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Dos and Don'ts of Dog Grooming

Posted by Grange Co-op on 18th Jan 2022

Gather the Right Tools

To start dog grooming procedures at home, it is important to equip yourself with the correct tools to complete the job. Beyond creating a safe environment for your pet, make sure you purchase a quality nail trimmer, hairbrushes, tools for teeth cleaning, fine and wide-tooth combs, hairdryer, shampoo, and conditioner to get you started. We recommend investing in a grooming table, as this will aid in the process, creating convenience for both you and your pet. dogtrimming

Use an Appropriate Brush for the Coat

It is important to contact your veterinarian to inquire what brush and comb are best for your dog. It is best to brush your dog's coat every other day as this will diminish debris and dirt accumulations. Regular brushing also helps manage the coat shedding, as well as keeping it clean and shiny. You can find a variety of brushes online and in-store at your local Grange Co-op.

Look Out for Ticks

When you are brushing and grooming your dog’s fur, make sure you check for any ticks. It is good practice to look for ticks every day in an attempt to catch them as soon as possible. Make sure you consult with your vet to recommend the safest method to remove ticks and apply it every time you spot a tick. If this is something you're uncomfortable with, you can also take your dog to a full-service professional dog groomer for tick removal.

Check Pads

Another important pet grooming task is checking your dog's pads regularly. It is important the pads are kept clean and healthy, without injury or dryness. It is common for pads to become dry and cracked causing discomfort. Applying paw balm is a great method to keep paws moisturized and protected.  Depending on the specific dog breed, there can be a significant amount of hair growth around the toes, which can easily become matted. Regular wiping and cleaning with warm water will help maintain healthy paws, while subsequently enabling owners to quickly catch any injuries that may have occurred to their pet. If any cuts or injuries become evident, always visit a professional groomer or book an appointment with your vet for any procedures related to the cleaning of pads, so it is done safely.

Trim the Nails Regularly

Trimming a dog’s nails is an essential component of grooming. Learning how to trim the nails safely and accurately without hurting your furry friend is an important part of pet ownership. Visit your vet or a professional groomer to show you how it’s done. Once you know how to properly trim your pet's nails, you can pick up nail clippers from Grange Co-op. For many pets, trimming the nails can be extremely difficult. If this is the case, make regular appointments with the groomer for nail trimming and other procedures.

Clean Your Dog’s Ears

One of the most commonly overlooked grooming tasks is the ear hygiene of dogs. Neglect to properly clean ears can lead to serious infections and hearing issues later in your pet's life. You need to clean your dog's ears weekly. This can be done by taking a moist cotton ball or a damp cloth to wipe the dog's ear from the inside. There are also ear wipes available for purchase, such as Earthbath Cleans & Deodorizes Ear Wipes to help make it easier to clean your dog's ears.

 Always watch for any signs of infections, symptoms can include swelling, redness, discharge, debris, or an unusual odor around the ears. If you notice any such sign, visit your veterinarian immediately for treatment. It's common for this to develop when a dog has been underwater or swimming. Regular ear cleaning is important for the health and comfort of your furry friend.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Ideally, you should brush your dog's teeth a few times a week to maintain proper hygiene. Even within just 48 hours, plaque will begin growing around the teeth. When brushing your dog’s teeth, massage the gums as well for maintaining optimum oral health.  

Use Pet Specific Hygiene Products

It's important to note, never under any circumstance should human products be used on your pets for grooming procedures. Do not use your own shampoo or conditioner to wash your dog or cat's hair. Pet's have sensitive skin, and using products that are not made for them specifically can cause harm. Always make safety a top priority by ensuring the use of products is approved by your dog’s vet before applying them.

If You’re Not Trained, DO NOT Clip the Nails Yourself

If your vet or groomer hasn’t shown you the right way to clip your dog’s nails, do not attempt to do it yourself. These professionals hold years of experience when it comes to the health and safety of pets. If you lack the experience needed to safely do so, it is always better to contact your local vet or a pet groomer for these sensitive grooming procedures. 

Contact Veterinarian for Wound Treatmentdogbathing

If you spot any injuries, wounds, lacerations, or sores on your dog's body, make sure you visit a vet immediately. Do not attempt to remove or treat anything yourself, as it can aggravate the problem even further. After visiting the vet they can tell you how best to care for the injury.

Take Caution When Clipping Your Dog’s Hair 

If your dog’s hair is growing, make sure you schedule regular appointments with a grooming service. You need the right grooming tools to clip a dog's hair safely, and professionals have those tools. Depending on the breed, and level of training your dog has, it's often wise to defer to taking your dog to a professional rather than attempting to do it yourself. Take caution when using sharp scissors with your pet. Some require special care and patience, other dogs grow their coats so quickly, that a professional is needed.

Avoiding Mats in your Dog's Coat

Lack of grooming, especially for medium to long hair dogs, can lead to matted coats. Cutting matted hair requires care, precision, and technique. If you try to do it yourself without the proper tools or training, you can cause a serious injury to your dog. We recommend avoiding putting your pet at such risk. Instead, contact your local groomer to set up an appointment to properly remove mats in your dog's coat. 

Final Thoughts

Grooming is an important responsibility for any pet owner. Your pet's health and wellbeing are dependent on their cleanliness and grooming. Make sure you visit your dog's vet and groomer regularly to ensure that they live happily and healthily.

For day-to-day care and maintenance, Grange Co-op carries quality grooming products and tools available online and in-store. If you're unsure what to get, ask one of our knowledgeable Grange Pet Experts!