4 tried-and-true dog grooming tips for a healthier, happier companion
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Every dog needs regular grooming to maintain their well-being and appearance. However, pet grooming can seem challenging, especially when your furry friend avoids bath time. This article highlights the essential tips to help ensure your pet stays healthy and looks their best.
Grooming Through Brushing
- Regular brushing and combing play a crucial role in pet care. It helps detangle fur, prevent mat formation, reduce shedding of dead hair and skin, and evenly distribute natural oils through your dog’s fur.
Dogs can be brushed daily or a few times a week, depending on the length of their hair. Use a rubber brush to gently loosen shedding fur, then finish with a bristle brush to smooth out the fur and collect the loose hair.
Bathing and Drying
- Dogs should be bathed once every 1-3 months, depending on their lifestyle or playtime in mud. Periodic baths are necessary to keep your pets fresh and eliminate the built-up skin cells and oils. They can be bathed in the bathtub, shower, or outdoors with a hose. Start by moistening their fur with warm, not scalding, water and scrub using dog shampoo. Massage the shampoo into the fur to effectively dislodge dirt. Spend 3-5 minutes in each area.
Be gentle around their ears and eyes, and use a washcloth or cotton ball if necessary to prevent shampoo and water from entering sensitive areas. Thoroughly rinse your furry friend’s fur with warm water, rubbing the fur to remove all shampoo traces. Two thorough rinses are sufficient to minimize the risk of skin irritation from leftover shampoo. Use absorbent towels to absorb as much water as possible. You can use a hairdryer set on a cool or low setting to speed up the drying process or leave the dogs to air dry in a warm environment.
- Dogs with longer furs can experience increased comfort with some trimming. While you don’t need to give your dog a complete poodle-style haircut, specific areas require attention. If the dog has long fur on its paws, firmly hold their paw with one hand and use the other to carefully trim long patches of hair.
This helps prevent painful tangles, dirt, or snow from sticking to their fur. If your dog becomes restless or attempts to pull their paw away, use an assistant to distract them with their favorite treats.
- While the natural oils produced by dogs are sufficient to maintain the softness of their fur and skin in most cases, making moisturization unnecessary, there are situations where it can be beneficial. For instance, if you have to bathe your dog frequently due to unavoidable dirt accumulation, they may benefit from moisturizers to restore the natural oils stripped during baths.
Additionally, the skin may become dry in hot and dry climates or harsh winter conditions, and some dogs may naturally have dry skin. You can use specialized dog-friendly conditioners or opt for a straightforward approach by gently massaging a small amount of melted coconut oil onto your dog’s skin and fur after each bath. This pet-safe oil is harmless if licked off and leaves their fur exceptionally soft, smooth, and lustrous. However, skipping coconut oil for dogs with skin sensitivities is important.
Prioritize your pet’s well-being by scheduling regular veterinary assessments. If your pet has health concerns, contact Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center. We provide comprehensive pet care and strategies to promote optimal pet health. Contact us to get precise guidelines for your pet. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Appointments are conveniently available. Call us at (434) 971-9800.