Dog grooming is a process that should clean your dog as well as enhance its aesthetic appearance. The latter is more important to those owners who bring their dogs to competitions and shows. But despite the fact that some look at the grooming industry as entirely needless, it did not become such a booming industry by accident. This industry has enormous potential and multiple opportunities simply because dog owners adore their best furry friends. They want them to live a long and healthy life, and proper grooming can contribute to this!

Mishi pets - welsh corgi dog after grooming

Photo by Patti Abbott

Grooming can actually play a part in enhancing your dog’s health. A clean well-taken care of dog is less susceptible to outer infections. Parasites are more likely to attack a non-groomed dog. Obviously, the breed’s genetical history, your dog’s nutrition and quality of physical activity are of utmost importance, but do not neglect the impact of proper grooming.

Coat dog grooming a pug

Dogs with short hair shed and can do so quite a bit. One surprising example is the pug. The absolute must have tool is the furminator, an undercoat de-shedding brush which will make your life a lot easier. After using it properly, it is bound to decrease the amount of hair that will be flying around your household.

Dog grooming - the FURminator

The Furminator grooming tool on Amazon

Luckily, there are dogs which do not shed and are great for those allergic to pet hair. Yet, these dogs need to be brushed often and on a regular basis.

Such examples are the Bichon Frise and Yorkie. Do not think that just because your dog does not shed, you’re off the hook! If your dog’s coat gets tangled, you’re in for one hell of a ride that might even result in having to cut it all the way. Although your dog won’t mind it, for aesthetic purposes, it is best to keep its coat tangle-free for the sake of their health.

Grooming a yorkshire terrier with a comb

Do not forget- your dog’s health is reflected in its coat. So you want it to be shiny and silky! Considering that we ‘teach’ our dogs to live indoors which is not a natural habitat for them, they end up not developing the protective layers they would have if they were on the street. So, just like us, they need to ‘shower’ and have a skincare routine.

Ears

Cleaning is a bit tricky when it comes to ears, and unfortunately, there are a lot of professional dog groomers that do not do it properly. Great attention must be paid to avoid water entering your dog’s ears. This can trigger painful and irritable infections, from yeast to bacteria and if they become chronic, they are very difficult to get rid of.

Papillon dog ears after dog grooming

Photo by Peter Jackson

Some groomers mistakenly think that just because a dog has long ears that are dropping down, water won’t come near the ear canal. This is certainly not the case. One caring vet advises to add little cotton balls in the dog’s ears while it is being showered with water. Actually, this is how many owners actually realised why their dogs ended up having the problem in the first place!

So  even if you end up going to a professional groomer, make sure to ask and demand that such measures are taken, it is your right. Your dog cannot speak for itself, this is your responsibility. Of course, infections can also be due to other reasons, even food allergies, but being careful is never a bad thing.

Nails

Trimming nails is certainly something most dog owners dread, as do dogs. It is simply uncomfortable for them. And you surely don’t want to make your furry best friend feel anything less than happy.

poodle dog on the grooming table

Photo by Patti Abbott

However, this is a must, especially for dogs who spend a lot of time indoors since they cannot ‘use’ those nails as much as their friends who are outside more. You must pay special attention to your dog’s thumbs, as they are often hidden by their fur. This particular nail tends to grow in a circular manner and if too long, it can cause a good deal of pain to them.

The greatest fear is possibly when dogs have black nails as you cannot see where the nerve ends. Cutting it too much will cause pain and your dog is likely to show just how much. Also, it will bleed, just like with our own nails. Even if this happens, just gently compress it to stop the bleeding.

The best way is to do it little by little and regularly. When done this way, you’ll avoid ending up in a situation where you need to shorten the nails quite a bit and risk injuring your dog.

Teeth

Cleaning teeth is a must. Yes, it is difficult to do it every day but some vets actually say that if you don’t do it every other day at least, don’t bother at all.  Tartar is a big problem and can be a trigger for a multitude of other infections. And having it cleaned by the vet with ultrasonic tools is something your vet herself will advise you to do as late as possible, since it will involve anesthesia that your dog could potentially not wake up from.

collie dog on the grooming table

Photo by Patti Abbott

So, take that brush and find creative ways to make your dog at least let you brush its teeth. It is not so likely that it will ever grow fond of it, but you do not want your dog to dislike it. In that scenario, brushing will be almost impossible. Try to find a paste with a pleasant flavour and make sure to reward your dog afterwards.

You should also take other precautionary measures such as add specific tartar control powder to your dog’s food. Just make sure it has only natural ingredients and try to avoid those with added artificial flavours. For example, peppermint and parsley are great for fresh breath, yet entirely natural.

Mishi pets - dog after grooming

Photo by Patti Abbott

These powders reduce plaque and eliminate odour causing bacteria due to Calcium, Magnesium and Iodine.  They also often contain polysaccharides to help support healthy oral bacteria and prevent acid erosion of teeth’s enamel.
Fragaria is almost always included in such products as it is traditionally used against calculus buildup and for gum disease treatment. It will make surely making brushing easier as it will soften these buildups.

Sensitive skin

You cannot go wrong with hypoallergenic shampoos. Organic products are always worth the price, when they are truly green, that is. Dogs give us so much, and they deserve the best quality skincare products as they ultimately enter their blood and therefore, their entire system.  If your budget restricts this, at least make sure that you don’t contribute to any allergies. You’re always on the safe side if you opt for mild shampoos, such as the ones for puppies that have the most neutral pH.

Woman hugging a cavalier king charles dog

Also keep in mind that dogs who have chronic issues with fungus should avoid shampoos with oatmeal. Your dog can surely benefit from soothing lavender and rosemary, which will also bring you an additional benefit of naturally repelling mosquitos, fleas, ticks and other pests.

Make dog grooming fun and enjoyable… for both of you! 

Dog grooming a woman cartoon memeThe most important thing of all is that grooming needs to be an enjoyable process for your dog. You need to get it used to it early on and as this needs to become a part of your training. You can take your dog to a professional grooming salon from time to time but regular care should be on your weekly schedule. This is also a wonderful opportunity to deepen the bond you have with your dog. For enthusiasts, it can be a very creative way to entertain your dog. He or she will surely take a very long nap afterwards to recover!

Grooming your dog is bound to be fun and funny as you will surely need all kinds of tactics to help your best friend to cooperate all the way through it :D