Tips for Home Grooming Between Dog Grooming Appointments

Types of Dog Hair and Shedding


Some dogs have coats that grow continuously and do not shed, requiring frequent trips to the groomer. Other breeds are double-coated with a dense undercoat for insulation and an outer coat of guard hairs. A dog with this type of coat is likely to shed heavily in the late spring and late fall. Huskies, retrievers and malamutes are examples of double-coated dogs.  Many dog breeds with short hair shed continuously, though lightly all year round.


Dog Brush or Comb Selection


Dog grooming brushes and combs are made for each type of dog coat. Dogs with curly coats that don’t shed, such as a poodle, should be brushed with a slicker brush. Combs or brushes with stiff bristles work well for a dog with a medium coat that sheds, such as a retriever. Smooth coated dogs, such as a pointer or boxer are best groomed with a brush with short bristles or a grooming glove. Combs with long teeth in offset rows work well on dogs with long coats, such as collies. It is also helpful to remove shedding hair and tangles.


How Often to Brush Your Dog


Brushing your dog removes loose hair, dead skin and keeps them clean as well as stimulating natural oils from the skin and distributing it along the hair for a healthy luster. Dogs with long or curly coats should be brushed daily to remove tangles and mats. Pay special attention around the ears, armpits and the back of the legs when brushing a long or curly haired dog. Dogs with short coats don’t require daily brushing, but it helps to cut down on dog hair and pet dander in your house when it is captured in a brush.


How Often to Bathe Your Dog


Dogs only require a bath about every six to eight weeks so as not to strip the coats and skin of natural oils. Sometimes you may need to bathe your dog more often, if he gets dirty, a sticky substance on his coat or has accidentally soiled himself. If your dog has skin allergies, talk to your veterinarian about how often to bathe him. Some vets advise bathing them more often to remove outside allergens, such as pollen from the coat. Only use a shampoo that is specifically for dogs on your pet. Dog skin is a different pH level than human skin and human shampoo is very harsh on canine skin. Use warm water when bathing your dog and work the shampoo thoroughly through his coat to remove all debris and dirt. Double rinse him to make sure and remove the shampoo adequately from his skin and coat. Allow your pet to air-dry inside in a warm area or blow dry his coat with a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting. These tips can keep your dog’s coat in tip top shape until his next visit for pet grooming.

Pet Grooming and Pet Health Can Go Hand in Hand

An all-inclusive pet hospital also takes care of many things that help keep your dog healthy.  In addition to checkups, vaccinations and emergency care animal hospitals often offer pet grooming as well. Getting a checkup for your pet is a good excuse to get your pet groomed at the same time.

Pet Grooming is Important

Cat grooming and dog grooming is not only a matter of making your pet look his best. Being well groomed can also prevent some minor health issues. A dog with long hair often has eyebrows, if you will, that can touch and scratch sensitive eyes and lead to eye infections, irritations, or actually damage his sight. Pet grooming includes trimming the hair near your dog’s eyes to avoid the health problems associated with it. You can examine your pet’s eyes to determine if he needs to go to the animal hospital for eye care. The ASPCA has a check list of things to look for in your pet. If you gently pull the lower eyelid down, you should see pink in the bottom of the eyelid. If the color of the lining is red or white, your pet should be examined by a veterinarian. Other items to watch for are watery eyes, a colored discharge, eyes that are closed, a visible third eyelid, cloudy eyes or a change in eye color. Any of these items warrant a visit to your vet for a diagnosis and treatment.

Clipping or plucking ear hair from the inside of your pets ears not only makes his grooming look professional, but it protects him from ear infections. Dogs with flop ears or lots of ear hair are the most prone to ear infections due to the lack of air to the inside of the ear. According to Dr. Henry Cerny, DVM who writes articles for Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, the signs to look for include a dog pawing at his ear, rubbing his head on the floor or ground and head shaking. You may notice a bad odor in your dog’s ear or see redness and swelling that indicates an ear infection. If your dog or cat has these symptoms he will need a veterinarian visit including a culture from his ear to examine under a microscope and determine which type of ear infection he has, bacterial or fungal for the proper medication.

According to Dr. Debora Lichtenburg, VDM, cats are more prone to having ingrown dew claws when they are not trimmed appropriately by grooming them. An ingrown claw grows in a circle and enters the paw pad to cause great pain to an animal. Regular pet grooming can avoid this type of incident that requires medical attention.

Animal Teeth Cleaning Promotes Good Pet Health

A pet dentist doesn’t only keep your dog or cat’s teeth pearly white, but it has many other benefits. According to Dr. Brett Beckham, DVM “More than 80% of dogs have periodontal disease by the time they reach the age of 3 years.” This is a progressive dental disease because dog’s have a more alkaline mouth and usually don’t get their teeth brushed on a daily routine. This all leads to thick tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth that can infect gums and cause pain when he eats. Many dog’s end up loosing teeth and then can only eat a soft diet. Routine teeth cleaning is generally done under anesthesia so your pet is comfortable. The benefits of animal teeth cleaning along with x-rays and an oral examine can detect dental abnormalities at an early stage to take care of them.