Grooming and caring always come along once you decide to get a dog or a pet in general. And depending on the dog you get, grooming might take a couple of hours of your day or just a few minutes of your week. But have you ever asked yourself “Why at home dog grooming is vital?”
For example, a smooth-coated dog may only require a weekly brushing while a double-coated dog may need a few times a week of brushing. The same thing with short-haired vs. long-haired breeds. Another thing that is usually considered is shedding.
So, if you have multiple pets with different grooming requirements, it can be very tiring and takes up most of your time. You might even think that it’s unnecessary because your dog appears good already.
However, you should also know that dog grooming is more than just keeping your dog neat and clean for dog shows. Dog grooming has excellent benefits not only for your dog’s health but for you as well.
Before we dive deeper into the importance of dog grooming, let us first tackle the basic things you should do when grooming your dog.
Related article: Best Dog Nail Grinder, A Review Of 5 Great Products
Basic Things You Should Do When grooming Your Dog
As mentioned earlier, dog grooming varies from one dog to another. Here are dogs that will need trimming, clipping, or stripping. Some dogs can be shaved for their appearance like the Poodle, but professionals usually do this.
But in general, dogs would need four basic things to stay neat and clean even at home – bathing, brushing, teeth cleaning, and nail cutting. Let us discuss each of these one by one.
Bathing is an essential part of dog grooming as it helps ensure that your dog’s coat remains healthy and shiny. At the same time, it helps remove odor and dirt stuck on your dog’s skin.
The frequency of baths you can give your dog will depend on the breed you have, too. Some dogs would need baths once in a month, while others would only require baths three times a year. Usually, it depends on how smelly or dirty your dog gets.
Too much bathing can do more harm than good, so it’s always best to do your research or ask your vet about the bathing frequency. You should also make sure to use mild and gentle hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner to avoid irritation.
If your dog has a skin condition, then specific instructions might be given regarding how and when to bathe your dog.
The next most important part of dog grooming is brushing. Just like with baths, brushing helps remove dirt and loose hair, keeping your dog clean. For long-haired dogs, it helps prevent mats and tangles from forming, which can be very uncomfortable.
If you’re allergic to dog fur, brushing helps a lot in keeping shedding to a minimum. And depending on the breed of dog you have, you would need to brush your dog weekly or daily.
Teeth cleaning is probably the most neglected part of dog grooming, but it’s very important. By regularly cleaning your dog’s teeth, you are able to prevent tartar buildup, gum infections, and periodontal diseases.
Teeth cleaning should ideally be done every day. But if this is hard to do, then a few times a week will do. You should also provide your dog toys or dental sticks that he can chew to help clean up his teeth and make it stronger.
Overly grown nails will cause pain and discomfort to your dog, especially to active ones who love to run around. That’s why cutting your dog’s nails is also very important. However, I have to tell you that it’s not an easy job.
There is a great possibility that you will cut the nail too short that it might bleed and cause infection, so you must be very careful.
Benefits of Dog Grooming
You might start to think doing these four is too much for one pet. Well, of course, it is. But if you love your fur baby, I’m sure you’d do everything you can to keep them looking and feeling their best.
In most cases, it will take lots, if not most, of your time, especially if you have multiple pets. But, I’m telling you, don’t think of this as a chore. Instead, think of the following benefits of grooming your dog at home:
Keep Your Dog Looking Good and Feeling Good
What other reason to groom your dog other than wanting him to look good, right?
Well, how about you don’t only make your dog look his best, but you also get to ensure that he feels his best?
In other words, you get to eliminate any feeling of discomfort from your pet in many ways.
Think about it this way.
How do you feel when you give yourself a bath or comb your hair? You feel good, right?
This is also similar to your dog. Giving your furbaby a simple bath, cleaning his teeth, and brushing his hair will already do so much to keep him looking and feeling good.
For example, we all know brushing makes your dog look good as it helps maintain a healthy coat and fur. But at the same time, it makes your dog feel good as the right type of brush can give your dog a nice massage.
For long-haired dogs, brushing also prevents mats and tangles that are very uncomfortable and painful if left alone. Also, if your dog is messy, I’m pretty sure he feels messy as well, so giving him a bath will surely make him happy.
Detecting Health Issues
Another great benefit of grooming your dog at home is that you are able to detect any health issues. Your dogs can’t say anything, so it’s up to you to check and see if there’s something wrong, and you can do this while grooming.
While you are brushing or bathing your dog, you can also inspect his whole body – feet, belly, ears, eyes, spine, etc. The more frequently you groom your dog, the more you get familiar with his body and any marks on his skin.
So, if it so happens that there are any lumps, bumps, spots, and any other unusual changes, you’ll detect them almost immediately. By then, you can bring your dog to the vet for early treatment if there’s something wrong.
Preventing Health Issues
Aside from detecting health issues, grooming will also help prevent health issues even before our dog acquires them. Here are a few of them:
Prevents Fleas and Ticks
You can prevent fleas and ticks by bathing your dog regularly. It’s also a great opportunity to check your dog’s coat area by area for fleas and ticks. If you happen to spot them, you can then kill them.
And since you already know that your dog has this problem, you can consult your vet to know the best way to get rid of them. The vet might also give you advice on the best dog soap or shampoo you can use to prevent fleas and ticks.
Protect Feet and Joints
As mentioned earlier, nail trimming is an important part of dog grooming as it helps protect your dog’s feet and joints.
You see, when your dog’s nails become too long, it’s so uncomfortable that it forces your dog to change the way he walks. It makes them walk to the sides of their feet, so those nails don’t hit the ground, which can be very painful. This can also cause bone deformation and arthritis, which I know is something you don’t want your dog to suffer from.
Another thing that can happen if you don’t trim your dog’s nails is that it grows too long that it goes all the way to their footpads. Your dog may not complain about this, but it’s extremely painful.
So, even if nail trimming can be a hard task, it’s essential to do it. As a dog parent myself, I don’t want to see my dog suffer, and I’m sure the same goes for you. Keep your dog’s nails to a natural length to prevent long-term damage.
Keep Ear Infections Away
Another thing that you should clean regularly is your dog’s ears. It’s not recommended to give your dog baths very frequently, but this is not the same with your dog’s ears.
Veterinarians usually recommend cleaning your dog’s ears once a week. Depending on the breed you have, dog ear cleaning usually involves removing ear wax and hair plucking. This will help prevent ear infections, ear mites, and other ear conditions.
Prevent Dental infections
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is also necessary to prevent dental infections. Just like with cleaning the ears, you can do this once a week, while some owners would actually do it more frequently. If you can’t brush your dog’s teeth as often as possible, give him dental sticks or chew toys that help in strengthening their teeth and removing tartar too.
Maintains a Clean Home
Dog grooming will not only benefit your dog but you as well. Why? Because it keeps your house clean too.
Imagine a messy dog coming into your home and just spreading dirt on the furniture. That can be frustrating, right? And other than just cleaning your dog, you’d have to clean the furniture too. The same thing will happen if your dog is smelly, because eventually, everywhere he goes would be smelly, too.
Another example of your house getting messy if you don’t groom is if your dog is a heavy shedder.
Yes, you might have this velcro roller or any other idea in mind to get rid of that dog fur on the furniture. But, wouldn’t it be easier if you keep shedding to a minimum by grooming your dog?
These are the benefits of dog bathing and brushing in your home. It keeps your home clean, keeps you comfortable, and keeps everyone in the family happy.
This is really good if you have kids who love running around as you can also ensure that they remain healthy. Those who are allergic to dog fur would also have lesser problems if you can keep shedding to a minimum.
Strengthens Your Bond
Dog grooming is one of the most excellent ways to strengthen the bond between you and your fur best friend. You may think that spending a lot of time playing is already enough, but nothing beats the way you can understand your dog more with grooming.
This helps build your dog’s trust in you. Trust that his nails won’t bleed if you trim them, trust that you won’t do anything in his ears, etc.
Use this as an opportunity to talk to your dog and let him know that he is loved. Think of this part of your day as another bonding moment instead of a chore, so you learn to enjoy it.
Encourages Positive Behavior
Finally, the best benefit of dog grooming, for me, is that it encourages positive behavior to your dog. Depending on the approach you use, this act is like a therapeutic session that helps your dog relax. And if he’s able to trust you, he’ll feel safe.
Regular grooming has a significant effect on your dog’s mental health and overall well-being. It makes him feel fresh, and it makes him happy.
Those are the great positive things that dog grooming can bring. But there are certain important reminders that I would also like to emphasize to enjoy these benefits better.
The very first thing is that you need to groom regularly. Of course, depending on the dog breed you have, the frequency may vary.
For baths, you can give it depending on how messy or smelly your dog gets. This can be once a month, once every 2-3 months, or thrice in a year. But, ears should be cleaned regularly, usually once a week or once every two weeks, no matter what.
For brushing the hair, it depends on the type of coat your dog has. Heavy-shedders might need to be brushed daily so you would have very minimal problems of having hair all over the house. The same goes if you have long-haired dogs to prevent mats and tangles from forming.
Trimming nails should be done regularly, at least once every two weeks, or if it’s overly long already. And your dog’s teeth should be cleaned as frequently as possible.
This may take most of your time, but remember how much it would make your dog comfortable and healthy.
As I mentioned earlier, this takes a lot of your time, so patience is essential. If it’s your first time doing this, try to relax so your dog doesn’t feel you’re stressed out. He might feel this, and he won’t be comfortable letting you do his grooming.
Another thing is that, if it’s your dog’s first grooming session, he might naturally be scared. So you need to approach them slowly and pay close attention to his behavior and reaction.
Learning how to groom your dog correctly takes time, but you’ll get there. What you need to prioritize is that you and your dog become comfortable with each other. This way, he’ll cooperate, and you’ll make your job easier.
Lighting is Important
If you’re trimming your dog’s coat or cutting his nails, it’s crucial that you’re in a well-lit place. You need to be able to see what you’re doing so you ensure your dog’s safety.
Another importance of lighting is that you get to see if you were able to clean up every spot when bathing your dog. You’ll also be able to see visually if there’s anything unusual like signs of infection that you need to let your veterinarian know.
Use proper dog-grooming equipment
To make your dog more comfortable and give him the best grooming experience, having the proper dog-grooming equipment is essential.
For example, I’ve already mentioned how dogs have different coats, depending on the breed. To match these different coat types, there are also different types of brushes. There’s a rake-type, slick brush, normal comb, etc. Make sure that you do your research first on what brush to use for your dog.
The same thing with dog clippers, scissors, trimmers, etc. There’s always the right type to use, so make Google your friend and research about it. You can also simply ask a professional groomer for expert pointers.
Dog grooming is not easy. There are lots of things to do, and it can get overwhelming. If you think you can’t do it alone, ask for help from a more experienced friend or a professional groomer. You can also talk to your veterinarian if he can give you any advice.
Now that you know the importance of dog grooming at home, I hope you stop thinking that grooming is not an essential part of your dog’s day.
Grooming your dog is part of what you signed up for when you decided to become a fur parent. And if you’re like me, I’m sure you would want to ensure that he’s always in his best condition.
I recommend grooming your dog at an early age and doing it as frequently as necessary, so he gets used to it. It takes time to learn this and make both of you comfortable with each other, but don’t rush things because you’ll surely get there.