As dogs age, their needs change much the same as they do in people. It often means they need to be fed a diet that suits their ages and walks may need to be cut shorter as a dog reaches their senior years, but other needs change too which includes how they need to be groomed because their coats change as time marches on.
A dog’s grooming needs change as they grow from puppies into adulthood and then when they reach their senior years so it's important to know how to keep their coats look good and in great condition throughout their lives. This means adjusting things to suit your pet’s age.
Knowing how to groom your dog is an all-important part of looking after them because it helps keeps their coats and skin in tip-top condition throughout their lives. Below is an explanation of how your dog’s grooming needs change over time starting with when they are cute playful puppies right through to their calmer and quieter senior years.
All newborn puppies have what is called a “puppy coat” which is typically slightly shorter than their adult coat will eventually turn out to be. These first coats tend to be a lot fluffier and quite fine because as yet they don’t have an undercoat. These first coats are designed to keep them warm and to protect puppies from the elements when they finally move out of their whelping boxes into the big wide world.
Although it does depend on the breed, a puppy will start growing their adult coat when they are around 6 months old and the good news is that “puppy coats” are far less likely to matt and tangle which makes it that much easier to keep them looking good. If the truth be known, not much in the way of grooming is needed at this stage of a puppy’s life, but it's essential to get them used to being routinely brushed and to familiarise them with all the tools that will be used on them later on and throughout their lives. It’s a good idea to make it part of their daily routine so they come to enjoy a relaxing and fun experience.
It doesn't matter whether your puppy has a long sleek coat or a smooth one, they need to get used to all the noises and sensations that go hand-in-hand with being groomed. However, the first thing you have to do is invest in the right tools to suit the breed of dog you share your home with and the best people to talk to about which ones would be best is either the breeder or a reputable and qualified professional dog groomer.
Once you have got the right brushes and other tools needed, you should introduce your puppy to them by letting them sniff them before gently introducing them to all the sensations of being brushed and having their coats combed. The first few grooming sessions need to be kept short making sure your puppy likes the experience and to reward them with a high-value treat when they are good. It's crucial to end the grooming session on a positive note!
When puppy is happy about being handled and actually looks forward to a grooming session, the next stage of their education involves taking them along to a professional dog grooming salon so they can have the “works” done to them in a different environment by people they don't know. This is an invaluable part of their socialisation. However, you should only take them along to a professional groomer once they have had all the shots and never before.
When it comes to mature, adult dogs it's really all about keeping their coat's looking good. In short it's about maintaining things so that coats don't get tangled or matted and that all dead hair is removed on a regular basis. With this said, the grooming needs of certain breeds are far greater than others, but the key to successfully keeping a dog's coat looking good no matter what length or texture it happens to be, is to brush them thoroughly on a regular basis.
Higher maintenance coats benefit from regular visits to a professional dog groomer whether you take them along to a salon or have the person visit you in your home. With this said, keeping on top of things means investing in the right sort of tools so it makes life easier for both you and your canine companion. Regularly brushing their coat will keep it tangle-free which in turn reduces the changes of any matted fur.
Although you should never bath an adult dog too often because it would take out all the valuable oils that protect them, you still need to get them used to being bathed because you never know when this may become a necessity whether for medical reasons or the fact they rolled in something disgusting which all dogs love to do.
When dogs reach their senior years, they tend to be less mobile and it's when lumps and bumps start to appear on their bodies. Older dogs really enjoy being pampered more frequently which is understandable especially if they are suffering from arthritis. Brushing their coats can relieve a few aches and pains associated with old age so apart from keeping their coats looking good, it can relieve a lot of discomfort they may be feeling too.
It's also important to pay more attention to certain areas which includes their paws, nails and around their “private parts” making sure everything is kept nicely trimmed and tidy which in turn will keep things more hygienic. Rather than bath an older dog, you should sponge them down with warm water if they get too dirty. You may find their coats get a lot thinner in senior years, which means you have to be a lot gentler when you put a brush or a comb through their coats to avoid hurting them.
As dogs grow older many of their needs change which includes diet and exercise, but their grooming needs also change as time goes on. A puppy’s coat generally needs less brushing, but it’s the perfect time to introduce them to all the tools, sensations and noises associated with being groomed. A mature dog’s coat is more maintenance than anything else, although some breeds need more in the way of coat care than others. In their senior years, regular grooming session will keep a dog’s coat looking good, but at this stage of their lives, an older canine companion loves being pampered and brushing them frequently can help relieve any aches and pains typically associated with old age.