Grooming a dog is an activity that holds many benefits for both you and your dog.
Dog grooming allows you to build a relationship with your dog since a very young age, and it even comes in handy when training your dog.
Additionally, the activity is beneficial for their health and will ensure they have a shiny, healthy coat to show off to the world.
For first-time puppy owners, knowing how to groom a dog does not come naturally.
There are a few important steps to consider.
Read on to learn how I started grooming my dog since he was a puppy…
Hello! Danial here and I would first of all like to say that grooming is an activity that is fun – it should not feel like a burden or a chore.
The reason why I just made that statement is because just last week, I was visiting a friend and were quite surprised when the kids started to fight because they didn’t want to give the dog a bath.
Even their mom didn’t want to do it. There was nothing wrong with their dog – it was a beautiful little Chihuahua.
I might have overstepped my line, but I jumped in and asked them why they didn’t want to give their dog a bath.
Each one had a different excuse – but it all came down to the fact that they thought of dog grooming as a chore and not an activity that gives them a chance to bond with their dog.
I told them how fun it was for me to bath and groom Iron – and Iron is a Saint Bernard, which means the hair is extremely long, there are knots every time, and it surely is a difficult task.
Even though difficult and often time-consuming, I explained to them that I was grooming my dog to spend time with him, as well as to incorporate it into his training routine.
Luckily, instead of finding me jumping into the fight insulting or overstepping, they rather found my advice helpful and asked me if I could perhaps tell them more about how I did it.
It turned out, and their dog wasn’t very fond of baths, which is likely why they didn’t like giving him a bath.
In this post, I’m going to share some very important tips on how to groom a dog with you.
I used this advice myself when I first adopted Iron, and I gave the advice to my friends, who were able to get their Chihuahua to feel more positive about bathing and to make grooming a much easier (and more fun) task for the entire family.
The Many Steps Of Grooming A Dog
Dog grooming really is much simpler than a lot of people make it sound.
It simply involves a few steps that will ultimately make your dog look great all the time, keep them from becoming too dirty, help the ensure their coat can stay healthy and, of course, to make them feel more comfortable.
If you haven’t been grooming your dog, then now might be a perfect time.
For those who are going to be adopting a new puppy soon – I urge you to start early.
This will help you ensure your puppy grows up to enjoy grooming, instead of being scared of taking a bath or having a clipper held near his skin to shave his fur.
Prepare yourself and equip yourself with the skills that you will need to groom your puppy so that you are ready when he arrives!
Start Brushing Early
The first part of grooming, especially when it comes to a puppy, is to start off with brushing.
Brushing is an important part of the process as it helps to remove loose hair from the dog’s fur and it will also get rid of dirt that might have collected on the fur.
Additionally, when there are knots in your dog’s hair, which is quite common among larger dogs, brushing will help you get rid of the knots.
When knots develop in your dog’s coat, it causes moisture to be locked, and it can lead to skin irritation.
In some cases, when knots are not removed for a more significant period of time, it can also lead to a skin infection developing underneath.
This would not only add additional expenses to your bills as you would need to take your dog to a vet and get him treated with special dog antibiotics, but it could also put his life in danger.
Brushing also helps to distribute the natural oils that your dog’s skin produces. This ensures the oil can reach the entire strand of hair throughout their coat, which improves the shine and overall health of their fur.
The frequency of brushing depends on the type of dog you have, how long their hair is, whether they have a single or double coat, and how thick their hair is.
There are other factors that should also be taken into consideration when you want to determine how much and how frequently you should really brush your dog’s hair.
Dogs who do not get dirty a lot, especially those with shorter hair, do not require as frequent brushing. I brush Iron on a weekly basis since he has a long and thick coat of hair, and dirt easily gets trapped in his hair.
While brushing is important, you should avoid over brushing.
When you brush your dog’s fur too much, it can cause irritation.
Bathing Your Dog
Next up is bathing, which is important if you want to keep your dog clean and healthy.
Bathing is often a difficult part of the grooming process for many people, as some dogs tend to be scared of water.
Others, however, really enjoy bathing and playing in the water, as well as swimming.
The best way to go is to start training your puppy since a younger age to think of bathing time as something fun and positive.
He needs to be awarded for good behavior – including bathing in your positive reinforcement training protocol.
Since bathing requires you to wash your dog on locations that you will not usually pet him on, such as his paws, legs, and tummy, be sure to introduce him to the fact that you will need to touch these parts when you bath him.
The introduction should ideally be done outside of the bath.
Let him get used to the feeling of being touched on his legs and paws, as well as his tummy.
You should also ensure you get a bottle of shampoo that is gentle on your dog’s skin.
The Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo And Conditioner kit are perfect if you are looking for a natural product to shampoo your dog’s fur, as well as to help seal in moisture to avoid dryness. The product comes with added Aloe Vera extracts to reduce itchiness and to soothe your dog’s skin.
If your dog has sensitive skin that is easily irritated, then shampoo like Nootie Dermatology Solutions Medicated Antimicrobial Dog Shampoo might be a better option.
You may choose to bath your dog outside in a tub or on the inside of the house in your regular bath tub.
The choice really lies with you, but larger dogs should rather be bathed outside as they might be keen on jumping out of the tub.
When it comes to bathing your dog, be sure that the water is not too hot, but also not too cold. Also avoid getting water into your dog’s ears, as this may cause them to develop an ear infection.
Gently massage the shampoo into their coat, but avoid getting shampoo on their head – especially their eye area.
Rinse your dog off. You may choose to apply a conditioner as well.
Drying Your Dog
After you have bathed your dog, the next step is to dry them.
Most dogs will get out of the bath and immediately start to shake themselves. This will get a lot of the excess water off their coat, but not completely dry them off.
Thus, you should have a towel that is absorbent ready for when you take your dog out of the bath.
Dry the remaining water off with the towel until they are dryer.
In most cases, you won’t be able to get them to be completely dry.
Don’t worry, as you can leave them to dry off naturally once they have shaken off excess water and you have dried them up with a towel.
It is important to note that you should avoid using a hairdryer.
I have seen a lot of people drying their dogs with a hairdryer after they have bathed the dog.
This is not the most ideal way of getting them dry – it is much better to let them dry off naturally.
Hairdryers can heat up and cause your dog’s skin to burn, dry out and become irritated. This can cause them to experience discomfort and even pain.
In cases where you feel you have to use a hairdryer, be sure to set it to a comfortable temperature that will not burn your dog’s skin.
You need to groom your dog frequently to ensure their coats are healthy, avoid skin infections, and to ensure that they are happy.
Unfortunately, many people are not sure how to prepare their dog for grooming.
I found that it is best to implement certain steps since they are still a puppy.
This way, you can train your dog to think positively about a bath, as well as brushing and even when bringing clippers near them.
Take the tips that I have shared here in mind if you are planning to adopt a puppy or if you have recently adopted one.
Even if you have an adult dog, many of the tips I shared here will still come in handy and give you a chance to groom your dog and bond with him at the same time.
Share the post if you know of someone who can benefit from the tips I shared and be sure to leave a quick comment below if you have more tips to share with us.