Simple Pet Grooming Solutions
How often should I groom my dog? Is there such a thing as bathing him too much?
Depending on breed (or mixed breed), coat type, health and lifestyle -- some dogs' hair never needs trimming and some dogs can go a lifetime without bathing. Every dog benefits from regular brushing by the human companion.
Dogs with fast-growing hair keep professional groomers gainfully employed -- although you can learn to do it yourself with the right equipment and instruction.
Veterinary dermatologists who see dogs with skin problems often blame over-bathing, and say most dogs would be better off without chemicals on their skin. Regular brushing -- with the appropriate implement for each dog's coat type -- can keep him or her clean and healthy. Or so the story goes. Those same dermatologists admit to bathing their own dogs when they get intolerably stinky, however, and they chose shampoos and conditioners carefully. The best "conditioner" is a final rinse with water. Towel-dry the bulk of the water from your dog's fur and hope he gets outdoors to shake off the rest.
Regular brushing is the nicest thing you can do for your dog (and for yourself, family, furniture, furnace filter) and not just in the fall and spring when shedding is at its peak. Have a good assortment of brushes and combs for your dog's coat type and length, detangling (if necessary) and your dog's disposition (learn what hurts and what feels good). Some shaggy-dog owners favor deep-grooming tools like the FURminator.
Regular brushing (weekly would be lovely) is a good chance for a hands-on once-over, looking for injuries, unusual bumps or cysts, inflammation and sore spots, and parasites. If your dog goes where ticks are, however, a daily tick check in season is better yet.
Follow that brushing with a light massage, and make a date with your pooch for next week.
How do I trim my dog's nails?
You can learn to trim a dog's nails at home -- but please get instruction first from a veterinary technician or groomer on the best way to clip a dog's claws. And get the proper clipper for your dog's size.
The blood vessels and nerves (ouch!) inside the claws are fairly easy to see and avoid -- if your dog has light-colored nails. Dark nails are a little trickier. You'll want to nip off a bit at a time -- watching for signs that you are approaching the "quick" where the blood is. Have a styptic pencil at ready to staunch any bleeding that might occur.
Unless you're really confident and dexterous with dog nails, you will want an adjustable clipper that lets you set the depth to be cut. Heavy-duty trimmers are available for dogs with big, thick nails. If your dog still has dew claws (dew claw removal is a controversial and complicated issue we won't address here) try to clip them, too. A second person to hold the dog -- and distract him -- might be helpful.
Get expert instruction the first time, then trim your dog's nails at home. Teach your dog to love nail trims by reward with food for each clip.
Do you groom your pets at home? What tips do you have for other pet owners? Share them below!
1 year ago
If you want cheap shampoo that you can use on your dog try using Jhonsons baby shampoo it is good for dogs with dry skin and senetive skin also VO5 strawberries and cream is another good one it has a good smell but I would not reccomend it for senestive or dry skin. If you have a shorthaired dog such as a rat terrier they can get stinky but using a a doggie bath wipe once a week on them will do if you can't find time to give them a bath! Tickles is a cat and does not like water but will tolorate it for a bath start your pets out young or as soon as you adopt them to get them used to being bathed and groomed. Skitters doesn't like her nails clipped and knows how to take a muzzle off so she has to be put on the table in a specail harrness to hold her back enough so she doesn't bite anyone you can make your own with a table against the wall a leash and hammer a hook in the wall to hold the leash or have a person hold the leash it will be just like the harness at the groomers you can also buy grooming tables online and in some pet stores.
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