Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A Few Dog Grooming Basics

Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Your dog requires all sorts of love and care, and while training and housebreaking a dog are important, cleanliness is also a crucial part of your dog’s life. Even dogs are bothered by messes in the home. An indoor dog potty can be a big help in maintaining cleanliness, but stay away from a fake grass dog potty, which will only cause a huge mess.
Of course, aside from keeping his immediate surroundings clean, your dog deserves a little pampering every now and then. Here are a few dog grooming basics.

Trimming Nails

Trimming your dog’s nails is probably the hardest aspect of grooming. Both dogs and owners seem to dread it. Many dogs hate just having their paws handled, and owners are often afraid of hurting their pets. This is mainly from the structure of a dog’s nails. The quick (the pink part of the nail) contains nerves, so cutting into it will cause pain and bleeding.

Hold your dog’s paws gently and be careful when cutting the nail, making sure not to get close to the quick. There are numerous devices for trimming your dog’s nails. If the basic trimming tool is a bit too difficult, you may consider using an alternative rotary tool that files the nails down. Nail trimming should be done at least once a month.

Hair Brushing

Contrary to nail trimming, most dogs love a good brushing. Brush sessions can strengthen the bond between dog and owner and will help to maintain a healthy, knot-free coat. Brushing frequency depends on your pup’s fur length.
  •     Short-haired dogs can get away with a brush a month.
  •     Medium-haired dogs are prone to matting and tangles, so try to brush at least once a week.
  •     Long-haired dogs require daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. You may even have to brush twice in a single day.
Still, despite the length of your dog’s hair, you can brush your dog daily, especially if he likes it. Increase the frequency of brushings during shedding seasons. Above all, avoid pulling the brush through matted hair. Try to pull it apart with your fingers before brushing. If it’s too tight, you may need to shave the area.

Haircuts

Certain dog breeds, like the poodle and Shih Tzu, have continuously growing coats and need their fur cut every two to four weeks. You should take your dog to a personal groomer, but many dog owners learn some basic haircutting techniques.

The style is up to the owner, but behavioral scientists have found that dogs do actually get embarrassed. If possible, avoid completely shaving your dog’s fur. It’ll save him the embarrassment.

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