Grooming your dog is a fantastic way for you to bond, whilst keeping them in good health. To start with you need to understand the breed and their coat type to avoid damaging the coat. For example; wiry haired, double coated breeds such as Border Terriers would usually be hand-stripped twice a year to remove the dead hair. Cutting these type of coats with scissors or clippers will cause the coat become fluffy, altering the texture and can be irreversible. If you are unsure of how to fully groom your dog, regularly visit the dog groomers and stick with the basics!
Here are a few tips to help with the process and can be done in between professional grooms.
Exercise your dog before you begin to groom, it should be a relaxed and calm experience and is much easier if your dog has burnt off some excess energy.
Check out the toys that will keep your dog entertained here
Check their nails. When overgrown it affects their feet and their ability to move which can lead to health problems such as arthritis. Trim the nails avoiding the quick (a vein that grows inside the nails which will bleed if cut too short). In dog's with white nails, you can see the quick. In black nails, cut a little bit off at a time. You will see a tiny black dot surrounded by white when you get close to the quick. That's how you know when to stop cutting.
We recommend Ancol Nail Clippers to keep on top of your dog's nails.
Brushing The Coat
Short, shedding hair (Labs/Pugs) use the deshedder.
Thick, shedding hair (German Shepherds, Huskies, Collies, Golden Retrievers) use the undercoat rake.
Curly hair (Poodle, Bichons) use the aluminium comb and dematting tool.
The slicker brush is a multi purpose tool, suitable for all of the above coat types. The bendy pins pull away loose hair leaving a smooth and neat coat.
Bathing Your Dog
Use lukewarm water, getting the fur completely wet before lathering in the shampoo or conditioner, avoid any getting in their eyes!
Once you have massaged the shampoo/conditioner in to the dog's coat...rinse, rinse and rinse again! The coat should not feel slimy and if you think you have all the product out, rinse a few more times. It is too easy to leave product in the coat which can irritate the skin if not fully washed out.
Eyes, ears & paws
Take time to check your dog's eyes regularly, they should be bright and clear. Many breeds have hair that grow in the corners of their eyes, this should be trimmed regularly to prevent it growing long enough to irritate the dog's eyes. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, take a trip to the groomers.
Clean out your dog's ears using an ear cleaner made for dogs. It is natural to see a little dirt when using a wipe but if it is coming out gunky and smelly, it may be an ear infection and need a trip to the vets.
Most dogs grow hair between the pads on their paws, check there is no mud or debris matted into the hair between their pads as it can become painful if left. Doing this will also get your dog used to you touching its feet (which is quite an unnatural feeling for dogs if they are not familiar to it). Washing your dog's feet with water after a muddy walk is always a good idea too!