Get Over Grooming Mistakes to Become a Pro!

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As a pet parent you always want the best for your pet. But sometimes we all commit mistakes. There are certain common grooming mistakes that you might be doing. Read on to know how you can make these mistakes a thing of the past. –by Nitya Ramachandran

Grooming is an essential part of the overall well being of your furry friend. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet does not look unkempt and neglected. These days, many pet parents are opting to groom their dogs themselves to save money. At-home grooming is a great way to bond with your pet. But keep in mind that your amateur grooming skills are no match for the techniques used by professionals. You can always learn and practice.

If you decide to groom your pet at home yourself, here are a few mistakes that you should avoid.

  • Slay, not delay a haircut: Never wait for your pet’s fur to become thick and long to get it pruned by a professional groomer. Delaying a visit to the groomer will only cause your pet’s hair to become extremely matted. Removing those mats is going to tug at his skin and cause pain. Visit a professional groomer every couple of months to get your pet’s hair trimmed or cut.
  • No rushing! Remember pre and post bathing brushing: Not brushing your pet before and after bathing him can cause his hair to get tangled, making it difficult to be brushed later on. This is particularly true for long-haired breeds. You might eventually have to shave off the hair, depending on how bad the matting is. Brushing helps loosen the dead hair tangled in his coat, enabling their easy removal.
  • Careful while clipping: Clipping your pet’s nails too short can cause bleeding and pain. It will traumatise him and make him resist any future attempt to clip his nails. Learn how to spot the quick on a dog’s nails and never cut beyond that point. Don’t rush while clipping your pet’s nails. If you think you cannot clip your pet’s nails at home, it is best to take him to a professional groomer. Using dull nail clippers can crush nails instead of cutting them. Replace old nail clippers with new, sharp ones.
  • They’re called ‘pro’-fessionals for a reason: If you avoid taking your pet to the groomer for fear of how expensive the process is, think again. You cannot make your pet look as prim, proper, and cute as a professional groomer can. They know what they’re doing, which is why they get paid for it. You can consider switching to professional grooming services at home.
  • Bang on with an early start: Failing to train your pet to be touched on different body parts early on in life can cause him to become a nervous wreck during professional grooming sessions at a later stage. Get your pet used to equipment such as clippers, scissors, hairdryer, etc., from a young age.
  • No winter woes with good grooming: Neglecting basic grooming chores such as brushing during winters can cause your pet’s coat to become severely matted. Stubborn matting cannot be removed easily and will leave you with the only option of shaving off your pet’s hair- not an ideal situation during the chilly months.
  • Cut the inconsistency: Some pet parents brush their pet’s coat only when it is time for a haircut or during a full-on grooming session. At all other times, brushing is a neglected chore. It can cause your pet to forget what grooming feels like and he may become anxious when it is finally time for their professional grooming session.
  • Nuances of brushing: If you think brushing duties merely involve brushing your pet’s back, think again! Brushing other body parts such as belly, tail, ears, face, neck, armpits, etc., is equally important as these are the places where parasites tend to infest.
  • Not a close shave: Shaving too close to your pet’s skin can cause razor burn, which if left untreated can become infected. Moreover, your furry friend will try and lick or scratch the affected area, making matters worse. Replace dull, missing, or broken blades with sharp, new ones. It will protect your pet’s skin and help trim the coat in an even fashion.
  • Only tears you want: tears of joy! Do not rush while washing your pet’s head and face, as shampoo can get into his eyes and cause irritation and redness. Cover his eyes when washing his face and head, and always make sure to only use dog shampoo.
  • A little halt on outdoor fun: Dogs tend to run around and roll everywhere after a bath. Never allow your pet to venture outdoors soon after his bath unless you want him to come back home covered in muck and dirt. Pat dry him gently to make sure his coat is not wet.
  • Say ‘no’ to harsh chemicals: Using chemical-based products to bathe your pet can cause allergic reactions such as itchiness, redness, or inflammation. Switch to all natural products or mild products containing calming and soothing ingredients.
  • Dollop of care and attention: Leaving your pet unrestrained during grooming can have dire consequences. He might try to escape by jumping off the table or the sink, resulting in injuries or cuts. Try and restrain him with a leash when grooming in the sink or on top of a table. Better still, groom him on the floor as much as possible. Never leave your pet unattended while there are electrical devices and sharp objects around.
  • Prim and proper with a slight trim: Shaving off your pet’s coat during the summer will not help his body stay cool. Dogs have thinner and more sensitive skin than humans, so shaving off their hair can cause sunburn because of the absorption of harmful UV rays. It can also damage their hair follicles, resulting in poor hair regrowth and dullness of the coat. A shorter trim is a better option as there’s enough hair to protect your pet’s skin from the sun.
  • Keep water at bay from ears: You don’t need to wash your pet’s inner ears. Bacteria thrive in moist environments, so letting water or other liquids into his ears while bathing or rinsing can make him susceptible to bacterial infections. Always keep your pet’s ears dry while grooming.
  • Rinse shampoo and stress away: Not rinsing your pet’s body thoroughly during a bath can cause shampoo residues to linger in the coat, causing skin irritation and matted hair. Pouring water with a mug or a bucket will not do the needful as the pressure is negligible and water won’t penetrate deep enough into the coat. A faucet that releases water with decent force is best for rinsing.
  • Brushing wet hair – a big NO: When you don’t brush your hair while it is wet, why do so for your furry friend? Brushing your pet’s fur while it is still wet can result in clumping of the hair strands. It can also tug your pet’s skin, causing discomfort and pain. Always pat dry your pet with a towel and allow the remaining moisture to dry out naturally before brushing his coat.
  • To bathe or not to bathe? Bathing your pet too often damages his coat by stripping off the natural oils coating from the hair strands. Frequent baths can also cause dryness of the skin. Bathing him once a month would be fine, unless your pet has a skin condition and your vet has specially asked you to bathe him more often. Never use your hair dryer on your pet as it can overheat and burn his skin even at the lowest heat setting.

    Hope these tips help you avoid some common grooming mistakes and you have a fun grooming session with your beloved pet!