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Grooming

5 Essential Grooming Tips For Dogs

Grooming your dog is a crucial part of caring for him, and failing to do so could reduce his quality of life. Grooming your dog regularly can even save his life if you notice any lumps, bumps or disease-causing ticks. Taking your dog to the groomer can be time-consuming and expensive (but if you need some outside help, here are some tips for finding the best groomer for your dog).

Fortunately, there are many things you can do for your dog at home to help him look and feel his best. Here are 5 essential grooming tips to improve your dog’s quality of life and dashing appearance!

#1 – Trim nails at least once a month

Did you know that the life – a vein and nerve in the toenail – can become longer if the nails are not trimmed? If you wait too long to trim your dog’s nails, you won’t be able to trim much without cutting into the quick, which will hurt and cause your dog to bleed. It is best to trim the nails at least once or twice a month. Nails that grow too long can cause arthritis. Some dogs (and their humans) prefer to have their nails filed with a grinder. By slowly removing the layers of the nail with a nail grinder, you can shorten the nails with less risk of bleeding in your dog.

#2 – Use the right brush

Brushing your dog is good for bonding, reduces shedding and helps you become familiar with every inch of your dog’s skin. Using the wrong brush on your dog can be ineffective at best and harmful at worst. These are the best tools for every coat type:

Short hair (boxer, labrador) – A curry-style rubber brush gently removes loose hair and distributes your dog’s natural oils throughout his coat. A hair removal aid can significantly reduce shedding, but can also cause bald spots if used excessively.

Thick, shedding hair (German Shepherd, Golden Retriever) – A slicker brush combined with an undercoat rake should reduce shedding and prevent knots called mats from forming in your dog’s coat.

Fine or curly hair (Yorkie, Poodle) – A slicker brush or a pin brush along with a sturdy metal comb are the best choice here. The longer your dog’s hair is, the more often you should brush it, as often as every day.

#3 – Only use dog shampoo

Not only can human shampoo be toxic to dogs, but it is also too harsh for a dog’s skin. You should always brush your dog before bathing him with shampoo designed specifically for dogs because water makes mats worse. However, you can separate the mats with your fingers while your dog is soaked in conditioner to make the mats a little easier to brush out after the bath. (preferably after blow-drying your dog, because air drying tightens the mats again). Always rinse your dog thoroughly as shampoo left in your dog’s coat can cause itching and flaking.

#4 – Check for parasites

Bath time is the best time to check your dog for fleas, ticks and lice. Live fleas tend to run when they get wet, making them easier to spot. Flea dirt, which is actually their feces, looks like pepper flakes on your dog’s dry coat but appears to bleed when wet. Ticks can look like moles or warts until you see little legs sticking out of the tick’s body while their head is buried in your dog’s skin. Lice may look like dirt or other debris stuck to your dog’s fur or skin, but they won’t wash off no matter how hard you try with regular shampoo.

#5 – Don’t forget eyes, ears and teeth

You should look at your dog’s eyes regularly to check for tears, redness, or cloudiness. Clean the ears with a vet-approved ear cleaner for dogs. Any strange odor or discharge from your dog’s ears could indicate an infection and should be brought to the attention of your vet. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily. If they can’t tolerate a toothbrush, try dental wipes, sprays or treats.

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