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Dog Grooming Tips

Proper grooming is an important part of pet care. It not only makes a companion animal look better, but contributes to his or her physiological and psychological health.


Brush your pet thoroughly every day. This helps keep his or her hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading the natural oils throughout the coat, preventing tangles from forming and keeping the skin clean and free from irritation.  

It is best to start brushing your pet at an early age, but do not despair if he or she is an older animal. It is possible to train one to enjoy grooming. Proceed slowly, and be sure to use treats and plenty of praise to make the experience fun!  


Trim your pet's nails about once per month. You'll need a clipper designed specifically for the kind of companion animal you have. Either a scissor- or guillotine-style clipper can be used. You should also purchase a small bottle of blood-clotting powder.  

How to Cut Your Pet's Nails 

  1. Have your companion animal sit beside you. Then place one of his or her paws in your hand and gently pull it forward. If your pet dislikes being handled this way, slowly accustom him or her to it by offering treats and praise.
  2. Gradually shorten one nail. Be sure to stop before you reach the quick, which is the part of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels. If you cannot see the quick clearly, stop cutting just behind the point at which the nail begins to curve downward.
  3. If you cut into the quick, do not panic. Put some clotting powder on a moist cotton swab and press it firmly against the nail for several seconds.
  4. Repeat the process until all of your companion animal's nails have been trimmed.
  5. Do not forget to trim the dewclaw, which is located on the inside of each front leg just above the paw. (Some dogs do not have dewclaws.)


Ear care is an important part of grooming. Ear infections can not only be painful, but lead to permanent hearing loss. The signs of a problem with a companion animal's ears include redness, constant scratching, head shaking and odor.  

How to Clean Your Pet's Ears  

  1. Check your companion animal's ears twice per month. The skin inside and on the flaps should be pale pink. If there is a foul odor and/or any red, brown or black skin, have a veterinarian examine your pet's ears.
  2. Moisten a cotton ball with warm water or a little mineral oil and use it to clean the opening into the canal and the flaps. Do not probe too deeply into the canal.


Companion animals can get cavities and develop periodontal disease, so their teeth should be cleaned with a pet toothpaste at least twice per week. It is best to use a small toothbrush that has soft bristles. Cleanings performed by a veterinarian may also be required.


Bathe your companion animal once every two months or as often as needed. Be sure to brush him or her before each bath in order to get all of the mats out of his or her coat.  

How to Bathe Your Pet  

  1. Place a rubber mat in your bathtub, or a towel in your sink, for secure footing. Then place a cotton ball in each of your companion animal's ears to prevent water from entering.
  2. Rinse your pet with warm water. Use a spray hose if one is available, but be sure to keep the nozzle very close to your companion animal's body. Never spray him or her in the face.
  3. Apply a shampoo designed especially for pets in small amounts, working from the head to the tail. Be sure to clean the rectum, between the toes, behind the ears and under the chin. Try to avoid getting shampoo in your companion animal's eyes.
  4. Thoroughly rinse your pet with warm water.
  5. Dry your companion animal with a towel and/or hair dryer.

Dog Bathing Tips

What are the best ways to achieve that show ring sparkle?

First, understand the nature of the beast. Hair coats differ dramatically in density, length and texture among breeds of dogs and even among individuals of the same breed. Experts suggest that you select grooming products that clean the hair and skin without stripping them of their natural oils.

Shampoos & Conditioners for Dogs
Shampoos should provide adequate lather and be easy to rinse, while conditioning products should create a supple and resilient hair shaft that is not weighted down and doesn't feel greasy. Don't use human shampoos! They're not designed for a dog's skin or coat. Use a quality dog shampoo. OUR CHOICE

If your dog has mats, severely knotted hair that will not comb out, you may have to reach for the scissors to cut them out. Be careful: mats usually occur behind the ears, between the toes, under the legs or in the "arm pits"; all areas that could be a bit tricky to trim. Left alone, mats can cause open sores, which can develop infections.

When washing your dog, keep the water out of his ears and eyes as much as possible. If you have to wash around these areas, just use a damp cloth, and keep the soap to an absolute minimum.

Rinsing is probably the most important step of the bathing process. Make sure that all of the shampoo (and conditioner) is rinsed out of the coat. Dogs should smell like dogs, not perfumes or fruity fragrances.

If the product packs a lot of pungency, chances are good that your fragrant friend will go out of his way to remove the "offensive clean smell" and replace it with something that is sure to make you very sorry.

Nine out of 10 dogs surveyed consider getting dry the best part of having a bath. Many dogs actually enjoy a vigorous rub down.

This part of the bath can be fun if you make a big fuss. Tell your dog how well she behaved, how pretty she is, and how much you love her. The neighbors may think you're crazy, but it really does work - and who cares what the neighbors think, anyway?

If you opt to finish the bath by blow-drying your dog, you should know that some dogs are not receptive to hair dryers at all. Some of them are quite offended by the suggestion; after all, by this time they have put up with a lot from you. Use care when using a blow dryer because dog hair is flammable. You could accidentally burn your dog if you're not paying attention.

Dog Bath Tools

Before your dog gets ready for his bath, you should take a bath inventory and prepare all the necessary equipment that he will need. Having all the necessary equipment ready and easily accessible can make the whole bathing experience fun both for you and your dog. Having all your supplies gathered in one place where they can be easily reached can help your dog bathing event.

Here is a list of basic supplies that you would need to wash your dog:

*Shampoo and conditioner

*A sponge

*A scrub brush

*A bath mat

*One or two heavy towels

*A small scrub brush or soft-bristled nail brush to use on the face

*A hand held sprayer or a large plastic cup for rinsing

*A plastic or rubber apron for you, unless you don’t mind getting wet

*A nylon collar and leash if you think your dog will try to escape or will be hard to hang on to in the bath

Choosing the right shampoo for your dog: With so many types of shampoos that are out there today, trying to figure which one will be suitable for your dog can be rather confusing. For most breeds, however, a basic, all purpose shampoo works just fine. But if you want your dog shampoo to do more than clean and deodorize, then you might want to consider getting a specialty shampoo. OUR CHOICE

You can accentuate your dog’s coat color by choosing a shampoo especially made for black, white, or red coats. For dogs that have sensitive eyes and skin, use a hypoallergenic shampoo. This type of dog shampoo can minimize sensitivity reactions to bathing. You may also try a tearless shampoo for dogs with sensitive eyes.

During flea season, choose a shampoo that contains a mild anti-flea formula such as limonene or pyrethrin. You may also try any of several natural botanicals that are specifically designed to repel fleas such as neem oil.

For wire coated breeds, choose a shampoo that is designed to preserve the crisp texture of your dog’s coat.

If your dog has a sensitive skin condition such as allergies, rash, or itching, choose a medicated shampoo designed to treat your dog’s skin problem. Ask your vet for advice and recommendation for a good medicated shampoo that is right for your dog.

Where to bath your dog

To choose a location your first decision is "inside or out?"

Can you easily bathe your dog in the bathtub, sink or shower with minimal setup and cleanup effort?
Will a potential struggle or escape be catastrophic inside the house?
If you answered No and Yes respectively to these questions, the best choice for you is outdoors.

While outside baths may be potentially less damaging to your home, indoor baths are fine on several occasions. Don't rule out indoor bathing for puppies, small pooches, well-behaved dogs, or if conditions are poor outside. If you decide to wash your dog inside, some of the following tips can apply to you too. Just remember to plan your escape route wisely!

Indoors dog bathing can be challenging. For instance, have you planned for your escape route? Wet dogs will shake! For bathing a hard to handle dog indoors, consider a shower hose kit.

Outside Baths
If you are reluctant to wash your dog in cold water, you can purchase a garden hose adapter for your sink. The adapters are available in hardware or lawn and garden stores. A word of warning: It can be difficult to control the water temperature using this method; the best way is to set the appropriate temperature and use a shutoff nozzle or valve on the end of the hose.

Be sure to let the water run a little each time you turn the water flow back on. This will help ensure that the temperature is once again regulated.

Remember: Warm is good. Hot is not!!

A few other points to consider for Dog bath:
Restraint: Is there a safe and relatively clean place to tie your grubby friend during the bath?

Environment: All wet dogs shake, and the first thing they look for after a bath is a good location to get dirty. Have you closed all of the doors to the house? Are you prepared to keep your pal occupied for the next 20 minutes? A game of fetch or Frisbee, perhaps?

Final Tip: Wash the windows and sliding glass doors well after the last dewy drop has vanished from your critter's coat. Somehow, even hours later, these droplets find their way to freshly washed windows.

The key to giving your dog a bath is to make it as positive an experience as possible.

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