Dog grooming is the basis for preventive health care for your dog and puppy. It gives you a chance to see small changes in and on your dog’s body that could lead to health concerns such as a lump or problems in his ears or with his teeth.
Dog grooming can be a time of further bonding with your dog. This is some serious one on one time when he gets loads of your attention.
So what do you do and when do you start grooming your dog and puppy? As with most things with your puppy, you need to introduce him to dog grooming slowly and help him be comfortable with it. Start with short sessions of about five minutes and work up to the whole routine as he adjusts.
Begin with brushing and combing. There are several different grooming tools used for brushing and which you use depends upon the breed of your dog and the type of coat he has. Ask the breeder you got your puppy from for the proper techniques.
Brushing should be done before you bathe your dog or puppy. Bathing your puppy should begin when he is about 14 weeks old or sooner if he is a very dirty dog. Most dogs should need bathing only once a month unless he gets dirty. Wherever you decide to bathe your dog, bathtub, sink or some type of Dog Bath Tubs, place a rubber mat within to give him something secure to stand on so he won’t slip around.
Soak down his body but not his face. Keep water out of his ears. You may wish to block his ear canals with cotton balls to prevent the water from getting into his ears. Lather up your wet dog with a dog shampoo. Rinse well. Any leftover shampoo in his coat is likely to cause dryness or skin irritation. Wipe his face off with a damp cloth. Squeeze off the excess water and then towel dry your dog. Complete the drying process with either a hair dryer set on warm, not hot, or by leaving him in a warm room until dry.
Be aware that a dog will shake just as soon as you release him. This is why some people want to run their dog outside quickly after a bath on a leash to prevent him from rolling and getting dirty again. If this is not an option, such as in winter, you may wish to consider a professional groomer.
A professional groomer may be a consideration for some of the more difficult haircuts and dog grooming considerations such as the stripping required by some wire-haired breeds. This depends upon your ability to do the required tasks and your desire to do them as well.
copyright 2005. Sandra Dinkins-Wilson
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