Regular grooming is an essential routine to take care of your dog’s hygiene. It helps to keep them clean, healthy, and to look at their best-selves. However, due to COVID-1 lockdown, you may consider grooming your own dog at home as a safer option instead of taking them to a professional groomer or saloon. Besides, you can take this activity as a special bonding time between you and your canine companion. Below are some practical step-by step guides and basic tips for at-home grooming sessions.
Prepare grooming and bathing tools
Before grooming your dog, start by preparing these basic supplies and tools:
- Cotton balls
- Choose shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs to avoid allergy or irritation. One of my product preferences is Cardinal Gold’s Medal Shampoo. They are available in seven different types and formulas which can be chosen depending on the dog’s conditions and concerns.
- A place to bath, could be a washbasin or tub
- A brush or a comb that is suitable for your dog’s hair type.
- Scissors or clippers made for dog’s coat cutting purpose.
- Nail Trimmer
- Dog’s treat and toys to lure them for treatment.
Brush your dog’s coat
The very first thing to do is to brush your dog’s coat to avoid the hair becoming tangled, remove dirt, and get rid of any dead hair. You can use curry brush for short-haired dogs, and if your dog has long hair, opt for professional tools like a steel or metal comb. Long haired breeds will need brushing more often, or at least two times a week to keep the coat neat and smooth. Short-haired will only need a regular brushing once a week. Brushing will also be beneficial to help spread their body’s natural oil so that their skin and coat looks shinier and healthier. Besides, by doing this thing prior to the bath time, your dog will surely have less of an unpleasant experience as brushing will keep the mats at bay.
Trim your dog’s coat
Some dog breeds with long hair may need their matting hair, which can’t be brushed out, to be trimmed from time to time. To do so, you need to be extremely careful when using your scissors and always wait until your dog is calm in order to prevent any possible injury. Start trimming from neck down to the tail and always follow the direction of their hair flows and grows. Don’t forget to give your dog extra treats to reward his calmness after you’re finished. However if you’re not confident to give your dog a trim, it’s totally okay to take them to a professional groomer for safety concerns.
Clean the dog’s eyes and ears
Gently clean the area near your dog’s eyes and ears from dirt and crust by wiping it with soft damp washcloth and moistened cotton ball. These areas are prone to allergy and infection, so while you’re cleaning them, make sure to check if there’s any signs of noticeable health problems like swelling or reddening. If you see any of these symptoms, talk to your vet immediately to find a solution.
Brush the dog’s teeth
Brush your dog’s teeth regularly or at least twice a week to prevent plaque and tartar build up. Use toothpaste products that are specifically designed for dogs instead of human’s as some contents such as fluoride might harm their health. At one point, if your dog keeps on resisting your attempt to brush his/her teeth, try to place the dog’s toothpaste on your finger tip then spread and rub it across the teeth. Once your dog gets used to it, you can start using the toothbrush. This way will ease up the oral hygiene process and avoid the dog having a stressful experience.
Bath your dog
First of all, prepare water with medium warm temperature, which is not too hot or too cold. For the shampoo, pick exclusively formulated shampoo for dogs because dogs’ skin has a different pH level from humans. You can start by pouring lukewarm water over your dog until his body is completely wet, then gently apply, distribute, and massage the shampoo into the coat. If you’re done, be sure to rinse any leftover shampoo thoroughly. Do not splash the water on your dog’s face, instead you can use a damp washcloth to clean around the area. Bath time can be given for every four to five weeks.
Dry your god’s fur after bathing
Dry your dog using a towel or blow dry the dog’s coat if necessary. After this, you can let the dog shake off the excess water then get himself air dry naturally somewhere.