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How to groom your dog?

Updated on November 29, 2007

There might not be any L'Oreal ads aimed especially for dogs, however it goes without saying they are also worth it to look their best. While some pet owners will have to take their dogs to the dog groomers regularly most of us can get away with helping our dog groom himself at home. Here are some of the tips that will help both you and your dog have the best grooming experience possible.

Start of early and keep it short - if you are getting a puppy, you should start with the grooming at an early age, not only to keep his coat nice and shiny, but also that your dog gets used to being handled and touched (especially around the sensitive areas such as tail, belly, ears and feet). However even if you adopt an older dog it does not mean he cannot get used to the grooming process. Start with the grooming when your dog is relaxed and keep it short (about 10 minutes should suffice). You can gradually lengthen the time of grooming as you go along and your dog gets more used to the process. And do not forget treats and profuse praise once you are done.

Bathing your dog - I have already covered this topic, however I do have to say I will only bathe my dog in the summers when it is exceptionally hot and in case he has rolled around in any type of muck. It is recommended that you bathe your dog every 3 months or so, but sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances it might be necessary to do it sooner. Always use a mild shampoo and make sure to rinse it all off to avoid any type of skin reaction.

Brushing - brushing is all down to what type of dog you have or more importantly what kind of coat does your dog have. To brush your dog's coat has many benefits, from distributing the natural oils through the coat, to removing the tangles and dirt and keeping the coat tangle free and most importantly keeping the skin healthy as well.

For dogs with short and smooth hair you can get by with brushing them once a week. First you use a rubber brush to remove the dirt and loosen the dead hair and then you can finish off with a bristle brush to remove the dead hairs.

If your dog has short hair that is however dense, you will have to up the brushing process - with a slicker brush remove any possible tangles and loosen the dead hair and then with a bristle brush remove the dead hairs. For dogs with long hairs or long and fine hair, it would be advisable to brush their coat once a day. Remove the possible tangles with a slicker brush, then on to the mats that can be more problematic. Use slicker brush to gently tease out the mats and then finish off with bristle brush. Oh and do not forget the tails.

Even with all this some dogs will require some added attention. Dogs such as pugs or Shar Peis have loose and wrinkled skin, so to remove the bacteria and dirt and to avoid possible skin infections you can clean the folds of the skin with a damp cloth, however make sure you dry the skin completely.

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