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Dog Grooming Basics

Updated on January 28, 2010

For those dog owners out there, you know that dog grooming is one of the most important parts of daily pet care. You'll want to keep careful track of everything you need to do on a regular basis and make sure you can keep up with your dog on a weekly basis, contributing to their physical and psychological health.

Dog Grooming: Coat & Nails

Coat

As the most obvious aspect of dog grooming, the coat needs to be carefully seen to on a daily basis to ensure optimum health. Brush the coat every day and make sure to keep the hair in a clean state with no dirt. Not only do you clean the dirt from the coat, you help to spread the oil that naturally occurs in the coat. These oils not only keep tangles from forming but keep the skin itself clean.

Start early in your dog's lifespan, preferably when they are a puppy. Dog grooming can be enjoyable for any dog if they are trained to enjoy it early. However, if they are already older, don't worry too much. You can still train them to enjoy a daily brushing.

Nails

Nail trimming should be done monthly. In terms of tools, make sure to have a good pair of sharp nail clippers, either scissor or guillotine style and a bottle of blood clotter in case you snip a vein while clipping nails. Dog grooming should be equally as safe as enjoyable for your dog.

Dog Grooming: Ears, Teeth & Baths

Ears

Your dog's ears are an integral part of their physiology. Not only do they have incredible complicated ear canals, but they use them for nearly every aspect of their daily lives. You'll want to ensure they do not get any ear infections and constant dog grooming can do that. Look for any redness, swelling, itching, or odors in or around the ear to signify that something is wrong.

Teeth

While a dog's mouth is largely cleaner than even our own thanks to enzymes designed to keep them safe, their teeth can still be subject to gum diseases if they are ignored for too long. Brush them on a weekly or biweekly basis and ensure that when you visit the vet you have them look at the gums as well. In addition to weekly brushing, you can buy treats designed to clean the teeth and keep gums healthy.

Bathing

You should consider bathing you dog every month or two to keep the work done by brushing as consistent as possible. A good dog shampoo and a gentle scrub will help to remove any of the harder to reach dirt deposits from their skin and keep odors from forming

Dog Grooming: Overall Cleanliness

There are numerous times at which you should consciously engage in dog grooming. It's not as simple as an occasional brushing. Your dog's ears, teeth, and nails all require the same constant attention. Consider speaking with your vet about each of these special requirements and what equipment you'll need. Also consider seeing a dog groomer for further assistance in the future.

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