Grooming your dog is an important part of the health care routine which helps reduce dog itchiness. Regular grooming is essential to your dog's health and well being, and prevents dog itching problems.
Grooming is used to describe the following set of functions:
- Brushing and combing the coat
- Bathing and drying
- Coat hair trimming and cutting
- Paw and Nail care
- Ear cleaning
- Anal gland expression
You should carry out some of these functions yourself if you are able to, in particular the brushing and combing.
Advantages of Dog Grooming
By doing this, you will be able to check your dog closely for any problems that may be developing. For example, you should check the skin closely for signs of fleas, ticks, dandruff, particularly if there is dog itching, or any unusual problems with the coat such as hair loss, inflammation, tenderness or lumps under the skin, or skin irritations. If you do find any, you should consult your vet and discuss appropriate remedies.
By grooming your dog, you will learn which arrears your dog likes to be brushed or combed, which arrears are sensitive and should be handled more gently, or with more care. Your pet will bet used to being handled which will stand you in good stead in the times when the dog needs to be calmed when upset or stressed or when visits to the vet are needed.
Some of the other aspects of grooming should be done by professionals, particularly the trimming, nail and ear care and the anal expression. It is essential to find a good professional dog grooming service, with the right level of qualification and experience. There are grooming parlours that you can take your dog to, but also, there are mobile groomers that will come to you at home with their mobile dog grooming parlours. The choice of self or professional grooming will depend on your circumstances and budget.
Frequency of Grooming
The frequency of dog grooming depends on your pet. The factors to consider include the dog breed, type and length of hair, how often the dog gets dirty, the dog shedding cycle, and if there is any underlying skin problem.
The long haired dogs will require a lot more attention, and it is beneficial that you spend about 5-10 every day grooming your dog, brushing and combing to avoid the hair becoming tangled and matted.
Dogs with medium hair will require less frequent grooming, once or twice a week, and short haired dogs will need grooming even less, possibly once a month.
Bath the dog with a good dog shampoo such as DermOpt dog shampoo only when the dog coat gets dirty or your pet begins to small rather doggy. Schedule the grooming sessions at a convenient time for both you and your dog, when you are not likely to be interrupted and have plenty of time to do a proper grooming. A good time to do it would be after the dog has had a good walk, and is in a calm state, enjoying a feeling of well being. In between baths, you can use a conditioner or spray such as DermOpt Grooming Spray, and brush the dog down.
Start grooming your dog early, either as a puppy, or as soon as you first make your pet a part of the family. Dog grooming should become part of the daily routine and you should maintain a regular schedule. Be sure to talk to your dog and give him a lot of praise during the grooming, and your pet will learn to expect the attention from you making the grooming sessions more enjoyable for both of you.
Tools for Grooming
This will depend very much on your dog's hair type and length. Get a good-quality brush, comb, grooming spray and dog shampoo. Ask your vet or a professional groomer for advice on the specific types of these tools that are required for your pet.
Using a suitable comb for the hair type, doing small sections at a time, comb in the direction of hair growth making sure to removing knots and tangles, until the coat is tangle free. If the knots and tangles are proving difficult to comb, use a grooming spray such as DermOpt Grooming Spray, which will help to soften and detangle the hair, making it easier to comb. You may find a particularly stubborn knot or tangle that will need to be trimmed off with scissors.
If the dog hair is matted, you should take special care in trying to remove the mats as many mats are attached to the dog skin. Small mats can be removed with a thorough brushing/combing. A big mat can be made smaller by combing out as much hair near the mat, as possible. The remaining mat can then be removed by cutting the hair, but you must be extremely careful not to cut the skin as you cut off the mat. For severely matted pets, it is easier and safer to get your dog seen to by a professional groomer.
Regular brushing, several times a week, will help distribute the natural oils from the skin, giving your dog a healthy, shiny coat. Brush your dog using gentle strokes, starting at the head, and work toward the tail and down the legs. Always brush in the direction of hair growth, paying particular attention to the legs and flanks, and areas that easily mat. You can use a pin brush to fluff the coat by brushing against the directions of hair growth.
The frequency of baths for your dog depends on how much time is spent outdoors, how often he rolls in dirt, the breed, the age of the dog, and any existing medical conditions.
Select a good dog shampoo, which is formulated specifically for dogs. Do not use human shampoo since the pH for a dog is different to that for humans, and human shampoos often use harsher detergents than pet shampoos.
If your dog has an underlying skin condition, then you should consult your vet and select an appropriate medicated shampoo. There are different types of dog shampoo for all types of dog coat and skin conditions: shampoo for skin conditioning, itchy skin, dry skin, greasy skin etc.; medicated shampoos for skin infections such as mange, flea infestation, dermatitis etc. and more.
DermOpt dog shampoo is an excellent dog shampoo that works quickly to relieve symptoms of itching, scratching or allergies.
Wet your dog’s coat thoroughly, apply the shampoo on his back and work it gently through the coat for about 10 minutes, being careful not to get soap in his face or mouth. Use a washcloth or sponge to clean and rinse his face, and a soft brush to clean the paws, between toes and nails. Make sure you rinse all the soap out of the dog’s coat, with two or more rinse cycles if necessary, as any soap left on the dog can cause an allergic reaction, and should be avoided.
Dog breeds that have long floppy ears need more ear care than others. The hair on the ears must be brushed when the coat is brushed, but as well the inside of the ears need care. The hairs should be trimmed to stop them from growing into the ears, and prevent itching and ear infections. The ears should also be cleaned to avoid infection, and is a simple task that you can do at home. Take a piece of cotton batten or a cotton swab and put it in warm water, a cleaning solution you buy from your vet and gently clean the ears. If when you are done the dog’s ears smell odd this can be a sign of infection and you should consult your vet as soon as possible.