Pooch Perfect: Cheap Grooming Tips for Dogs
Your pooch probably looks perfect to you. Those big, chocolate-button eyes. That little leather-look nose. The cute floppy ears. That distinct, doggy-like aroma…
No matter how much you love your mutt, there’s no mistaking the importance of grooming to keep him looking – and smelling – his best.
Just like humans, dogs need physical maintenance. He may, at times, look like he’s taking care of those needs himself. But, like exercising and feeding, regular grooming is an important part of responsible dog care.
Trips to a dog groomer can be expensive. But the good news, for you and the hound, is that there are ways you can help keep your canine in top condition.
Here are some cheap grooming tips for your dog.
- Dogs do not need to bathe as often as people, but it should be on a regular basis, depending on the hair and breed.
- If you don’t have a set routine, start small. You’ll be nervous. And so will he. Never attempt to tackle everything in one session. It’ll be too much for all involved.
- Take it a task at a time. Brush one day. Bathe the next. Trim nails on another. The shorter each session is, the better. For both of you.
- Short coats can be brushed weekly, but longer coats may require attention every day.
- For smooth, short coats (such as a sausage dog) use a rubber brush, followed by a bristle brush then polish with a chamois!
- For longer haired dogs, use a slicker brush to remove tangles. But be gentle. When matts are close to the skin they can really pull and hurt your dog.
- Always use a dog shampoo when bathing. Never be tempted to use what’s in the bathroom cabinet, or even baby shampoo. It will irritate your dog’s skin and make him very itchy and uncomfortable.
- Apply the dog shampoo by hand rather than pouring directly onto the coat.
- Never allow water to get into a dog’s ears as it can cause infection. Put a piece of cotton wool in each ear if he’ll let you.
- If your dog has a long curly coat, it’s worth investing in a dog conditioner. It will help loosen tats and make the coat silky and easier to care for. Always ensure you rinse well.
- Have plenty of old towels available. If your dog has long hair, pat him dry. Rubbing will cause tangles.
- If you let him dry naturally, he may retain that ‘doggy smell’. Use a hairdryer on a very low setting, if he’ll tolerate it. Most dogs are tired after a bath and won’t put up too much of a fight. But others get frightened by the noise and warm air.
- Most dogs need monthly nail trims. If you or your dog are nervous about this, consider having it done expertly. It can be extremely painful for a dog if his nails are cut too short.
- Keeping the hair on your dog’s feet trimmed will not only feel nice to him but be beneficial, preventing grass seeds, thorns, salt, and tar becoming lodged. Try and trim in between the toes but be very gentle near the pads.
- Wipe the inside of his ears with a cotton pad or gauze dampened with ear cleaning solution, not water, as this will not evaporate. Never use a cotton bud to poke round inside. If the ear smells, consult a vet.
- If the coat needs a trim, clippers are easy to use. Try placing your dog on a slip-proof mat on the kitchen table or high surface to make it easier. Have plenty of treats to hand.
- If you make a mistake and cut one section a bit too short, don’t panic. A dog’s hair grows at approx. 1cm a month. You’ll get better and more confident with time.
- Use scissors for legs, ears and face. But watch for sudden movements.
Only one thing left to do – register him for Best Dog in Crufts!