I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to come up with extra funds to get my dog groomed on a regular basis. Even though grooming her myself can be a huge task, there are times when I have to suck it up and deal with it. Here are 7 tips for grooming your dog that might make this chore easier for you. Of course, it also helps when you have a small dog instead of a 75 pound Malamute.
1. Use the Proper Cutting Tool for Your Dog’s Hair Type
Clippers work for most types of fur, but some long-haired dogs are actually easier to trim with a pair of scissors. My mom’s silky has such fine hair that scissors work perfectly, but my neighbor’s St. Bernard gets the clippers when it’s time to trim her fur for the summer. People who are new to trimming dog’s don’t have to worry about cutting a dog’s coat to close to the skin either, thanks to the varying lengths of guards available for dog clipping tools.
2. The Ears
Be sure to check the insides of your dog’s ears each time you groom him. If he’s been bathed, then make sure his ears are completely dry and free from suds. Some breeds of dog have stray hairs that need to be removed from the inside of their ears. Check to see if your dog requires this to be done. Many people don’t know how to do this hair removal, but it is virtually painless for your dog. The hairs come out easily with a pair of tweezers and the removal of these hairs keep the ear much cleaner.
3. Discoloration of Fur around the Eyes
Tearing is more common with some breeds than others and not all dogs need to have the fur around the corners of their eyes cleaned. Of course, the discoloration will be much more noticeable on light colored dogs. Take a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and place it on a cotton swab. Gently dab the area of the eyes where the tear ducts are and the fur has become darkened. This technique can be done regularly to keep the discoloration at a minimum.
4. Trimming Toenails
Dogs with black toenails will often require a bit more patience when it comes to cutting their toenails. You have to be very careful not to cut down to the quick. This pink quick can be seen much easier in dogs with white toenails and can be avoided. Investing in some quality dog toenail trimmers is a must. Nail clippers made for humans don’t have the right angle of blade for trimming a dog’s toenails. You can actually end up splitting the toenail when trying to use human nail clippers on your dog’s nails.
5. Brushing Regularly Cuts down on the Accumulation of Dirt
Dogs are notorious for rolling in the dirt, as well as other noxious substances. Brushing daily or at least every other day will lessen the amount of dirt stored in your dog’s fur. This time spent brushing your dog will also give you a chance to check for fleas, ticks, or any odd skin conditions that may have started.
6. Bathe before You Trim
Make sure you use warm water and test the temperature on the inside of your wrist, not your hand. The skin on your inner wrist is much more sensitive, so if the water feels uncomfortable to you it will probably feel the same to your dog. Bathing a dog is similar to washing your own hair. First, wet the fur and then lather in some soap. Rinse well and lather again. It helps to have a scrub brush to really work in the soap and loosen dirt and fur. Once you’ve finished washing your dog, then you can move on to fur trimming.
7. Get Everything Ready before You Start
There is a lot involved with grooming a dog, unless you are only using a brush to get rid of some loose fur. Make sure to have everything you need before you start grooming; towels, shampoo, brushes, clippers, nail trimmers, etc. It’s a lot easier to reach for something nearby than to try and wrestle a wet dog and yell for some assistance.
Lucky for me, my dog is a breed that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. There’s no fancy haircut that goes along with a Malamute, but there is tons of fur that flies around during the shedding season. I’ve invested in a durable metal brush that is especially made to gather up any loose fur, making my job of brushing the dog a simple one. Do you think these grooming tips will come in handy next time you need to groom your dog?