There’s a first time for everything, including getting your dog’s first grooming routine. Many pup parents think that bathing their dogs regularly is good enough, though. But in reality, there is more to grooming than just making your canine smell good.
If it is your first time to adopt a dog, then know that grooming him is among the many responsibilities bestowed upon you. Or you may have just recently adopted a new dog, so it is only fitting to give your four-legged friend a complete grooming session.
But before you pamper him, see to it that you really know what you are doing. Grooming your dog may seem to be a straightforward procedure – but it is a bit trickier than it should be. No worries, though. Continue reading for a complete guide to grooming your dog for the first time.
Before jumping unto the do’s and dont’s of grooming your dog, let us understand why they need one in the first place. Like humans, dogs need some pampering from time to time too.
Bathing your dog will lessen their natural dog smell. If your dog is kept indoors, then it is more than necessary to keep him well-groomed on a regular basis.
Your canine may even develop unnatural dog odors due to certain skin rashes or other skin diseases / infections. Not regularly checking for abnormalities on your dog would result in him smelling bad. Although dogs do smell, they should not emit a strong musky odor that might cause you to gag.
The best way to keep your dog smelling pleasant is with regular grooming. Unfortunately, even with regular grooming, if you are not doing a good job grooming your pup, the tendency is that he would still smell bad right after bathing him.
Grooming your dog is also one way of bonding. Grooming should not be seen as a chore but rather an opportunity to connect with your lovely canine. Your dog will love you more if you’re giving him a pampering from time to time.
Regularly grooming your dog will also keep him healthier and more neat and tidy. Having said that, it is important that you should also know the correct way of grooming your canine.
Now unto the exciting part – grooming your dog for the first time. Since this will be your pup’s first grooming session, keep in mind that you should take extra care so as not to turn into a scary experience for the dog.
The first thing that you need to do is to familiarize your pup. There are hundreds of dog breeds out there, so knowing what your dog needs will help you give him the right grooming procedures necessary.
Know that there are several ways to groom your four-legged friend. Here are the top grooming procedures your dog needs.
Before you take on this task, you first need to brush your dog. This will basically help the shampoo get into the dog’s coat, so you are certain that your pet will end up smelling good after his bath.
See to it that you only use lukewarm water as his bath water. Dogs can get their skin burnt easily if you use hotter water. Think of your pet as a baby – you wouldn’t bathe him with hot water, not even ice-cooled water for that matter.
Only use the right kind of shampoo for your dog. There are special dog shampoos that have odor-killing so you should use that. Also, do not let the soap or bubbles get in your dog’s eyes. Then after washing off your dog, you have to air-dry them using a blower that is designed for dogs.
Once your dog is all dried up, you should give him some kind of reward to instill in his brain that bathing is actually fun. Remember to talk to your pet while you’re bathing him. This will allow him to heel comfortable with the experience.
One of the most tedious grooming procedures is brushing your dog. In order to give your dog a smooth and silky coat, you will have to brush his hair as often as possible. Not regularly brushing your dog would only lean into grooming issues in his adulthood.
In terms of grooming, there are two main types of dogs: long haired and short haired. Of course, long-haired dogs tend to need more grooming compared with dogs with a short coat.
Long-haired dogs need a weekly brushing while short-coated can go without brushing for two weeks. You should also consider the type of brush you’re going to use on your dog. Use a metal or stainless steel grooming comb for detangling and removing dead hair.
Brushing your dog’s coat is pretty simple. Here’s how to do it: Brush down and out, and always brush in the direction of the coat. Never brush backwards. And remember, be gentle as you will be stretching his hairs and untangling any snarls.
Since this will be the first time you brush your dog’s coat, he might not like it yet. So, be extra patient with him while he gets adjusted to the whole brushing experience.
Clipping off your dog’s toenails can be stressful not only for your pet, but for you as well. So, you have to be very careful when trimming your dog’s nails.
One of the best tips you can find when it comes to nail trimming is only to use a quality pair of dog clippers. It is also ideal to practice handling your dog’s paws and introducing him the clippers without cutting his toenails just yet. This way he would already be at east with the clippers.
When the time comes to cut his nails, gently hold your pet’s paw and then start cutting off small portions of his toenails at a time. Never squeeze the toes. If you’re having difficulty clipping his nails off, use smaller size clippers. Trim until you reach the white part of the inside of the nail.
Wax and oils can also build up inside your dog’s ear. Without regular ear cleaning, your dog could develop ear infection or worst a hearing impairment.
Before cleaning your puppy’s ears, see to it that you have all the supplies you’ll be using for the procedure. You will need tweezers, cotton balls, ear cleansers, a towel, and a special treat just for your canine. Now, let’s get started with this grooming routine!
Get your dog to sit and inspect his ears for any infections. If he has none, then you may proceed with the cleaning process. Get the cleaning solution and then carefully fill in his ear canal. Keep the ear flap upright and then massage the base of the ear for 20 seconds or so.
Your dog will try to get rid of the cleansing solution by shaking his head. Cover off his head with a towel to prevent the solution from flying all over the place.
Wrap your index finger with the cotton balls and gently wipe the visible part of the dog’s outer ear only. Use a cotton swab to clean off any parts that haven’t been cleaned yet.
Once the ear cleaning complete, reward your dog with his favourite treat, read the same procedure on the other ear.
Some dogs do require more taking care of than other breeds. And one of the extra attention they usually need is getting a proper haircut.
You can give your dog a trim after bathing him. You can either use a specially designed razor for dogs, or simply use a good barber type scissors. Start trimming your dog’s coat from the head and moving to the legs and so on.
And as always, be very careful not to cut his skin. If you do so, take a break and then give him some treats.
As mentioned earlier, regular and proper maintenance is an essential aspect of keeping your dog pretty and healthy. That is why it is recommended that you perform the following grooming routines as often as possible.
Bathing – once to twice a month.
Brushing – every couple of days
Nail trimming – every one to two months
Ear cleaning – every after bath
You can basically perform all the grooming procedures mentioned above, considering you have all the appropriate supplies to use. And again, it is kind of a bonding experience with your pup so it should be fun for the both of you.
Grooming your dog for the first time should not be stressful at all. Just take your time so as not to injure your pet. After all, a good looking pet reflects how good of a pet parent you are too.