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Basic Grooming Tips for Your Pet

December 11, 2020

A basic dog grooming routine is a great way to keep your pets clean, healthy and happy (them smelling great is a bonus)! Done right, grooming is a good way to bond with your pet. Here are a few tips to make basic grooming easier on both your pet and on yourself: 

  1. Ear cleaning: Using ear wipes makes cleaning your dog’s ears much easier. These are damp wipes packed hygienically in a box. You just have to pull out one at a time. Start cleaning at the top of the ear in small circular motions and gently work your way through the ear folds. Always wipe outward so you’re not pushing the dirt in.          
  2. Oral hygiene: You do need to take specific measures to keep your pet’s teeth clean and free of plaque and tartar. Once they are old enough, use a toothbrush (doggy toothbrush) and dog-friendly toothpaste to brush your pet’s teeth every day. This is best way to keep their teeth clean. You can also hand them dental chews and rope toys that scrape off plaque and tartar as they chew on them. Oral additives that you can add to their water also help to some extent. Do not use human toothpaste for dogs as these contain fluoride and xylitol which are toxic for pets.
  3. Baths: Start the bath gradually, use cupped palms to pour water on your pet initially so they get used to the feeling. Start at the back and work your way up to the neck area. If you’re using a handheld shower, keep it close to the body. Even in the summer, the first mug of water needs to be warm, after that you can proceed with water at room temp. Always test the water before you pour it on your pet. It’s important to dry your pet’s coat well after the bath so if it’s not a sunny day, do make an appointment at a dog spa. Dog groomers are trained to use professional dryers to make sure the coat is completely dry.
  4. Washing the face: Never pour water on their faces. It can be very unpleasant and uncomfortable. Gather a little water in your palm and wash it gently, avoiding the eyes and the nose. Don’t let water enter their eyes and nose. Make sure the ears are covered and no water goes into the ears as well.
  5. Shampoos: Remember to use shampoos that are formulated specifically for dogs. Their skin has a different pH level than ours and so, human shampoos can damage their skin. Use mild shampoos and conditioners on your dog that are gentle on their skin and coat. For the face, use only tearless shampoos so their eyes are not affected.
  6. Brushing: Different coats need different kinds of brushes and combs. Speak to a professional on which brush will suit your pet’s coat the best. Brushing your pet everyday will not only let you capture any shed fur at the source (and prevent fur from spreading around the house), you can also spot any new cuts, scrapes, ticks or bumps immediately. The sooner you spot these, the sooner you can treat and heal them.
  7. Paw check: Ticks love to hide between your pet’s paw pads. And as your pet generally walks on the streets without shoes, they’re often susceptible to wounds. Do a regular paw check to make sure all is ok.
  8. Start young: Getting your pet used to grooming routines when they are young makes things much easier when they get older. But even if your pet is now an adult, you can still get him or her used to a grooming routine. Speak to a trusted groomer on how best to do this without any force.
  9. Come prepared: Before you start, get all the products you need and keep them easily accessible. If you get up in the middle to look for something, your dog will take the opportunity to wriggle away. It is important to keep grooming sessions short and reward your pet after so it ends on a pleasant note.
  10. Attempt grooming when you’re calm: Pets are very sensitive to your moods and react to your energy. If you’re anxious, worried or stressed, your pets will be restless. So always schedule grooming sessions when you have plenty of time to complete it and you’re feeling calm and relaxed.

Pets love to get clean and they feel more comfortable after a bath or a grooming session. When you learn the right pet grooming techniques, you will notice that your pet will not try to resist these grooming sessions. Speak to ethical dog groomers who can identify calming signals to learn just how to groom your pet! If you have a long-haired breed who will need routine dog haircuts, make a standing appointment at a pet spa that your dog is comfortable at.

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