In a time where everyone is made to stay at home - dogs and humans alike, there is a need now more than ever to bring out your grooming tools and give your pup a makeover like never before! In the year 2021, we have stopped meeting people, we definitely don't hug anyone (except our dogs), and now, we need to turn into a professional dog groomer. With so much at stake, you definitely need help in grooming your dog at home!
Has your dog's fur grown long enough that it looks like a wig? Well, it's time to brush up on your grooming skills because leaving your dog without a grooming session can put his health at risk. Much to our surprise, grooming can be done at home - you do not need expensive equipment and fancy bathtubs to groom your dog. Read along to know more about how you can groom your dog in the comfort of your home!
Why Should I Groom My Dog?
Well, it's always good to be clean. One of the obvious benefits of grooming is the maintenance of good hygiene. Cleaning and brushing dead skin and oil build-up can eliminate foul 'doggy' odours that mask the entire house. A brush or two and your nose will thank you!
Keeps Ticks and Fleas at Bay
Regular washing, brushing, clipping, de-matting, and spot-on treatments will help cease the spread of ticks and fleas on your dog. With a little bit of your time and effort, your dog will be rid of all the itchiness!
Reduces Skin and Ear Infections
When you brush your dog and clean his ears, you become more aware of any apparent redness, lumps, dry skin, red patches etc. It can help your veterinarian detect skin and ear infections faster and start treatment early.
The smell of lavender or oatmeal wafting through the room is nothing short of delightful - especially when it comes from a dog. Grooming, despite the arduous efforts, ends up with dogs smelling great - sometimes, better than a human.
Prevents Bad Posture
When you trim a dog's nails frequently, it may affect a dog's posture because they begin to adjust their body in a way so that they can walk with those long nails. This is particularly the case in dogs who spend most of their time indoors because their nails do not chip off as often as outdoor dogs. Left unclipped, it can lead to bone deformations and arthritis.
When you take time to wash and brush your dog regardless of its coat length, you are essentially removing dead skin cells, dirt, oil build-up and fur. It keeps shedding at bay and helps to spread the coat's natural oils to make it appear smoother, softer, and shinier.
How to Groom a Dog at Home?
It is easier than you think; besides, you might end up becoming a professional groomer after a few times at it.
Bathing: Bathe your dog once in 14 days, if not visibly dirty or smelly. Bathing a dog too often strips its coat of natural oils that maintain coat vitality. An essential part of bathing is choosing the right shampoo for your dog's coat, and with several options out there, 'choosing' becomes very hard. The key to selecting a shampoo is knowing what exactly your dog's coat primarily needs:
Tick and Flea: Tick and flea shampoos are essential to get rid of ticks and fleas at different life stages. Some shampoos get rid of adult ticks/fleas, while others work to get rid of eggs as well. After a flea/tick bath, you can choose to apply a spot-on to prevent reinfestation.
Dry: Dry shampoos are for days when bathing is just not possible. Dry shampoos eliminate odours and get rid of dirt and debris. However, they must never be used as substitutes for baths since their effect is temporary.
Soothing: Shampoos made from coconut oil, aloe vera, jojoba, oatmeal, and lavender have a soothing and fragrant effect on a dog's coat. They rid the body of smells and leave your dog's coat with a lasting fresh fragrance!
Sensitive Skin: For dogs with sensitive skin, be sure to use shampoo without harsh chemicals like those labelled 'sensitive skin' or 'herbal'.
Puppy: Puppies are best bathed with puppy shampoo because of its gentle and no-tears formula.
Hairfall and Shed Control: If your dog experiences hair fall outside of the shedding season and you've ruled out medical issues, you can choose a shampoo that is specific to hair fall control. An all-time favourite of many dog parents is a shampoo that controls uncontrollable shedding.
Like with shampoos, brushes need to be chosen in accordance with coat type. For dogs that have ticks/fleas, a tick and flea comb does the trick. For those that shed, a de-shedder can save the day! And for the dogs whose fur just somehow manages to tangle up - a detangler and a double-sided brush are an absolute go-to. Brushing a dog can be fun, but it can also be frustrating, which is why you must remember to brush your dog once a day if long-haired and once in three days if short-haired - this way, you save yourself and your dog the irritation of tugging of matted hair and immortal knots.
Ears and Eyes
A dog's ears should be cleaned once in 14 days. You can choose a cotton swab and a gentle ear cleanser to clean their ears. After dipping the cotton ball into the ear cleansing solution, place it in your dog's ear and massage it gently. Repeat if necessary. To clean the eyes, use a facial cleanser or a warm cloth to wipe away dirt and debris.
Oral care is by far the most neglected part of grooming. Unfortunately, this negligence can cost you and your dog in the long run. Dogs begin to develop tartar, gingivitis, and stomach problems from poor oral hygiene. It would be best to brush your dog's teeth once a week, and while you're at it, gently massage your dog's gums with the tip of your index finger in a circular motion. Remember to check for bad breath, loose teeth, tooth decay, bleeding gums, etc., while grooming your dog. An excellent way to prevent oral health concerns is to give your dog dental chews once a week!