Grooming Your Dog
Monday, October 12, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department
Grooming your dog is a great way to monitor his health and help keep him looking and feeling great. Spend time interacting with him every day to ensure that any issues are caught quickly.
- Ask your vet what signs to look for that might indicate a concern. While grooming your dog, take a quick look in his eyes to check for any given flags.
- Tear-staining dogs should have their eyes wiped at least three times weekly with a damp cotton ball or cloth.
- Check your dog’s ears regularly to look for any problems, such as ear mites or infections. Check with your veterinarian on how to clean your dog’s ears.
- Brushing is great way to ensure good dental health. Check your dog’s teeth once a week for tartar build-up. Specialty treats and dry dog food can help prevent tarter build up.
- Long nails can be painful and cause foot issues. Help your dog by keeping his nails just long enough to touch the ground. When trimming his nails:
- Plier- or guillotine-type clippers work well.
- Start slowly by allowing your dog to get used to having his paws handled.
- Trim the nail just beyond where it starts to curve downward.
- If you clip the quick (vein), use baking soda or flour to stop the bleeding.
- Don't forget about the dewclaw.
- Trim one nail a day and reward with a great tasting treat.
- Once your dog is comfortable, you will be able to clip all his nails in one session.
- Brushing once a week with a brush matched to his coat type will help remove shedding fur.
- Remove your dog’s collar before you begin. For some shorthaired dogs, a grooming mitt is ideal, or use your bare hands to massage your dog’s coat forward and backward to remove loose hair.
- If your dog has a stubborn mat or tangle, use scissors to carefully cut through the tangle. Double-coated dogs will blow their coats twice a year and will need more frequent grooming during those times.
- If you have grooming questions or your dog's coat seems to mat frequently, consider talking with a professional groomer.
- Dogs typically need a bath every four to eight weeks, unless directed by a veterinarian. A damp cloth or dog wipes can take care of muddy paws or a dirty face inbetween baths. When bathing a dog:
- Brush your dog to remove tangles or objects, such as burrs.
- A rubber tub mat will allow traction so the dog will not slip.
- Use a dog shampoo.
- The water temperature should be about 100 degrees to match the dog’s body temperature.
- After washing, rinse out all shampoo.
- Hand dry with a large towel and keep out of drafts until completely dry.
For help finding the right grooming products for your dog stop by our Animal Outfitters store, or ask your vet.