Grooming can be such a pain – especially if you have one of the fancier breeds. Jim McKiel offers his advice…
Grooming your pet should begin when they are puppies as this will help them become accustomed to being touched all over their bodies while they are standing still or lying on their stomach or side. If you adopt an older dog you will have to introduce him to grooming gradually unless he is accustomed to being handled and touched all over his body.
Grooming your dog is a necessity and should be done in a timely manner. Depending upon the breed of dog you have will dictate how often and to what extent you need to groom your puppy or dog. If you own a Newfoundland, you need to brush their long water resistant coats daily and would rarely give them a bath. If needed, you may use a dry shampoo to remove any odor. On the opposite end would be a Standard Poodle. These puppies and dogs need to be bathed on a regular basis and their coat clipped every six to eight weeks. You need to know your breed of dog and what grooming needs arise with this breed. If uncertain what to do you can always ask the breeder or find information from your vet, library, breeders groups or online. With the World Wide Web there is no reason for an owner to claim ignorance of a pet he owns.
Grooming your pet does not have to be expensive or time consuming. With the right planning and tools you can groom the animal in as little as fifteen minutes. With that said; why would you want to rush through your animals grooming routine? This is a great time to bond with your pet and show them affection. An animal loves to be rubbed and talked to and a person relaxes while talking and petting his dog. What tools you will need is dependent upon what type of coat your puppy or dog has. Once again check with your breeder or do some research. You will definitely need a comb and brush and may need conditioner for the dog’s skin, deshedding blades, nubby gloves, eye wipes, ear cleaners, animal clippers and shampoo. All dog owners need nail clippers to clip their dog’s nails. Please make sure you have been instructed by your vet or breeder in how to clip the dogs nails before attempting this. If you clip the nail too close, you will cause pain for your dog and may make him fearful. This will cause him to be afraid the next time you try to clip his nails and he may try to nip you or run from you. Holding down a large breed dog to clip his nails is not easy and usually takes at least two people to accomplish this. If your dog is too fearful of nail clipping, please consider taking them to the vet and letting a vet deal with this trauma.
A dog’s ears are a great breeding place for infections. Checking your dog’s ears regularly for any type of discharge or odor is recommended. Ear wipes can be used to wipe the outer flaps of a dog’s ear but should never be inserted into the dog’s ear canals. If you suspect an infection in the dog’s ear, make an appointment for the vet to check out your furry friend. Do not use any cleanser in your dog’s ear unless it is approved by your vet for a particular episode. Using over the counter cleansers may cause damage in undiagnosed inner ear infections.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is important to his overall health. Bad dental habits lead to more then just bad doggie breath. There are secondary health problems arising from dog’s periodontal disease such as heart and kidney disease. Plaque build up and infected gums can be treated but it is always wiser and less expensive to take steps to prevent this from happening to your dog. Brushing your dog’s teeth and making sure he gets a dental check up once a year by the vet is good doggie dental practice. The vet will be happy to advise you on what to use to brush your dog’s teeth and the proper way to brush. Once a dog is use to your fingers in his mouth and the taste of the toothpaste, he will let you brush his teeth with no grumbling.
During the grooming process, please check your pet’s eyes. Please note any change and inform the vet. A dog’s eyes are very sensitive and must be protected from shampoos or other cleaning items. Also some dogs are susceptible to an eye condition called entropion. Entropion can decrease vision and cause damage to the cornea if not treated. This is a very painful condition for a dog and can easily be repaired through surgery.
A benefit of grooming your dog is getting to know the feel of your animal. After handling your dog you know when a lump has suddenly appeared or when their glands appear swollen. Being able to find health problems before the dog’s yearly check up and seeking medical help before the medical problems become full blown is to your dog’s advantage. It is always advisable to treat medical conditions before they become medical emergencies.
Jim McKiel lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife Doris and their pet family members Buddy and Buster. They have devoted their lives to the betterment of pet ownership. For more information, visit http://LargeBreedFamilyDogs.com
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