Grooming Your Dog at Home!

Well, the holidays are over and I have a new friend, his name is Walter and he is rather a goofy dog. Walter is a part Otter Hound and something else, no one is quite certain what the something else is. I am getting used to having him around, but he really annoys me as he loves all my toys and insists on playing with them. This, I do not like one bit and have been known to get just a wee bit upset over his habit of grabbing my things.

My Mom and Grandma keep telling me that sharing is a good thing, however, I have my own thoughts on that. Anyway Gram and I thought an article on grooming might be appropriate at this time since many of you probably got a dog during the holidays.

Walter needs a lot of grooming and we soon will have a picture of him to show you and you will see the great need for help with this dog.

Understanding that dogs do not take the time or have the interest in self-grooming as cats do, it is up to us, the pet parent to help in those matters.

The first step is to start early with brushing. Doing this will get your puppy used to the brush and handling. Buy a brush that is suitable for your puppy's coat.

A good idea is to talk to someone who grooms dogs the pet store and of course, your vet to find out what type of brush is best.

A fine tooth comb is great for soft silky hair this is also good for controlling fleas and getting rid of the mats.

There are also special mitts for brushing shorthaired dogs or you can use a coarse wash cloth to rub over your dog's coat.

The hardest part of grooming your puppy/dog is getting him/her to stand or lie still while you are brushing them.

Some dogs are fearful of the brush and you will have to be patient and go slowly.

It will even require more patience if you have a longhaired dog that has a lot of facial hair that has to be brushed and combed.

The secret here is to start very early with the brushing and gently handle your puppy's face using soft slow strokes with a comb or brush.

Patience, determination and consistency will need to be your motto while you are getting your puppy used to facial handling.

Even dogs of breeds that normally are associated with grooming salons can be groomed at home at least part of the time.

You may need to take them to the salon for haircuts and possibly toenail clippings should you not feel confident enough yourself to trim your dog's nails.

It is a good idea when you take your puppy for its first visit to the vet or shortly thereafter you talk to your vet about trimming your puppy's nails.

Your vet will be able to show you how to do it correctly. Clipping your puppy's nails should be started at an early age one paw at a time.

The first step is to get your puppy used to you handling its paws.

After a brushing session try massaging your puppy's feet slowly and gently, separating its toes and playing with his/her nails.

This type of handling will get your dog used to you touching its feet and it won't be such a shock once you start clipping its nails. You will need a good set of clippers, which can be found at your pet store or purchased from a groomer or the Internet.

The main reason to brush and comb dogs with long hair is to eliminate matting as much as possible. Once the hair gets matted the job, to comb out the mats can be a long tedious and painful experience for both you and the dog. This brushing should be done several times a week.

Most dogs shed continuously (there are breeds that do not shed) and by grooming and brushing you are keeping the hair from floating through the air thereby making your housekeeping chores lighter.

Most dogs do not have to be bathed frequently. Frequent baths have a tendency to dry the natural oils in your dog's skin and can lead to constant scratching.

Did you know that some shedding is caused by hormonal changes that are related to the length of daylight, the nutrition the dog receives and the dog's general state of well being?

Shedding is natural part of a dog’s life, but shedding may caused by stress, surgery, having puppies or because of fear or anxiety.

Before you get a dog it would be wise to research the breeds to see what their shedding problems are.

For instance, a dog with long hair, mutt or purebred will require you to groom it through out its life.

Before you go out and get a dog do some research, if your are short on time and patience get a fish.

Ears are another important part of your dog’s grooming procedure; dogs with long droopy ears require special care.

Spaniels and other dogs with long ears are susceptible to ear infections.

Your vet can prescribe the proper medication to use for your pet’s ears.

Ear mites are another consideration that will have to be watched for.

When cleaning your pet’s ears use warm water and a soft cloth or cotton.

Grooming your dog at home is really a great experience; it gives you the opportunity to bond with your dog. Dogs love attention and you as a pet parent can enjoy the feeling of comfort that a dog gives when it know that it is loved and cared for.

Stop and think about the importance of spending 10 –20 minutes every other day or so with your furry friend.

Human friends are great, but the loyalty of a four-legged friend cannot be described, it goes beyond any words you can think of.

It is love with no strings attached and all your pet wants is your love and attention in return.

You can count it in human minutes, but what a return on your investment.

The Animal Rescue Site