Grooming Your Dog

Grooming helps your dog look and feel great

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. 

Trimming nails

  • 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.

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