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Whether you would like your dog to join and win competitions or if you just want to make sure your pooch looks as gorgeous as it can be, learning how to groom a dog is essential. As much as we would like to think otherwise, don’t share exactly the same needs and necessities, especially when it comes to grooming.
Whether you would like your dog to join and win competitions or if you just want to make sure your pooch looks as gorgeous as it can be, learning how to groom a dog is essential. As much as we would like to think otherwise, we don’t share exactly the same needs and necessities, especially when it comes to grooming.
The numbers speak for themselves.
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, it is estimated that Americans spent $5.4 billion on pet grooming and boarding services in 2017. And the demand isn’t just for the best pet grooming products, but also for those who have the best skills.
It’s estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that pet groomers will grow in number by at least 11% by the year 2023, a rate that is significantly faster than the average growth of jobs in the current economy.
And while having a quality grooming brush is essential, knowing how to groom a dog is becoming an increasingly valuable skill, whether you want to make your fur babies as Instagram-ready as possible or do it as a profession.
The Simple Secret to Grooming Success
One hard truth that many owners fail to consider when asking how to groom a dog is that no matter how domesticated and purely bred your dog may be, its natural instinct is going to be to resist your initial attempts at grooming it. Animals in general do not like being handled and kept in place for extended periods of time.
According to professional dog groomer Crystal Rolfe, a full grooming session can take anywhere between two to four hours. Asking an untrained dog to sit still and relax for two to four hours while people handle it all over is nearly impossible.
Start training them to love grooming as soon as possible.
According to Rolfe, you can “practice in small sessions at home by putting your puppy on a table (on a towel) to get them used to holding still.” The key is to teach your puppy to trust you, to the point that it will let you maneuver its body without much struggle. Hold its face still and let it learn to become comfortable with your handling.
Here are some specific steps:
- Get Your Puppy Used to Handling: The most important part is making sure you can handle your puppy without it squirming and wiggling everywhere. You can do this through regular stroking and patting—on the shoulders, legs, chest, sides, and back; if they can stay still, reward them with a treat or two.
- Introduce the Brush: When they have gotten used to your handling, it’s time to introduce them to a brush. Again, associate the brushing with treats. Start your strokes slowly and gently, until they can begin to enjoy the sensation of being brushed. Brush them in different directions.
- Observe: Always pay attention to your dog. If it starts to get uncomfortable with the brushing after you have trained it, find out what’s wrong. The last thing you want to do is persist in making it uncomfortable, which will cause your dog to associate brushing with negative sensations. If your dog seems to be upset, stop brushing immediately and check the area to see if it is red or has any scratches. This could indicate that you are brushing too hard, using the wrong type of brush, or brushing with a bad technique.
One type of brush that is guaranteed to give your dog a great time is the new FurBabs pet grooming brush, which uses individual sheets to keep your dog smelling fresh while brushing out all dirt and dust particles in the hair. After your dog has become accustomed to brushing, you can now regularly brush your dog and keep its coat soft and shined.
However, it’s important to remember that you don’t do it too often or for too long, which could result in your dog becoming overwhelmed and tired.
Make your dog positively associate the brushing activity with regular treats throughout the process, until eventually they enjoy it every single time you pull out the brush.
How to Groom a Dog: Our Tips for Ultimate Puppy Pleasure
Grooming is more than just physical appearance; it’s about your dog’s hygiene and health as well.
While it can be tempting to give your dog a bath, brush the coat and then call it a day, a dog’s beauty and health is made up of more than just its coat. Specifically, there are five areas other than the coat that any responsible owner or groomer must keep in mind: paws, nails, ears, teeth, and eyes. Keeping these areas in perfect condition not only contributes to your dog’s physical looks, but also to its overall health and well-being.
Here’s everything you need to know about these five areas for how to groom a dog.
When people talk about grooming a dog’s paws, most assume that the topic is about nails. However, a dog’s paws are just as important as their nails, and regularly checking these is essential towards your puppy’s perfect health.
Firstly, it’s important to check your dog’s paws at least once a week. Check the pads for signs of cracking, dryness, minor cuts, or small objects stuck between the pads; all of these could be contributing slight pain to your dog. If you find signs of damage to the paw, first use tweezers to take out anything that might be stuck in it.
Then, after a quick bath, massage paw wax or Vitamin E oil into the pads. Paw wax also gives your dog the added protection from hot pavement in the summer and rock salt in the winter, both of which are known to hurt most dogs. Finally, keep your eyes open for paw chewing or licking, which are sometimes caused by irritants or allergies (these are commonly picked up from lawn chemicals and plants in the yard). If your dog is obsessively messing with its paws, it might be time to take it to a vet to find a solution.
This can be the most difficult part of grooming a dog, and some vets even recommend that amateurs don’t do it themselves. Messing up and cutting the wrong thing can cause your dog immense pain, as well as bleeding.
First you must figure out how often you need to cut your dog’s nails. This can depend on the size and breed of your dog, but the most relevant factor is their lifestyle: are they an inside-dog or an outside-dog? How often do you take them out for walks, and how often do they run around to play? Dogs that are more active in the outdoors usually have fewer problems when it comes to their nails, as the nails get naturally worn down as they run around outside. However, if your dog is more of a homebody, then you might have to trim its nails around once a month.
Remember: stay slow and steady. Your dog will be experiencing stress while you handle the clippers or scissors near its feet, so it’s important to keep it comfortable and happy with treats and occasional rubbing.
Dogs can often pick up ear problems, some breeds more than others. Some of these problems include ear scratching, head shaking, unpleasant odor coming from the ear, ear discharge, a redness or swelling around the opening of the ear, and extreme sensitivity around the ear area.
If your dog is experiencing any of these, you might want to take it to a vet so they can check. If the vet recognizes an issue, they might prescribe an ear cleaner or ear drops which you will administer to your dog. But do not use any ear products without the recommendation of a vet, because this could lead to a more serious problem.
One final tip: dogs with droopy and long ears sometimes experience recurrent ear infections or skin allergies that discolors their ears. For these dogs, extra attention must be given to the ears; regularly scrub the outside and inside of their ears with a towel when you bathe them.
Keeping a dog’s teeth and gums nice and healthy is relatively simple. You can choose to either brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a small toothbrush for children and toothpaste made specifically for dogs, or you can provide for them the right chewing items to keep their teeth clean. The choice is up to you. Both measures are effective at maintaining a healthy set of canine gums; however, actively brushing your dog’s teeth would be better if your dog regularly experiences bad breath.
If you choose to go for the chewing items, dog chew toys and dental chews are the perfect choices. You can also opt to give them a raw meaty bone a few times a month, such as a large steak bone. But never give them a bone that they could choke on, especially if it’s a smaller dog.
As a first-time dog owner, you might have trouble distinguishing the difference between a healthy pair of dog eyes and eyes that are sick. Healthy eyes usually have a bright and clear appearance. Dogs with sick eyes usually squint or close their eyes, and have a certain redness or eye discharge around the eye area.
It is important to deal with signs of eye problems immediately. Eye problems can spiral from bad to worse very quickly, and the best way to avoid any long-term problems is by taking your dog to the vet as soon as you notice that something is wrong.
Grooming A Dog: Time, Effort, and Love Required
Though it may take time and effort, properly grooming and attending to your dog’s health and physical appearance is a wonderful way to bond with your beloved pooch.
With professional grooming products like the Furbabs pet grooming brush, you can turn the grooming experience into one your dog will love every time you sit down for a session. Keep your fur-covered best friend healthy, happy, and beautiful. Learn how to groom a dog and use only the best tools and the best techniques. Make the most of your relationship with your dog today.