🛁 Grooming

Dog Grooming 101: What Every Owner Should Know

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February 18, 2021

Key Takeaways

Dog grooming is one of the lesser-discussed aspects of pet ownership. Other household pets such as cats are adept at taking care of themselves.

However, canines require more frequent grooming to maintain healthy coats, skin, and teeth.

This guide will discuss various grooming practices and how to go about performing them.

1. Bathing Your Dog

As a pet owner, you may already be aware of how messy your canine’s fur can get over time. Our furry friends love running around and getting themselves into all sorts of messy situations. However, their fur often acts as a sponge that picks up any particles that come into contact with it. This could be bits of dirt, parasites, or even odors.

For this reason, it is essential to bathe your dog regularly. However, the frequency of baths required to stay acceptably clean varies from canine to canine. Some may need a bath once a month, while others can go for up to three months before dandruff and odor build up becomes noticeable.

Items Needed to Bathe Your Dog

To bathe your dog, you will need:

Bucket: Any small bucket where you can keep your supplies, and fill up with warm water for rinsing.

Tub: You can use a bathtub, a large bucket, or a dog-washing station that is large enough for your canine to fit into. This bucket should have a bit of extra room for movement.

Dog Shampoo: Pet stores sell special dog shampoos that do not dry out your pup’s skin or burn their eyes.

Towels: Keep one of two large towels on hand to pat down your canine and mop up any spills.

Steps for Bathing Your Dog 

New pet owners should familiarize themselves with the proper method for bathing their dog. This task isn’t challenging if you can get your pet to remain still throughout the bathing session. The steps for bathing your dog are as follows:

  1. Set Up: Owners should start by gathering supplies and getting their tub ready. If the tub has a curved bottom or a slippery surface, you should place a rubber mat on the bottom to help your canine sit more comfortably.
  2. Place your dog in the tub: Call your dog over or try tempting them with a treat. Once they are comfortable being around the tub, gently lift them and set them down inside.
  3. Secure their leash: Next, owners should secure their canine in place using a leash. This will discourage them from running away mid-bath.
  4. Wet your dog: Wet your dog using a spray hose or showerhead. Make sure the water temperature is between room temperature and lukewarm. You should wet their back and chest, while also paying special attention to their legs and groin areas.
  5. Shampooing: Next, place a small quantity of dog shampoo in the palm of your hand and apply it near the back of their head. Gently massage the shampoo around their head and the front of their body, being careful to avoid their eyes. Once you have lathered the shampoo around their body thoroughly, you should wait for a couple of minutes.
  6. Rinse thoroughly: Use the spray hose or showerhead to rinse off the shampoo. Use your fingers to work the shampoo off their fur carefully. This step may take several rinses, as shampoo can be stubborn to remove. Once you think all the shampoo has been rinsed off, give you canine one last rinse for good measure.
  7. Drying your dog: Next, lift your canine out of the tub and place them on a towel set on the ground. You should then dry them thoroughly using a large second towel. Some owners prefer drying their canine using a hair dryer. However, some dogs are scared by the loud noise they make.

Making Bath Time Easier with Furesh

The instructions mentioned above sound easy to follow. However, bathing your dog in a tub can still be a bit of a challenge for many. Owners often complain about excess water being wasted or straining their back during the bathing process. You can get around such problems by using the Furesh Elevated Folding Dog Bath Tub.

This bathtub is equipped with a variety of features to make the bathing process easier. This includes:

Lightweight frame: The bathtub’s frame is made from a lightweight but strong PVC material.

Tear-resistant fabric: The bathtub’s frame is lined with a strong fabric that won’t be torn by your dog’s nails easily 

Folding design: The bathtub can be unfolded and set up in a matter of seconds using the handle at the center of the base.

Elevated stand: Once set up, the bathtub sits at waist height. This enables owners to bathe their dogs without needing to bend over and potentially straining their backs.

Open design: Owners can move around the bath tub’s open design freely. This allows them to spray their canine without having to pick up or turn them.

Pluggable drain: The bath tub’s base features a pluggable drain. Owners can minimize water wastage by keeping the drain closed until the bathing session is over.

Built-in pockets: The bath tub features pockets built into both sides. These are ideal for storing shampoo bottles and other dog bathing supplies.

Pick up Furesh's Elevated Folding Bath Tub and make bathing your dog a breeze.

2. Brushing Your Dog

All owners should brush their canine’s fur regularly. For short-coated dogs, this means brushing once every two to three weeks. For long-coated or double-coated dogs, you should brush once a week.

Why You Need to Brush Your Dog’s Fur

Brushing your dog’s fur serves many purposes. It reduces fur matting and prevents excess shedding. It also helps distribute their natural oils which help maintain the coat’s health and shine. 

What Do You Need to Brush Your Dog’s Fur?

Owners can use a variety of brushing tools to keep their canine’s fur well groomed. This includes:

Deshedding tools: These are small rake-like combs that remove loose undercoat hair. 

Pin brushes: These are similar to hairbrushes, but with thin pin-like bristles. They are ideal for grooming your canine’s top coat.

Slicker brushes: These are another type of wire brush used to undo knots and tangles on short and wiry coated dogs.

Bristle brushes: These brushes have thicker bristles, similar to ordinary hairbrushes. They are typically used for short-haired dogs.

Glove or Mitt Brush: These are special rubber or silicon gloves with bristle-like tips. Owners can wear the glove and stroke their pet’s fur to smoothen out knots.

Brushing Technique

Brushing your dog’s fur is incredibly easy. Owners simply need to remember to brush downwards and away from their skin. Each stroke should be in the direction of fur growth. If you encounter any matted sections, you should apply a bit of mat spray to the area before  brushing it gently with a wide-toothed comb.

3. Doggy Dental Care

Dental care is also incredibly important for dogs. Veterinarians recommend brushing your canine’s teeth twice a day. Failing to keep up with your pooch’s dental hygiene may lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and bad breath.

What Do You Need to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Owners that wish to brush their dog’s teeth will need only a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Toothbrushes: Use the softest children’s toothbrush available. Alternatively, you can purchase a doggy toothbrush or a “finger brush” toothbrush.

Toothpaste: Always use a special dog toothpaste when brushing your canine’s teeth. Ordinary toothpastes contain additives that are toxic to dogs, so owners should never attempt to brush their dog’s teeth without the use of a special toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs.

How to Brush Your Canine’s Teeth

Brushing your canine’s teeth can be a bit tricky initially. However, this process becomes much easier once your dog becomes acquainted with the routine. The steps are as follows:

  1. Choose the right setting: Owners should choose a time when their pet is calm and comfortable. They should also pick a quiet spot where they won’t be disturbed by others.
  2. Touch your dog’s teeth and gums: The next step is to touch your dog’s teeth and gums with your hands. This helps them feel more comfortable before you approach them with the toothbrush.
  3. Introduce the toothbrush: Touch your dog’s teeth with the toothbrush without any toothpaste to help them get used to the feel.
  4. Introduce the toothpaste: Apply a small quantity of doggy toothpaste to your finger and allow your dog to lick it.
  5. Apply the toothpaste : Add some toothpaste to the toothbrush.
  6. Brush gently: Lift your dog’s upper lip with one hand and brush their front teeth gently from side to side. Make sure to get the sides and the back before repeating the process with the lower teeth.
  7. Reward your dog: Once the brushing is complete, you should reward your dog with a treat. This will help make brushing a positive experience that they look forward to in the future.

Learn more about the 5 best dog toothbrushes for 2021

Some dogs are afraid of the sound blow dryers make.

4. Cutting Your Dog’s Hair

Owners of long-haired dogs should remember to cut their hair regularly, as it tends to form matted patches. It is best to cut your dog’s hair every four to six weeks. However, you may be able to make their cut last for two to three months if it is trimmed to a very short length.

Many owners take their canines to professional groomers for their hair cut. However, it is also possible to learn to cut your dog’s hair yourself. Each breed’s coat tends to be different, so you may need to take them to a groomer for at least one haircut to learn the proper technique.

Types of Dog Grooming Scissors

There are many types of grooming scissors for dogs. These include:

Straight scissors: The most commonly used type of grooming scissor. The 8” length variety is great for cutting curly coats, while the 6” are best for small dogs. 4” scissors can be used for special attention areas such as legs.

Curved scissors: These scissors have curved blades. This makes it easier for novices to use, as the curve prevents hair from slipping off the blades.

Thinning scissors: These scissors have serrated blades that look like thin combs. As their name implies, they are useful for thinning out thick coats.

Blender scissors: Blender scissors feature one normal blade, while the other blade has a serrated edge. These scissors are especially useful for styling

The Best Small Dog Grooming Scissors

Here are some of the best small dog grooming clippers available today.

  1. Pet Magasin Round Tip Dog Grooming Scissors

This product includes two pairs of round tip dog grooming scissors. The longer pair are ideal for trimming body fur, while the smaller pair feature micro-serrated blades and are great for trimming fur around your canine’s face and paws.

The blades are made from high-quality stainless steel, and feature comfortable handles made from a cushioning polymer material. The handles also feature a hooked finger rest to help you maintain a steady hand.

  1. LIVINGO Professional Pet Grooming Scissors

This product includes two pairs of 6.5” scissors with micro-serrated stainless steel blades coated with titanium. This titanium coating protects the blades from corrosion or contamination, which extends their lifespan. Each blade also has rounded tips to minimize the risk of accidents. The handles feature a finger rest and are also coated in a smooth non-stick material to make long grooming sessions more comfortable.

  1. Tiny Trim Ball-Tipped Small Pet Grooming Scissor

This 4.5” scissor is perfect for grooming small dogs. It features ball-tipped stainless steel blades to make the grooming process safer for you and your canine. The handle is also padded to make each cut a quiet process. The scissor’s small size also makes it ideal for trimming hair around sensitive areas such as the face and paws.

You can cut your dog’s hair yourself or go to a groomer for assistance.

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