The regular grooming of your dog doesn’t just make it look more attractive and remove any dirt that has been caught in the hair; it also helps you to bond with your dog and also crucially, spot any health problems that may be occurring under the surface that you may otherwise not notice.
Although all dog owners obviously want their dogs to look healthy and happy, this isn’t the main reason that regular grooming is essential. Dogs can quite easily suffer from painful skin and health problems such as mange, fleas, ticks, folliculitis, seborrhoea and many variations of dermatitis. Some of these skin disorders are related to co-existing health problems and may not be preventable, but the sooner they are spotted, the easier the treatment will be.
In long haired dogs, regular grooming is especially important. Of course, everyone wants a beautifully groomed and clipped dog that is both clean and perfectly combed, but is what many dog owners don’t realise is that when your dog’s hair is matted, it’s actually incredibly painful for your furry friend.
Grooming Untamed Hair
•Matted Hair: Mats can develop quickly, so it’s best to prevent them altogether and in some cases will need to be completely removed to prevent causing your dog a considerable amount of stress. Occasionally the mats will be able to be brushed out, although this will need to be done incredibly gently and pulled apart with your fingers whenever possible.
•Relax Your Dog: It’s important to give your dog lots of affection throughout the grooming process to help them relax. This also allows you to bond with your dog and give it plenty of attention too. If you’re tense through the grooming process your dog will pick this up and feel nervous as well. Have treats on hand ready to reward good behaviour such as sitting still and being patient.
•Take a Bath: If your dog is particularly dirty, make sure it’s bathed before you begin the clipping process. Your dog should be brushed out before having a bath to make sure any mats are loosened as they are likely to tighten up even more in the bath, this will make the entire grooming process much easier.
Get the Gear for a Better Idea
Before hacking away at your dog with an old hairbrush, consider purchasing some of the correct equipment to carry out the job properly. A wire pin brush is best suited to gently removing matted hair and brushing a dog’s coat thoroughly; however alternative brushes are also available if you happen to have a dog that moults considerably or maybe even not at all.
Proper clippers and scissors should also be purchased as they offer a safe and comfortable way to trim your dog’s hair to a suitable length. Dog clippers differ to their human counterparts as they are often quieter, easier to clean and also specialise in trimming the most stubborn of matted hair without harming your dog or causing it a considerable amount of stress.
Various shampoos and conditioners can also be purchased from a range of sources. For dogs suffering from skin conditions or are particularly sensitive to scented chemicals, there are specially formulated skin care products that reduces irritation whilst gently cleansing your dog’s coat.
It’s best to begin the grooming of your dog from an early age to ensure it feels comfortable and ease through the process. Puppy brushes can be bought which are much are designed to be gentle and put your bundle of joy at ease when introducing it to grooming.
Sarah is a keen animal enthusiast and dog owner who works on behalf of My Pet Stop, a UK based dog boarding service offering various treatments including dog grooming.