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Tips for grooming your dog at home

Dog Grooming Brentwood, TN, Franklin and Murfreesboro, TN

 

Grooming your dog can be fun for both of you, but it can also be a bit of an adventure. For the special, pampered treatment, we’re here to help with dog grooming in Franklin, TN, Brentwood, TN and Murfreesboro, TN. But, you may also want (or need) to groom your dog at home and that’s totally fine. Here are some tips to make dog grooming at home easier and maybe even fun.

Brushing

Brushing is the first step when grooming your dog. In some breeds, you may need to brush daily.  Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free. And grooming time’s a great time to check for fleas and flea dirt–those little black specks that indicate your pet is playing host to a flea family.

If your dog has a smooth, short coat (like that of a chihuahua, boxer or basset hound), you only need to brush once a week:

  • First, use a rubber brush to loosen dead skin and dirt.
  • Next, use a bristle brush to remove dead hair.
  • Now, polish your low-maintenance pooch with a chamois cloth and she’s ready to shine!

If your dog has short, dense fur that’s prone to matting, like that of a retriever, here’s your weekly routine:

  • Use a slicker brush to remove tangles.
  • Next, catch dead hair with a bristle brush.
  • Don’t forget to comb her tail.

If your dog has a long, luxurious coat, such as that of a Yorkshire terrier, she’ll need daily attention:

  • Every day you’ll need to remove tangles with a slicker brush.
  • Gently tease mats out with a slicker brush.
  • Next, brush her coat with a bristle brush.
  • If you have a long-haired dog with a coat like a collie’s or an Afghan hound’s, follow the steps above, and also be sure to comb through the fur and trim the hair around the hocks and feet.

Bathing

The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog every 3 months or so; your pet may require more frequent baths in the summertime if she spends lots of time with your outdoors. Always use a mild shampoo that’s safe to use on dogs, and follow these easy steps:

  • First, give your pet a good brushing to remove all dead hair and mats.
  • Place a rubber bath mat in the bathtub to provide secure footing, and fill the tub with about 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water.
  • Use a spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not to spray directly in her ears, eyes or nose. If you don’t have a spray hose, a large plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup will do.
  • Gently massage in shampoo, working from head to tail.
  • Thoroughly rinse with a spray hose or pitcher; again, avoid the ears, eyes and nose.
  • Check the ears for any foul odors or excessive debris; if you choose to use a cleansing solution on a cotton ball, take care not to insert it into the ear canal.
  • Dry your pet with a large towel or blow dryer, but carefully monitor the level of heat.

Please note: Some animals seem to think that bathtime is a perfect time to act goofy. Young puppies especially will wiggle and bounce all over the place while you try to brush them, and tend to nip at bathtime. If this sounds like your pet, put a toy that floats in the tub with her so she can focus on the toy rather than on mouthing you.

Nail Clipping

Most people really don’t handle their dog’s feet until they are about to clip the nails and then…watch out! Some animals can get very upset at this totally foreign feeling. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your dog used to having her feet touched before you attempt a nail trim. Rub your hand up and down her leg and then gently press each individual toe-and be sure to give her lots of praise and some food treats as you do this. Every animal is different, but chances are that within a week or two of daily foot massage, your dog will be better able to tolerate a trim. Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by spreading each of your dog’s feet to inspect for dirt and debris.
  • Use sharp, guillotine-type nail clippers to cut off the tip of each nail at a slight angle, just before the point where it begins to curve.
  • Take care to avoid the quick, a vein that runs into the nail. This pink area can be seen through the nail. If your dog has black nails, however, the quick will not be as easily discernible, so be extra careful.
  • If you do accidentally cut into the quick, it may bleed, in which case you can apply some styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Once the nails have been cut, use an emery board to smooth any rough edges.

Dog Grooming in Middle Tennessee

Grooming your dog can be fun, even an adventure for both of you. If you find it too challenging, we’re always here to help with dog grooming and more! Oh, and when you want that just-right, full-service clean, you know where to go for a dog spa and dog grooming in Brentwood, Franklin, TN and Murfreesboro, TN! Of course, we know you need to groom your dog at home, too. So, follow these grooming tips and enjoy your pet.

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