There are many benefits to grooming your dog. As well as aerating the coat and ensuring healthy growth, brushing promotes good blood circulation. Grooming helps to keep grease levels down — a build-up of grease in a dog’s coat can block pores and cause sebaceous cysts.
Most dogs live indoors and so moult quicker and more often than their wild counterparts, causing the loose hairs to become matted. If not brushed out regularly, they form into heavy wads which can drag the skin down, causing soreness and skin complaints.
Grooming is also the perfect opportunity to check your dog over to ensure he’s healthy. Giving him a once-over also enables you to check for any balls of matted fur between his paw pads, which can sometimes become hard with dirt and grease, causing discomfort.
Grooming at home
Set aside some time each day for a grooming session and make it part of your daily routine. Choose a time to groom when your dog is relaxed and settled, rather than when he’s in the mood for fun and games. Lots of praise and a few treats can turn a stressful situation into a special occasion. Get puppies used to grooming and being handled from an early age. This will pay off when your adult dog starts to visit a professional groomer.
Different coat types will require different types of brushes — make sure you have the right brush to suit your dog’s coat.
Grooming isn’t just about looking and smelling good — it’s also important for your dog’s well-being. Before you begin, check him over for any lumps and bumps, cuts and grazes, or skin problems. Also check for fleas or ticks, blocked anal glands, dirty ears, look at the condition of the eyes, and general overall condition.
Hairy feet can mean that long claws are missed — remember to check your dog’s claws every week.
What to have in a basic grooming kit
Although the types of brushes you need will depend on your dog’s coat type, these tools will come in useful for most dogs:
Wide-toothed, coarse metal comb
Ear and eye wipes
Soft slicker brush
Doggy toothbrush and toothpaste
Know your Coat
The type of grooming brushes you use will depend on your dog’s coat type:
Why visit a professional dog groomer?
Some dogs will need to visit a professional groomer, depending on their coat type. Long-haired dogs and those with busy, active lifestyles will need a groom more frequently than shorter-haired dogs or those with inactive lifestyles.
There are many benefits to visiting a good groomer. A professional clip will enhance your dog’s coat and the tools and equipment used in a salon are generally better and more high tech.
A good groomer will have knowledge of a breed and the skill to trim a dog to make him look balanced. A professional groomer will be able to enhance the coat for a specific dog so he can look his best, rather than using one cut to fit all of the same breed. They will use the best shampoos and conditioners and can identify which shampoo would be best to enhance a coat type.