Just like us, our dogs can get dirty over time, and while your furbaby may not seem to mind, it is much nicer and healthier for him to be as clean and tidy as possible. Any loving canine owner wants their dog to look and feel fantastic both inside and out. However, regular visits to the grooming parlour don’t come cheap, and for many people, it is an additional expense that they would rather avoid. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that the appearance of your dog needs to be compromised. With a little practice and patience, you can learn to groom your dog to a high standard yourself, enabling him to enjoy feeling fresh and looking handsome, and saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year!
Ready to get started? Here is our guide to successfully bathing and grooming your dog!
Unless your dog is a big fan of the water, chances are he would much rather do anything than have a bath. However, it really is the easiest and best way to get him properly clean fairly quickly. Fortunately, you only need to bath him around once a month unless he happens to get particularly dirty in between his regular grooming sessions or is a breed with a very oily coat.
Make sure you use lukewarm water so that you don’t burn or irritate his skin. You can buy special dog bubble baths to help make bath time more fun and extra luxurious. While his bath is running, use the time to thoroughly brush his coat. This will help to remove any loose hair before he gets in and prevent any matted hair from holding water and irritating his skin.
Place your dog into the bath and give her a few moments to get used to the water. Then, using a shower spray (or cups of water if you don’t have access to a shower head) wet her from the neck down. Take a small amount of mild dog shampoo and work from the neck down, building it up into a nice lather before rinsing it away. It may take several rinses to get all of the shampoo out of his coat.
When it comes to washing his face, you should never spray it directly with the shower. This can cause water to get into his ears, which is known to be painful for dogs and could potentially cause some health problems. Instead, use a damp wash cloth to clean around his face, eyes and ears.
Once you have finished bathing him, pop him into a towel so that his wet paws have some traction on the floor, and towel dry him gently. Some owners prefer to use a hair dryer, but many dogs do not like the noise and there is a risk of burning his skin. If you do choose to use a dryer, opt for the coolest setting and don’t get it too close to his skin.
There are various different aspects to grooming a dog and exactly which you choose to undertake may depend on your breed. It is also important to recognize that some elements of grooming, such as brushing, may need to be carried out much more frequently than others.
Brushing is arguably the easiest of all pet grooming jobs. Exactly how often you will need to brush your furbaby will depend largely on his breed since long-haired or double-coated breeds require much more frequent and thorough brushing than short-haired varieties.
Brushing is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to remove excess hair and dead skin, preventing matting that traps heat and causes skin irritation. Secondly, it provides you with an ideal opportunity to check your dog over for parasites including ticks and fleas. Finally, regular brushing helps to stimulate the natural oils of your dog’s coat, helping it to remain healthy and look shiny and fantastic.
Your dog’s ears are very delicate and need to be handled carefully. You should use dedicated ear wipes to gently clean the outside of them, taking care not to go into the ear canal. If there is any foul odor or pus, you should arrange an appointment with your vet.
Many owners will leave hair clipping and trimming to the professionals, but with a little practice it is possible to do it yourself. Try and choose a time when your dog is calm or even a little sleep so that he is as still as possible. Use specially-designed scissors or clippers and take your time.