In addition to maintaining health, regular grooming sessions, especially when done at home, lead to a sense of well-being for both the pet parent as well as the dog. A one-on-session between the two, grooming at home leads to a greater bonding between the pet parent and the dog.
There are many processes that form part of the grooming process:
- Bathing. A once a month bath suffices for most dogs.
- Brushing. While short-haired dogs can do with a weekly brushing down, longer-haired dogs might require to be brushed almost daily.
- Nails & Paws. Any extra hair at the paws, that is, in between the fingers, ought to be trimmed down. Excess hair on the paws can cause the dog to slip on hardboard floors. Also, hair at the paws, if left to grow long, can trap debris and fleas, causing infections eventually.
- Eye Care. Carefully check the eyes for signs of tearing, red or white-colored inner eyelids, redness in the white portion of the eye, bulging.
- Dental Care. Clean the teeth with toothpaste made specifically for dogs. In case your dog does not like the taste of toothpaste, you can use baking soda or plain water instead.
- Flea or Tick. The area in and around the ears should be carefully inspected for signs of flea or tick infestation.
- Haircut. While a haircut, when given, forms an integral part of the grooming process; a grooming session does not require a haircut each and every time.
Tips for Cutting Hair
While it does seem like a daunting task, it is quite simple once you get the hang of it. If you do intend to cut your dog’s hair at home, make it a point to invest in some good quality clippers, trimmers, dog brushes and combs.
Also, while clipping your dog, do keep in mind the following in mind:
- Wash and Brush first. Make it a point to always wash and brush your dog prior to clipping. Washing, followed up by brushing, removes all tangles and matts that might prove to be problematic while clipping.
- Use appropriate tools. Keeping your dog’s breed, coat texture and size in mind, choose your grooming essentials accordingly.
- Choose the right clipper blade. Remember, the lower the number of blade, the longer the hair is after clipping. While a Number 5 blade leaves behind one-fourth of the existing length, a Number 10 will leave behind one-hundredth.
- Be clear about the look. Before you begin clipping, you must have a clear idea as to the look that your dog ‘should’ have after clipping. Look online or visit some grooming salons to get your fundamentals clear.
- Keep it down. When selecting clippers for your dog, ensure that you opt for the quietest one available. With a heightened sense of hearing, too loud clippers can unduly distress and freak out an otherwise calm dog.
- Sharpest is best. Keep your clipper blades sharp. Blunt blades tend to pull hair while clipping.
- Slow and steady. Ideally, the clipper should glide over the coat. Moving the clipper too fast is not advisable as it will leave lines on the coat while clipping.
- Follow the hair. Always clip in the direction that the hair grows. Going against the tide, so to speak, will lead to unsightly lines on the coat.
- Hold on to your dog to avoid any sudden movement. Always, start clipping from the shoulder and proceed towards the tail.
- Keep the clippers cool. Many times clipper blades get quite hot when in use. Keep turning the clipper off at regular intervals and touch the blades to gauge the temperature. If the blades do appear hot, spray on some clipper spray to cool it down.
Keeping in mind the above-mentioned tips will greatly ease the clipping process. Try to introduce your dog to the clipping process as early as possible. The later the age that you start clipping them from, the more they are likely to resist.