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Great grooming – for dogs!

When grooming your dog keep these Great Grooming Guidelines in mind:

  • Start with the nose, finish with the tail! In order to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything, it’s best to start at the top, so to speak. Check your dog’s nose occasionally (especially after walks if he’s a sniffer) to be sure there isn’t any debris in his nasal passages and to see that his nose looks normal. Have a peek at his teeth about once a week, checking for broken teeth, plaque and red swollen gums – you can even brush his teeth after some practice! Continue on and check your dog’s ears for swelling or redness, make sure they don’t smell (smells can indicate an infection) and be sure they look generally clean. If they look a bit dirty, ask your vet or vet nurse to teach you the proper method of cleaning your dog’s ears at home. After you’ve given your dog’s head a good once-over, run your hands down your dog’s back, sides, tail and legs to check for any unusual lumps or bumps, hot spots, foreign objects such as grass seeds which can cause skin infections, or other anomalies. This is important especially as your dog ages, or if he’s especially active, so you can spot any issues immediately. Check your dog’s coat and skin for flaky or red areas by parting his hair or petting him (gently and briefly) against the direction of hair growth – do this especially if your dog has been scratching himself recently. Pay special attention to the fur just above the base of your dog’s tail, and the bare areas on his stomach or behind his elbows – this is often where fleas like to hang out, so is a good place to check for flea dirt (those tiny black specks) or even fleas themselves. While this may sound time consuming, it’s really a quick and easy health check that should be performed weekly.
  • Brush! Give your dog a good thorough brushing from head to tail to remove debris, loose hair, dirt, etc. Different hair types require different brushes, so make sure you’ve got the right tools for the job – for each of your pets’ hair type.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat! Before taking your dog to the bathroom for a bath, put on some old clothes that you don’t mind getting wet – there’s going to be a splash! Set your dog gently into the bath and cup water over him using a bowl or a small pot. Dab some shampoo on your hands and get a good lather going. Make sure to work it into all the folds and crevices where dirt might hang out! Just be careful not to get any in his eyes or ears. Thoroughly rinse with warm water, making sure to get any shampoo out of his coat so he doesn’t get itchy later. Lift him out of the bath, let him shake it off and pat dry with a warm towel. Feed him a treat for being such a good boy and give him one final brush to close the deal.
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