However for smaller dog breeds like the Chihuahua, using the towel to dry them up is usually sufficient.
The essential dog grooming tools that every dog owner must have are scissors, brush and comb. However for most dogs particularly the long coated ones you will need more dog grooming tools such as:
- Bristle brushes of all textures i.e. the stiff, soft and medium; they are used on short haired dog breeds and for brushing of the undercoat of some double coated dog breeds. Boar bristle is used for removing mats and undercoat of long haired dog breeds.
- Cage dryer: this is an excellent hands-off dryer that can be fitted in cages for drying dogs after bathing.
- Chamois cloth for polishing the dog’s coat.
- Matting comb for removing mats from long coated dog breeds.
- Large pin brush is excellent for brushing long haired large dog breeds.
- Small pin brush for brushing long haired small dog breeds.
Grooming for dogs involves taking care of every aspects of a dog’s body; the ears, eyes, nail, feet, teeth and coat.
Caring for the ears
The dog’s ear need to be regularly checked and cleaned up in order to reduce the chances of the dog developing ear related problem; ear grooming for dogs is particularly more important for dog with long and droopy ears.
Ear grooming involves taking care of the outside and inside of the dog’s ear; you will need to check for parasites or fleas on the ear itself and for excessive wax and dirt inside the ear. If you notice foul smell coming from inside the ears you will have to visit your vet.
For a dog with hairs growing inside the ears and with lots of wax, you should first and foremost get a scissor and gently cut off the hairs then place one or two drops of ear wash into the dog’s ears. Hold the dog’s head for a brief moment to allow ear wash penetrate the ear canal then allow some time interval for the ear wax to loosen after which you can then use a cotton ball dipped in ear wash to clean out the melted wax out of the dog’s ears.
Caring for the eyes
Eye is only essential for some dog breeds with protruding eyes like the Pug; cleaning a dog’s eyes could be as simple as using moist cloth to clean out accumulated dirt from the corners of the dog’s eyes and you can apply moisturizing eye drops particularly for dog breeds with dry eyes.
Caring for the nails and feet
Nails and feet grooming for dogs is one of the less tasking aspects of dog grooming but also one that could be easily over looked. Because dog nails curve as it grows, if it is not regularly trimmed it could grow to the point when it will become discomforting for the dog as he walks which may cause the toes to twist.
Nail clippers is about all that is needed for trimming the dog’s nail but care has to be taken to ensure that you do not cut into the veins. However to be on the safe side in case you accidentally cut into the quick (sensitive vein in the dog’s nail), ensure that you have styptic powder ready to staunch the bleeding that may result .You can trim the fur on the dog’s feet with a scissors so as to keep dirt from sticking to the feet.
Caring for the teeth
Like humans dogs can be susceptible to similar dental problems like gum disease and cavity; teeth grooming for dogs is therefore very important for the health of dogs. Dogs will also become vulnerable to bacterial infection as a result of poor dental care; regular teeth brushing would easily save dog owners from unnecessary vet expenses.
Your should brush your dog’s teeth as regularly as three times a week but ideally you should try to brush your dog every day using a double-headed canine toothbrush and paste; avoid using toothpaste meant for humans as it contains fluoride which is poisonous to dogs. Check at your local pet stores for canine toothpaste.
Always brush gently to avoid hurting your dog’s gum and you should always pay attention to the general well being of your dog’s mouth by observation. If you notice bad breath, continuous bleeding gums or growth/bumps in the mouth then you should visit the vet for medication attention.
Grooming dogs with wavy or curly coats
Brushing of dogs’ coat is at the very heart of dog grooming; the largest organ of the dog’s body is the skin over which the coat lies. From short haired to long haired dogs, coat brushing helps to remove dead and dry skin, dead hairs, stimulating the dog’s skin and redistributing the dog’s natural oils for a cleaner and healthier coat.
Unlike short or smooth coated dogs, grooming dogs with curly or wavy coat is not as straight forward. Water breed dogs like retrievers usually have curly coats that are easily noticed if they are not well cared for; proper grooming will help to keep the shaggy, long curls well trimmed, neat and short otherwise the straggly hair could easily latch onto debris, twigs etc.
Putting the scissor through the curls of the curly coated dog to produce a well trimmed and neat coat can be quite demanding; therefore it is advisable for the owner of a curly coated dog to employ the use of electric clippers with which it is much easier to clip down the curls to a length of about 2 inches.
Grooming for dogs with curly or wavy hairs can be easily achieved with the following simple steps:
- With a slicker or pin brush, brush out the coat to get rid of dead hairs and break up matted and tangled hair with a coat rake or a mat comb or you could use a scissor to cut through it.
- In order to be certain that the you have gotten rid of mats and tangles, gently comb the entire length of the dog’s coat and see if you will experience any obstruction in the process. If you do it is most likely a tangle or a mat, you should get rid of it.
- Use a scissor to trim the excess hairs on the dog’s leg and from under the foot and foot pads.
- Now you can bath the dog but do not manually get involved in the drying process and you should neither brush the coat; in order for the curls of the coat to stay intact you should allow it to dry naturally.
Grooming dogs with medium coat
Like their short coated counter parts, the medium coated dogs are pretty easy to groom; even with almost zero trimming or clipping the medium coat will remain largely in its natural state. It does not mat nor tangle and neither does it retain dirt, just as much as it does not require any special attention besides occasional bathing and regular brushing.
Basically all that most medium coated dogs require is to have them brushed as often as possible to get rid of dead hairs but they do not require high level maintenance.
Grooming dogs with long coat
The hairs of long coated dogs are will either lie against the dog’s skin or stand out from its body; most long coated small dog breeds with fluffy hairs fall into the latter. Before you groom the fluffy long coated dogs, you should first bath them and then follow these steps:
- Thoroughly dry up your fluffy long coated dog so that it does not dry into tangles; a blow dryer will make this process easy.
- Now brush the coat thoroughly until the fullness of the fluffiness of the coat can be seen, making sure that it is free of tangles; if you have a metal comb run it through the dog’s coat in order to be certain that it is free of tangles.
- You can now use an electric clipper to trim the dog’s hair including the abdomen and the rear. With a scissor you can trim the dog’s feet and paw pads.
Getting rid of mats
Mats usually occurs in double coated dogs with long, thick and/or curly hairs; it is usually found in certain parts of the dog’s body such as around the anal region beneath the tail, the ears, the lower part of the legs and towards the forelegs beneath the chest.
Hairs that tangled into a knot that is not easily combed or brushed is called a mat but with regular combing and brushing the tangles will not form into mats. If a dog’s coat, particularly long coated breeds, is left unattended to until it accumulate a lot of mats, cutting the mat may result in a coat with visible holes; in such a situation it is better to shave the dog’s coat.
In order to get rid of mat, a comb and a scissor will be just fine but with specialized products and tools you will be able to preserve the coat. The following products will help in getting rid of mats:
- Oil-based coat spray: before removing mats you should spray it with this oil-based spray which will soften and loosen the mat.
- Mat splitter and comb: the splitter makes it easy to cut through mats while the mat comb, which has blades rather than regular teeth, is used for cutting up large mats into smaller parts which can then be individually handled.
- Slicker brush: the perfect brush for brushing out tangles of smaller mats is the slicker brush.
Dog grooming is one of the many responsibilities of owning a dog and it should not be avoided as it could ultimately impact on the health of your dog. Regular grooming will help to support the health of your dog.