It’s time-consuming, messy and perhaps even boring. But grooming your dog should be an essential part of your routine.
That’s because the benefits are far bigger than just helping your dog to look smarter. Regular grooming improves your dog’s blood circulation, removes dead hair and gives you a good chance to check your dog over for lumps and bumps.
It’s also been proven that grooming your dog has a therapeutic, stress-relieving effect on both you and your four-legged friend. At Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, we love using grooming sessions as a chance to spend quality time with our dogs where the focus isn’t on training.
So how do you do it?
The first thing to consider is how frequently you need to groom. Of course, this depends on the breed of dog you have.
Short haired dogs can often go for about four weeks in between brushes. But if you have a long-haired dog, getting the brushes out is likely to be a daily activity. If you’re not sure what frequency is best for your dog, ask your vet for advice.
What do you need in your dog grooming kit?
Investing in a few good quality tools will mean you’re all set to groom your dog for years to come. Most grooming kits include a bristled brush, a pin-head metal brush, perhaps a rubber grooming mitt, a comb and a set of nail clippers (unless you get your dog’s nails clipped regularly at the vet).
What’s the best technique?
The best way to groom your dog depends on the type of coat they have. If your dog has a short or smooth coat that doesn’t tend to shed, start by using a bristled brush to remove any mud or dirt, paying particular attention to the legs and belly. Then you can use the same brush, or perhaps try a rubber grooming mitt, to go over the whole body of your dog, gently removing dead skin and hair.
If your dog has longer hair that tends to get tangled or matted, grooming will take longer and need to be done with even more care. A metal pinhead brush is best for gently working through tangles. Make sure you take extra care around the head, tail and legs.
Once your dog is tangle free, brush the hair forwards and then backwards to remove dirt and loose hairs. You’ll be amazed at how shiny the coat looks by the time you’re finished!
Some breeds of dog with ‘hair’ coats, like poodles, need brushing every day or two to remove knots and tangles. But with these types of dogs, it’s usually necessary to enlist the help of a professional groomer every few weeks who can help you keep your dog’s coat healthy and manageable.
It’s best to begin a grooming routine when your dog is still young so they get used to it. If you find your dog dislikes being brushed, try using treats or a Tug-E-Nuff toy as part of a reward-based training system to help them learn to enjoy it.
If your dog struggles with confidence more generally, check out this blog on how to help them blossom.