dog’s pads: Dog paw pads may become dry or cracked. Use good pad moisturiser to cure any dry paws.
17. Massage the paws: A paw message will relax your dog and promote better circulation. Rub between the pads on the bottom of the paw, and then rub between each toe.
18. Trim the hair between toes: Excessive hair may grow between dog’s toes and get matted. Trim them short with a blunt-edge scissors.
19. Wash the paws: Make it a habit to wash your dog’s paws after every walk outdoors. This will keep his feet and your house clean at all times.
20. Nails should be short too: This is the trickiest part of dog grooming. Any mishap can cause cut. So, get your dog’s nails clipped by a vet or a groomer.
21. Hair falling on eyes: If your dog cannot see properly because his hair is always falling on his eyes, trim it properly.
22. Wipe the eyes: Wipe your pet’s eyes with a tear stain removal solution using a sponge, cloth or gauze. Wipe in the direction away from your dog’s eyes.
23. Clean the ears: Every week, clean your dog’s ears with a moist cloth or cotton ball. If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge from the eyes, consult your vet.
24. Dry the ears if wet: If accidentally water falls inside your pet’s ears, dry it immediately with a cloth.
25. Bathe only when required: Do not over-bathe your dog, he should be bathed when his fur is dirty or smelly. Too much bathing can strip him of natural oils. Once in 1-3 months is good for all dogs.
26. Fewer baths for thick & double coat breeds: Dogs with thick and double coats do best with fewer baths and a lot of extra brushing.
27. Bathe your dog inside when it is cold: When it is cold outside, it is best to bathe your dog inside a bathroom.
28. Use a tub if your dog likes: Some dogs love to play in water, you can use a tub to bathe them.
29. Supervise your dog in tub: Always supervise your dog in a tub.
30. Put a non-slip mat: While bathing your dog you can use a non-slip mat on the floor or tub to avoid slipping.
31. Brush before wetting: Always brush your pooch before you pour water on him. This will remove any dead hairs and tangles.
32. Put cotton in ears before bathing: Put cotton in your dog’s ears before bathing to avoid water getting into the ears.
33. Use lukewarm water: Use lukewarm water to bathe your pet.
34. Choose the right shampoo: Keeping in mind the condition of your dog’s hair, use the right shampoo.
35. Massage shampoo onto skin: After putting on the shampoo, massage your dog.
36. Brush the shampoo in hair: After you wet your dog and lather him with shampoo, brush the shampoo through his coat as this will cover every hair and remove any tangles.
37. Clean every part: Make sure to clean every part of your dog’s body, including belly and face.
38. Head care: Do not wet the head. Use a wash cloth to clean it.
39. Use conditioner for long-haired dogs: Use conditioner for long-haired dogs but remember to rinse it out completely, else it will attract dirt and cause mating.
40. Rinse properly: Make sure that you rinse thoroughly. Don’t leave any shampoo or conditioner residue in the hair.
41. Do not let water enter the ears: Cup his ears with your hands to avoid water going inside his ears.
42. Dry immediately after a bath: Dry your dog with a towel immediately after the bath, else he will get a chill. You can also use a hair dryer to dry him.
43. Brush him after the coat is dry: After the dog’s dry, brush him again to clear out any remaining.
44. Never use a human perfume: Sometimes we go overboard and want our pooch to look and smell best. Never use a human perfume on your dog. It can result in respiratory problems.
45. Trim your dog’s coat: This has to be done in consultation with your vet. In summers, it is good to trim long-haired dogs. Visit a groomer or a vet for best advice.
46. Use grooming wipes: For quick cleaning on the go, use grooming wipes to clean any dirt on grime on the coat, eyes or ears.
47. Praise him while you work on him: While you are grooming your pet, talk to him and praise him. This will calm him down.
48. Visit a groomer: In case it is too much for you to groom your dog, visit a groomer regularly.
49. Choose the pet groomer wisely: Take recommendations from fellow pet parents and friends. Find the one who is friendly and your dog is comfortable with.
50. Treat him after a grooming session: Always end on a positive note. Give him a treat so that he looks forward to it next time you groom him.
(Second part of this article will appear in the next issue – Century (100th) Issue, with 50 more tips.)