Dog Grooming Basics

Grooming is an essential factor in maintaining well-being and healthiness of a dog and can improve their lifespan. All Breeds require regular grooming, how much depends on the breed, age, or health of the pet. Regular grooming helps to ensure the dog is healthy and comfortable. It is important to note that while many dogs shed, others (such as the Poodle), do not shed (moult) as profusely.

The main reasons for daily grooming include:

  • decreased chance of various health problems, such as thrush, scratches, and other skin problems.

  • general cleanliness of the dog

  • monitoring of the dog's health by checking for cuts, heat, swelling, or changes in temperament, all of which could be indicative of illness

  • mental well-being (positive, dedicated attention has been shown to improve this)

  • reducing external parasites on skin

  • and of course, helping to restore the dog’s natural beauty

 

Bathing

Dogs are washed with a hand-held shower. Often, one wash will not make a dog truly clean. A second wash is sometimes required to ensure the entire body has been cleaned. Dogs are washed with warm, not hot water, in order to make it a more enjoyable experience. Dogs with a heavy or matted coat are never washed without first being completely brushed out or clipped of any matted hair, to ensure that the coat can be correctly and safely cleaned.

I do not recommend frequent washing by owners (depending upon the breed of course) as most dogs do not require frequent bathing; shampooing a coat too often can strip the coat of its natural oils, causing it to dry out.

 

Hair Trimming

The coats of many breeds require trimming, cutting, or other attention. Styles vary by breed and discipline. While some hair removal has its origins in practical purposes, much is based on the taste of the owner, whether or not the dog will be shown, and what activities the dog does.

Some breeds of dog, such as the Lhasa Apso, do not shed fur but have hair that grows constantly. As such, the fur around the legs and belly can get very long and become matted and the hair around the eyes can impair the dog's vision. In such circumstances, hair trimming should be performed to keep the eyes clear of fur and keep the main body free of knots. However, some owners prefer breeds, to have long, flowing coats that reach down to the floor and will undertake a greater brushing regime than is required for a dog that has its fur kept shorter.

Many dog owners believe that the shedding (moulting) of their dog has to be accepted, the constant cleaning of the home to remove hair is just a part of owning the particular breed. While the actual shedding is natural to some breed of dog, it is essential to perform stripping to help to keep your home free of dog hair. Stripping or hand-stripping is the process of pulling the dead hair out of the coat of a non-shedding dog, by using a stripping comb. A hard, wiry coat has a cycle where it starts growing and then sheds as it reaches maximum length. Hand-stripping coordinates the shedding and makes room for a new coat to grow. Stripping is the proper grooming method for most terriers, spaniels, and many other breeds. I remove this with a stripping comb, removing the loose, course hair, to reveal the dense, soft coat underneath.

 

Nail trimming

Nail trimming is essential for maintaining good health. If a dog's nails are allowed to grow, they will curl over into a spiral shape; walking will become increasingly painful to the dog as they grow, putting pressure on the dog’s toes (a bit like walking in shoes that are too small). Uncut nails may curl so far that they pierce the paw pad, leading to infection and debilitating pain. Dog’s nails should be checked regularly, and clipped as needed. I perform a nail check and clip with all dogs brought to me for grooming.

So, as you have read my grooming basics page, and clearly have an interest and love for your dog, why not bring your dog to me. In the Stoke on Trent area, I have countless happy dogs and owners who regularly bring their dog for grooming or home boarding. 

Click this link for my dog grooming prices page.

Staffordshire Dog Grooming

1092 Leek Road,

Bucknall,

Stoke on Trent

ST1 6AS

Tel: 01782 766786

Email: trisha.tweedie@hotmail.co.uk

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