Dog Health & More
Wednesday April 29th, 2009
If you have seen your dog rub or roll on the rug, or chew and lick at her fur, you have witnessed her attempt at self-grooming. Have you ever tried to give yourself a haircut? Then you know we can all use a little help sometimes, even Fido.
A grooming session could be a challenge for you and your dog, especially if she is excitable or not used to you touching her. Here are some methods to help pave the way for an enjoyable experience for both of you:
Short and/or thick--coated dogs like retrievers and huskies can be prone to matting. Here is a weekly routine to help control those irritating mats:
For a long, luxurious coat, such as that of a Cocker Spaniel, you need to perform some grooming steps each day:
Follow these simple steps to bathing success:
As we mentioned earlier, handling your dog from tip to toe to tail from the time they are very young will help you accomplish this sometimes unsettling task. Through gentle massaging and reassurance, you can get your dog used to you touching them in some of the most sensitive areas, including their nails. By doing this for at least two weeks before attempting to trim your dog's nails, they will probably be open to it.
Here are the steps for a successful nail trim:
First, to prevent grime and even bacteria from becoming a problem, clean in the folds of their skin with damp cotton and then dry well. Keeping these areas dry is also important after a bath or a walk in the rain.
Long droopy ears such as those on a Basset Hound or Cocker Spaniel must be checked weekly for buildups of wax and dirt. A cotton wad with a little water or mineral oil can help keep the ears clean and dry. Drops specifically designed to clean and dry the canal should also be applied for these ear-infection prone dogs. Hair that grows around the canal entrance should be kept trimmed. You can check with a professional groomer or veterinarian for instructions on how to properly and safely do this. Special tools may be available for this unique task.
Source: Adapted from the ASPCA