Grooming is an essential element of keeping a dog. This lockdown has caged us in our homes, leaving pet owners trying to find options to groom their pets. Grooming a dog is equivalent to keeping them active, healthy, and clean. Most of the dog owners have professional groomers for such tasks, but in the current scenario, where social distancing is not a choice, people are deprived of this facility.
Grooming your dog at home
Grooming sessions make your puppy or dog feel fresh. The gap between such sessions should be short as longer gaps would make your dog develop a resistance against it. Since, during a lockdown, you have ample time, hence, try to maintain a schedule for grooming. Here are some tips for grooming your dog while you stay at home:
Grooming your dog daily helps you in the longer run. This makes your overall task easier as regular grooming reduces the work per session. Regular groom means grooming your dog once or twice a week. Even simple combing would be considered as grooming your dog. Therefore, try to put in the effort. This would help your dog relax and would also give you an activity to kill your boredom.
Dogs get anxious and worked-up on the thought of grooming. Grooming your dog could test your patience as well. Instead of rushing into anything, give your dog some time. Spend some time with them just cuddling and playing. This would lighten the mood, and your dog would easily let you groom it. Patience is the key here. If you try to force your dog, it would just get irritated and make your task difficult.
Bathing your dog
People often go overboard with this one and bathe their dogs all the time. But in reality, dogs do not need it often as it deprives them of their natural oils. Bathing your dog frequently causes temperature maintenance and skin issues. Therefore, it is preferred to bathe your dog only when necessary, for example, when it is dirty or smelly. Try to keep the water and the room warm while giving a bath to your dog. Avoid blow-drying as it irritates a dog.
We cannot emphasize how important it is to use proper equipment. Without proper equipment, you could end up hurting your dog. All equipment should be appropriate for your dog, as different dogs require different types of equipment. There are different types of brushes for different dogs, depending upon the fur of the dog. Therefore, contact your groomer or veterinarian to find the grooming equipment good for your dog. Here is a list of equipment you should keep at home:
- A comb or brush
- Shampoo [Note: Do not use scented shampoos for your dog]
Brushing your dog
Brushing your dog is a skill, especially if your dog is a long-haired breed. Handle your dog politely as brushing hard could damage the skin of your dog. Always start from the head and slowly move towards the body. Make sure that the coat is dry before brushing. To remove tangled or dead hair, thorough brushing is required. Be extra gentle while brushing sensitive areas such as the underside of the stomach.
Handle scissors with care to avoid injuring your dog. Try to use the tips of the scissors only as it is easier to pull them away, in case your dog moves abruptly. Scissors are a great way to trim or touch up your dog. During quarantine, it is better to keep trimming your dog as it would make bathing and brushing easier.
Note: It would be better if someone holds your dog while you are trimming your dog. This prevents injuries.
Clippers are better and safer than clippers. If you are new to grooming, then clippers are a safe bet. Clippers also come with guards that help you cut your dog’s hair up to several lengths. Clippers are handful while trimming heavily tangled hair. It is better to cut off tangled hair as it prevents your dog from developing infections in such areas.
Note: Keep checking the temperature of the blade as clippers get hot due to excessive usage. Also, it is better to avoid guards as they might make your task difficult by blocking the view.
Cutting the nails
Trimming nails is one of the most difficult tasks, but it is mandatory to keep your dog clean. It is also essential as germs could easily spread. Regularly trim the nails of your dog if you have kids around. Make sure not to cut the nails too short. Dogs have a blood vessel “quick” in their nails. Cutting the vessel could result in excessive bleeding and pain. Therefore, to prevent this situation, it is better to just chop off the tips of their nails. If your dog is nervous, then it is better to avoid doing this task alone.
Cleaning the ears
Cleaning the ears are also very essential to prevent deadly and infectious diseases. Try to use an ear cleaner instead of a Q-tip. Avoid getting your dog’s ears wet during bathing. Several diseases are caused in dogs just because shampoo and water were left in a dog’s ear. It could cause your dog to be in severe pain.
One task at a time
Try to do one or two tasks per session. Doing everything at once could cause your dog to be overwhelmed. Your dog might become impatient and start acting up. Hence, you should either give a bath to your dog or trim it in one day. It is always better to divide tasks into different sessions.
Grooming your dog is a tough task, especially without any external help. You only need patience and time to get used to it. Make sure that your dog also gets time to understand everything. Dogs love to be cuddled. Therefore, it is better to cuddle with your dog before and after a grooming session. This would make the dog happy, which would lead to a flexible behavior while grooming. Grooming would also help you in strengthening the bond you have with your dog. Just make sure that you use the right means for grooming your dog because your dog could get injured by one wrong move.
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