WHY SHOULD YOU GROOM YOUR DOG?
Dog grooming is a very important and necessary aspect of caring for your dog. If you leave your dog ungroomed, they are at risk of developing serious skin conditions due to matting, dirt and irritations. As much as you love the feeling of a freshly groomed and cleaned pet, your dog loves it too! Although some dogs may not be a big fan of the grooming session itself, they certainly enjoy the reward of a conditioned and healthy coat.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR DOG’S GROOMING BETWEEN APPOINTMENTS?
Every breed is different, the length and thickness of your dog’s coat will determine how often they need to visit the groom room at Paws in the City, but most longer-haired or fluffy breeds tend to require grooming every 2-3 weeks. However, we know that everyone lives a busy lifestyle these days and it’s not always possible to keep on top of regular grooming appointments. We’ve compiled some handy tips to help keep their coat in check between appointments:
1. BRUSH YOUR DOG
Regularly brushing your dog’s coat will help keep their coat softer and in better condition for longer. Brushing helps to remove tangles, avoid matting, and provides an excellent opportunity to check your dog’s coat and skin for any signs of fleas, ticks or irritation. For longer or curly dog coats, we suggest brushing your dog daily. If you leave high-maintenance coats unbrushed in between grooming, you risk the fur becoming matted and having to have a closer shave at their next grooming appointment. If you’re unsure which kind of dog brush would be best for your dog’s coat, please ask our groomers! We’re more than happy to recommend products to you to help keep your dog in the best condition possible whilst waiting for their next professional grooming appointment.
2. CLEAN PAWS AFTER GOING OUTSIDE
You wouldn’t keep your shoes on and then lie on your bed in them, but many people let their pets on their bed after being outside. Your dog can quickly get a build-up of dirt and muck on their paws, especially with regular walks. You can buy waterless shampoo that you can keep by your doorway with some towels to wash the dog paws when you come back into the house.
3. CLEAN DOG’S TEETH
Dog teeth cleaning is essential for avoiding dental problems. Dental disease can be very uncomfortable for your dog. In addition to brushing dogs teeth regularly, it’s a great idea to give your dogs some dry food in their diet. Not only does it help to strengthen your dog’s chewing muscles, but it also helps to improve their oral hygiene! Some dental chews and treats are explicitly created to help give your dog’s teeth and gums a clean between brushing.
4. CUT THEIR NAILS
Dogs naturally file their nails during their outside walks through contact with the ground. However, they will still need periodic nail trims to help shorten them further as they are not living outside and trimming them constantly. Some people really don’t like the pressure of cutting their dog’s nails themselves, and are scared of hurting their pet – or their dog simply doesn’t like it and does not let them do it – in this case, you can book in with our groomers for just a nail trim to maintain their nails between grooms. We’ve seen some great videos recently of dogs learning to file their own nails!
5. CLEANING DOGS EARS
Ear infections are one of the most common ailments we see in dogs. You should clean your dog’s ears at least once a month to help prevent infections. Allowing bacteria and wax to build up in their ears can lead to painful infections. You can use a cotton ball and dog ear cleaner (made specifically for dogs and recommended by vets) to clean the inside of their ears. Do not use Q-Tips/cotton swabs as you can cause damage to their ear canal.
Remember to always clean dogs’ ears gently, as you don’t want to damage or irritate their ear canal. This video from the PDSA demonstrates how to clean dog ears effectively:
6. CLEAN AROUND THEIR EYES
As dirt builds up in your dog’s eye, it forms a gunky discharge near their tear ducts. This discharge can cause dark brown, reddish tear stains to form around your dog’s eyes. Some breeds of dogs are much more prone to noticeable tear stains than others. You can clean your dog’s eyes by using a soft, damp cloth or sponge. Use room temperature water and wipe any dirt or mucus away from around the eyes. Remember never to wipe or attempt to clean your dog’s actual eyes themselves, as you can cause damage and irritation.
If you have a particularly wrinkly breed, such as a French bulldog, remember to clean in their folds to avoid their skin becoming irritated and inflamed.
7. BATH TIME!
Giving your dog a bath regularly will help keep them smelling fresh and remove any dirt buildup. It will also help to maintain their healthy skin and healthy coat. Be sure to use dog shampoo as it is tailor made for your pooch’s skin and coat. Using human shampoo on your pets can cause irritation to their skin. Ensure you rinse your dog thoroughly so that no soap is left in their coat or skin. If you choose to blow dry the dog hair, make sure you use a low heat setting to avoid hurting them.
If your dog has lots of folds and wrinkles, such as a Shar Pei, then remember to clean in their folds and dry them off thoroughly afterwards to ensure their skin doesn’t become irritated.
8. FEED YOUR DOG A HEALTHY DIET
A happy and healthy dog begins with their diet. You can help to decrease shedding and skin dryness or irritation by feeding your dog high-quality dog food containing the nutrients and vitamins that they need to thrive. You can give additional supplements such as omega-3 fish oils and coconut oil to help improve the condition of your dog’s coat. Please remember, that any new foods or supplements should be introduced to your pets slowly and in moderation. You should always check with your vet before introducing your pet to something new.
9. TAKE THEIR COLLAR OFF AT HOME
As long as your home is secure and your dog is unable to wander off outside alone, you can take their collar off whilst inside for a long period of time. Removing their collar, especially whilst they sleep, can help to avoid skin irritation or their fur from matting underneath the collar. We also suggest washing your dog’s collar occasionally to remove any build-up of dirt or germs.
10. USE DOG BEDS THAT CAN BE WASHED
When buying a dog bed, we recommend buying one that can be easily washed. Your dog loves freshly washed bedding just as much as humans do! By keeping your pet’s bed fresh, clean and free from fur build up, you can help to keep your dog fresher too.
If you already have a dog bed that isn’t washable, then we suggest placing towels or blankets on top of it. This way, you can regularly wash the towels and blankets and switch them for clean ones.
ASK YOUR GROOMER FOR ADVICE SPECIFIC TO YOUR DOG
At Paws in the City, we provide grooming experiences tailored to your dog, and to your style preferences. Our experienced groomers can advise how to keep your dog clean and cared for in between their grooming appointments at Paws in the City.