Grooming For Dogs: Tips For Doing It At Home
Your dog’s toilet is a fundamental routine for the health of the animal and, with the right indications, can also be done at home. In fact, even if DIY grooming can be challenging, once you understand the basic steps it can be a habit to carry out without too much effort: let’s see together how to take care of the bath and cleaning of your dog – both large and small – what products to use and what precautions to observe.
The Dog’s Toilet: Why Is It Important?
To be healthy, your dog needs to be groomed with care, and it is important to get him used to this practice as a puppy, so that the moment of cleaning is accepted with ease.
Its coat gets dirty every time the animal leaves the house, when – for example – it rolls around playing with its owner or with other dogs. In addition, the hairs often tend to detach from the coat and remain intertwined with the new growth, which is why it is necessary to brush it periodically to prevent it from rusting and becoming heavier.
Also the skin of the animal needs to be washed, to maintain the cleanliness and also the balance of the pH. Not to forget the importance of cleaning the ears, teeth and nails, which must be cut and filed.
Taking care of these procedures at home is possible, taking care to observe a proper routine, which starts with the frequency with which the toilet is carried out.
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
The frequency with which your dog is washed depends on the length of the hair. Long haired dogs need more thorough care, because more dirt is deposited in their coat and may have more discomfort, such as itching, knots, sometimes even dirt particles.
A good frequency for the toilet can be this:
- long hair: every four weeks;
- medium hair: every four/six weeks;
- short coat: every six to eight weeks.
Grooming: A Moment Of Well-being And Serenity
The moment of cleaning for the dog is pleasant, because it feels regenerated. It is possible that some steps, such as cutting the nails, or cleaning the teeth and ears, may annoy the dog, or that at first the animal is refractory to water or the pool. That’s why it’s important to get him used to the toilet as a puppy, so that he accepts it immediately as an ordinary moment, and reassure him with caresses and cuddles. Equally important is that the owner keeps calm, without getting bored if the cleanliness does not come well at the first attempt: with time, when the routine is consolidated, the moment will become relaxing and playful.
Diy Dog Grooming: All The Necessary Steps
Let’s now see together what are the steps to be taken to thoroughly wash our Fido, literally from the head … to the legs!
Brush The Hair
The first phase of the toilet is the brushing of the hair, which we recommend to perform outdoors – if possible – or in a point of the house that you can easily clean. Brushing the hair is important to prevent it from rusting, knots from forming that can become annoying, and residues of dirt and foreign bodies – leaves, wood, insects, pebbles – from getting stuck, causing irritation to the skin below.
Brushing is very important during the wetsuit, which is the period when the dog changes its coat. Depending on the length of the coat, brushing will be more or less frequent: once a week if it is medium/short, two or three times if it is medium/long.
During this operation, it is also important to take into account some precautions:
- Never brush against the hair because it is painful for the animal and ineffective for cleaning purposes.
- Do not perform the operation if your dog is wet, because the hair does not clean well.
- Use a brush with iron teeth, called a carder, which tears off the old coat that is already dead and quickly cleans the new coat.
- Be delicate, so as not to cause abrasions. If the coat is very knotted, it is possible to apply untangling sprays that allow the knots to melt better.
The Moment Of Bathing
After brushing, it is time for the actual washing, which can be done in the bathtub (afterwards it will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected), or in a bowl, if the size of the dog allows it. It is also recommended to use a non-slip mat, and to fill the tub – or the basin – with lukewarm water, up to the height of the knees of the dog.
Before immersing the animal, it is advisable to protect the ears with hydrophilic cotton balls, which should be inserted into the earcup to prevent water from entering.
Now Fido can dive, and start to be soapy with a special shampoo: it is essential to use specific detergents for dogs, so as not to alter the pH of the skin.
The moment of soaping is a real cuddle: you have to rub well, until you create the foam.
Once the soap has been soaked, rinse, a fundamental moment: it is important not to leave soap residues that could irritate the skin, for this reason it is advisable to rinse thoroughly, until the water flows clear.
Once washed, the dog should be dried thoroughly: you can wrap it in a towel with which to dab excess water, and then dry with a hairdryer, being careful not to keep it too close to the hair, to avoid overheating the skin, causing pain to our animal.
After having washed and dried our dog, we can proceed cutting the hair in the points in excess: it is necessary to use appropriate scissors and proceed slowly, evening eventual tufts that protrude, and level the mass of hair where it is too abundant. The cutting of the hair can have an aesthetic function and also of comfort: it becomes a necessary action when, for example, it covers the eyes or the mouth.
When you groom your dog, it is important to also take care of the ears, which should be checked periodically, because they can fill up with wax, which should be cleaned constantly. For this operation, it is absolutely not recommended to use running water, which could enter the ear and cause otitis, and as well as cleaning sticks, using which you risk an annoying pressure.
The correct way to clean your dog’s ears at home is to use gauze soaked in the appropriate detergent, and to clean well inside and outside, removing traces of wax and dirt. This operation can also be done outside the bath time, and it is very important to safeguard the health of our friend.
The time of washing can also be ideal for cutting nails: if they are not cut and filed, they can bend or break, and create problems in walking. It is recommended to use special dog cutters and files, and to carry out the operation every time the hook of the nail has bent too much. To understand if it is time to intervene, we recommend placing the dog’s leg on the palm of your hand: if the nails touch the palm, you must proceed with the cut.
Brushing Your Teeth
And don’t forget to brush your teeth, which can be done with a soft-bristled toothbrush with a long handle. It is important to use toothpastes that protect the canine enamel and have a taste adapted to the taste of animals, for example meat. If your dog is particularly hostile to brushing teeth, you can provide with chewing gum cleaners.
Your Dog’s Health Also Depends On Grooming
To safeguard the health of our four-legged friend, we must have many precautions: proper nutrition, periodic checks, frequent movement and many walks are essential, as well as proper grooming periodic.
If you have any doubts about proper dog hygiene and for advice on the best products to use, it is preferable to refer to your vet, who will know how to indicate the best solutions.