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Tips to Groom Your Dog at Home

Your furry pal doesn't want to be dirty or stinky. He wants to be clean and well taken care of, and, after all, grooming is part of caring for your pet. Your dog may lick at his fur to clean himself, but that only goes so far. He will need help from his owner. Grooming your dog is an important task in taking care of your pal, and it can help you bond with your pet. See below for some grooming tips to clean up your dog.

Fur Brushing

Brush your dog often to get rid of knots/mats in his fur, as well as to get rid of shedding fur. Your dog may shed more or less depending on the season, but weekly brushing can help prevent this shedding fur from being all over your home. If your dog has long or thick fur, think about using a de-shedding tool such as the FURminator. For shorter-haired dogs, use a grooming glove or mitt to brush through your dog's fur.

Bath Time

Give your dog a bath to help remove dirt and dust on his skin or to clean fleas off of your dog. You can bathe your dog inside your home in a shower or bathtub, or outside if the weather is warm enough. Baths should be given once every three months, or more often if your dog tends to get really dirty. Any more than that can dry out your dog's skin.
  1. Start by wetting your dog's fur with warm water. Don't use water that is too hot or too cold.
  2. Next, use a dog shampoo (don't use human products on your dog) and lather it into his fur. Be sure to get his legs and paws, as well as underneath his belly and along and below his tail. Be careful washing his face, as you don't want to get any soap in your dog's eyes or ears.
  3. Rinse the shampoo from your dog with warm water.
  4. Finally, use towels to dry your dog, or you can use a blow-dryer—if your dog will let you—on the cool setting so you don't burn your dog's skin.

Teeth Brushing

Your dog's teeth should be taken care of to prevent canine dental disease. Brushing your dog's teeth takes time and trust from your pet. Begin first by getting your dog used to you being around his mouth. Then once he's used to you being by his mouth, you can begin using a finger brush or a canine toothbrush to brush his front teeth.
Never use human toothbrushes or toothpaste for your dog; look for canine items at your local pet store.
Once your dog is used to you brushing his front teeth, you can begin trying to brush his back teeth and his gums. Brush your dog's teeth at least once per week to prevent dental issues such as gum disease or tooth loss.
Ear Cleaning
Cleaning your dog's ears is important in preventing ear infections. After bathing or swimming (or the occasional run through the sprinkler), you should dry out your dog's ears to prevent infection from yeast. You can flip his ears up to help dry them out as well. Clean your dog's ears once per month with a warm washcloth to gently wipe away dirt or wax buildup. Never use a q-tip or other object that can injure your pet's ear.

Nail Clipping

Your dog's nails will need to be clipped. Invest in a good pair of canine nail clippers and clip the nails at an angle, being sure not to clip the quick, or you'll cause your dog's nails to bleed. Clip just the tips and nothing more. If you aren't sure about clipping your dog's nails, you may want to leave this to the professionals and have it done at your next veterinary checkup instead.
Grooming is a big part of taking care of your dog and a great way to bond with your pet. For more information, or for help with any of these grooming tasks, make an appointment with Great Oaks Veterinary Hospital.