brushing long haired dog

Regular grooming is an important part of responsible dog care, even if it may seem like your dog is taking care of those needs by himself. If you don’t have a routine set, start small. Attempt one task each time. Brush one day. Then bathe the next. And trim the nails on yet another day. The shorter you can keep each session, the better.

Ready to begin? Here are a few dog grooming tips to make the process easier.

Brushing Tips

  • Check for ticks as you brush
    You may notice the bugs themselves or small black flecks.
  • Determine how often you need to brush
    Most short coats require weekly brushing, but longer coats may require daily attention.
  • For smooth, short coats
    Use a rubber brush, then a bristle brush, and then polish with a chamois cloth.
  • For short, dense coats
    Use a slicker brush to remove tangles, followed by a bristle brush.
  • For long coats
    Use a slicker brush to remove tangles and be very gentle when removing mats. Then follow it with a bristle brush.
  • Don’t forget the tail and feet
    Particularly for dogs with longer coats.

Bathing Tips

  • Determine how often your dog needs a bath
    Depending on the weather and your dog’s recent activities, you may want to bathe your dog every one to three weeks.
  • Use a dog shampoo
    Dog’s skin is different from humans, so you want to ensure the shampoo is mild enough to avoid irritation.
  • Start by brushing
    It will make the bathing process easier and more effective.
  • Use a bath mat
    If your pup is in the tub, this helps prevent slipping.
  • Add lukewarm water
    Be careful not to burn your dog or make it too cold, and only use about 3 to 4 inches in the tub.
  • Don’t spray directly in the nose, eyes, or ears
    A plastic cup or a spray hose can help you direct the water where you want it to go.
  • Rinse well
    One of the most common grooming mistakes is not properly removing all of the shampoo, leaving it on the skin to irritate your dog.
  • Check the ears
    Do you notice any foul odors or a lot of debris? Consult your vet
  • Use a low heat setting on the blow dryer
    A dryer can be an effective way to keep your dog from making everything in your house wet as he dries, but be careful not to burn your pup. You can also help keep it safe by not pointing it directly at your pup, but a little to the side instead.
  • Try a bath toy
    If your dog is overexcited and mouthy during bath time, it may redirect some of that attention onto something else.

Certain breeds have more particular needs. For example, bulldogs require special attention between the folds on their face. And droopy ears can be more prone to problems, so they should be monitored closely. Talk to your veterinarian to get dog grooming tips specific to your pup.

What’s your dog’s grooming routine like? Tell us in the comments.


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