How Often Should You Groom Your Dog?
Many factors come into play when deciding how often to groom your dog. There should be aspects of grooming that you do daily, weekly, fortnightly, and monthly depending on the dog breed, health, activities, environment, and age. Work this out and you will have a healthy and happy dog.
A daily grooming routine is a good habit that you and your dog should formulate. Unlike cats, dogs do not groom themselves everyday. At the very most they do so every few weeks, meaning it is up to you to initiate grooming. A daily grooming routine consists of brushing and removing loosened fur. This can also be a way to massage your dog and help you check for ticks and fleas or other mites. Matting and tangling of hair on long coated breeds is also prevented this way. For smooth coated dogs, a daily rub with a rough mitten will suffice. Twice weekly, you can use a brush too. Wash your dog’s face with warm water everyday. Gently use a cotton swab dipped in salt and water solution around the eyes. Brush your dog’s teeth twice a week to prevent periodontal disease.
Daily grooming serves as a daily check up. You will notice any changes in your dog’s health sooner and take preventative and curative measures in time. Cleanliness is enhanced for your dog and overall household environment. You also become closer to your dog – dogs love gentle attention.
Weekly baths are also good for grooming. This will keep your dog clean, keep it smelling good, and remove dandruff, pests and mites that may have settled in your dog’s coat. Without regular washing, hair becomes matted and may cause yeast infections. Another weekly grooming activity is ear cleaning, especially for floppy ears. Dirt and excessive wax buildup encourage bacterial growth and ear infections.
Trim your dog’s nails on a monthly basis with a specific dog nail clipper. If you do not trim the nails, they grow long and curl back into a spiral. This makes it difficult for your dog to walk, as he naturally uses his toes to walk and not his pads. When the nails are too long, they become the surface your dog uses to step on . Some nails when curling backwards, can puncture the foot pads, creating sores open to infection. Also include a foot check up in your daily grooming routine. During the winter, if your dog goes outside without dog boots, wash his feet with water as soon as he get back in and rub petroleum jelly into them.
If you prefer to groom your dog yourself, try and commit to a professional groomer at least every three months. They can demonstrate certain grooming techniques to you that you can use at home, and advise you on your daily routine. The basic grooming routine, which professional groomers provide may be difficult for you as it includes a bath, nail trimming, foot hair trimming, ear cleaning and plucking, hair trimming around the genitals, anal gland cleaning, and eye lash trimming. For long coated dogs, a professional groomer would be ideal if you want to trim your dog’s coat. Poodles, ideally need to be trimmed every six to eight weeks.