Brushing | Clipping | Ears & Eyes | Paws | Teeth | Bathing


Your dog will benefit by the proper treatment of their coat. There is a basic technique depending upon your dog’s coat. It a minimum your dog needs to be brushed on a regular basis to get rid of unwanted hair and stimulate their scalps. Check out particular breed information for how much brushing
Is needed to keep your dog looking its best.

• Short smooth coat. Use a bristle or slicker brush and first brush against the lie of your dog’s coat. Repeat in the dog’ coat right direction.
• Short and long double coats: Separate sections of the coat so that skin is visible. Use a pin or slicker brush and comb outwards away from the skin. Work in sections until all mats are combed out. The undercoat is the thickest at the hind legs and neck and you may encounter the most mats here. After brushing out all under coats, go over top coat moving brush with the lie of the coat.
• Short wiry coat: You will need a slicker brush, medium metal tooth comb and a stripping comb. Thin the coat first with the stripping comb lightly over. Then follow with the slicker brush and comb to pick up any excess hairs. If you dog falls into this category you should bring your dog to a professional groomer every month or other month as needed to trim.
• Curly coats: Use a slicker brush daily to prevent matting. Since they tend not to shed, a professional clipping every month or other month is needed.
• Long coarse and silk coats: Difficult to care for. These coats typically are clipped to keep matting and tangles at a minimum. An unclipped dog with this coat needs daily grooming with a pin and bristle brush. Bathing should be done weekly as well. Professional grooming is recommended every 4 weeks.
• Hairless coats: Give your dog a gentle scrub with a face puff while bathing to remove dead skin. Oil free moisturizer should be applied daily to the coat.

Breeds, such as poodles, require the most clipping to keep their coats looking beautiful. We recommend that if you need to clip your dog, a professional groomer handle the job. It’s too easy to give your dog a cut that doesn’t look natural or nick their sensitive skin. Research your breed as to coat and clipping needs.

Ears and Eyes
Grooming your dog’s ears not only will keep them healthy and smelling good, it also gives you a chance to check their eyes at the same time. It’s important to take preventive measures and check for problems before they become significant health risks to your dog.

Start when your dog is a puppy and ears should be cleaned once a month or more if they have floppy ears.

Dogs that have hairy faces tend to have hairy ears. Poodles, Shih Tzu’s and Lhasa tend to have hair in their ears and this can be removed by you or a professional groomer.

How to clean ears:
• Wrap you finger with a soft cloth dipped in mineral oil or a commercial ear cleaning solution
• Rub the inside of the earflap and ear opening to remove dirt or wax
• Don’t over clean, some wax is good

If you notice any unusual discharge or a high amount of smelly ear wax, consult your vet.

How to clean eyes:
• Wipe eyes with a moistened cotton ball
• Clean under eyes daily to prevent staining
• Wipe cheeks with a damp cloth or baby toothbrush to rid eye matter
• If hair covers your dog’s eyes, use a band or clip to pull back for cleaning, don’t clip this hair!

If redness persists, cloudiness, swelling, excessive tearing, or pus exists, consult your vet.

Your dog’s paws take the hardest beating of all its body parts especially their foot pads. You can rub vitamin E or aloe after hard exercise to prevent blisters. Inspect their paws after being outside in rough terrain for protruding objects or cuts. Keeping your dogs nails clipped and groomed is not only for appearance, it’s for health as well.

How to trim their nails and hairy toes:

• Trim every two weeks with a hand-held trimmer or electric grinder
• Cut the nail at the point where it starts to curve downward
• Don’t cut to the quick which is pink. Clip above the pink line quick.
• When finished, smooth out rough edges with a nail file
• Trim the dewclaw if your dog still has it. It’s the fifth digit on the inside of the leg.
• For hairy toes, clean between the toes with warm water and trim hair between the toes and pads with a blunt nosed scissor. Trim hair as close to the pad as possible.

Just like we need to brush our teeth daily, so does your dog. This is often overlooked. Poor dental hygiene can lead to a number of diseases in the mouth and ultimately infections can lead to internal problems. Also, your dog will avoid unwanted “doggy breath”.

• Brushing is recommended daily, but twice a week should suffice.
• Yearly dental exams by your vet along with a professional cleaning is recommended
• Start brushing routine as a puppy
• For older dogs not used to cleanings, start with a little food on a cloth and rub on teeth. Gradually move to dog toothpaste on a cloth or small brush
• Don’t use human toothpaste! Buy special tooth paste for canines.
• Have your dog sit or lie on its side. Gently lift upper lip and brush teeth a couple at a time. Work your way around the upper teeth and then move to lower jaw.
• If your dog resists, enlist the aid of a helper to restrain gently

Depending upon your dog’s coat, some dogs will need to be bathed more often than others. The longer the coat or more dense, the more often a bath is needed. Your dog’s lifestyle and habits will also dictate frequency. At a minimum, your dog should be bathed at least 3 times a year. Don’t bath more than once a month unless recommended by your vet. Some breeds like St. Bernards and Chesapeake Retrievers have natural waterproofing that frequent bathing can destroy.

Baths are necessary when fleas occur or your dog has dandruff. Baths also was away allergies that can cause sneezing or itching for your dog as well as you as owner.

Start bathing you dog at an early age and make it fun! Remember to use shampoos specially created for dogs. Human shampoos can irritate ears and eyes as well as cause skin irritations.

If all else fails, take your dog to a groomer for a professional bath!

Bathing Techniques
• Choose a warm draft free area for a bath. Bathtubs and laundry sinks are good areas.
• Brush your dog prior to bathing to rid excess hair
• Use lukewarm, not hot water.
• Enlist a buddy to help into tub and hold still
• Lather from top to toe avoiding ears and eyes. Clean well between toes.
• Rinse thoroughly to get rid of soap
• Towel off as much water and keep warm until coat is completely dry
• Don’t use your hairdryer on a hot setting; you can burn your dog’s sensitive skin.

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