Dogs are glorious creatures and the best part about sharing a home with one is that you can be sure they will keep you fitter and healthier with all the walks you have to take them on. Dogs love one-on-one attention which they get when they are on the end of a lead. However, the other time they get you all to themselves is when you stand them on a table and give them a good once over with a brush.
The earlier a puppy's education in the grooming department begins, the easier it will be to brush them and check them over throughout their lives, but more importantly the more relaxed they will be about it enjoying the experience and the attention you give them. No matter what breed you eventually decide to get, whether their coats are long or short, coarse or smooth, your new canine companion would need to be brushed regularly with the best part being that grooming sessions help form a strong bond between you and your new companion.
It goes without saying that everything will be a bit new to you which means avoiding the pitfalls that many new dog owners make when it comes to grooming their pets. If you are not sure what you should be doing, you can end up not only stressing yourself out, but your pooch too. The last thing you want to do is make the experience one that your dog did not enjoy because it will only make it that much harder the next time you try to groom them.
Lack of training can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to grooming a dog which is why you should do as much research as you can on how to go about brushing their coats properly. New puppies need to get used to being brushed and having their faces, ears, tails and paws played with from day one especially if their coats are high maintenance. It's also a good idea to take them along to a grooming parlour once they've had all their shots to get them used to being handled and brushed in a different environment by people they don’t know.
If you decide to offer an older rescue dog a new and loving home, your approach to grooming them needs to be calm and gentle all the while rewarding them for being good when you brush them. With time and the right sort of encouragement even a dog that refuses to be groomed will eventually come around and enjoy the experience. Making grooming sessions shorter will also help, but it should never be the dog that decides when the session is over.
Dogs with longer coats are more at risk of developing tangles, but when they get wet it can lead to nasty and painful matting which often goes unnoticed until you try to put a brush through their coats. The best way to avoid this happening is to make sure you remove as much dead hair as possible during a grooming session and in particular when dogs shed the most which is during the spring and autumn.
If you need to bath your dog, it's best to brush them first so that loose hair is removed before you get their coats wet. It’s the most effective way of preventing any tight mats or tangles from forming. The same is true if you take your out for a walk when it's raining or snowing. A quick brush over before going out will avoid any painful grooming sessions at later on. It's also a good idea to give your dog a brush when they have dried off to get rid of any dead hair which did not come loose when your dog got wet.
It's never a good idea not to do a thorough job when grooming your dog. It's all very well brushing their backs and around their faces, but other areas of your pet's body need just as much attention, if not more. Ears, tails, bellies and backsides as well as legs and paws are all important areas that need to be regularly brushed and it's just as essential for short-coated dogs as long haired ones because brushing promotes much healthier skin and oil production which protects their skin and coat.
Part of your grooming routine has to include checking inside your pet's ears and inside their mouths to make sure there are no dental issues developing. If you establish there's a problem, the earlier a condition is treated, the sooner your dog would be made to feel more comfortable and it prevents having to cope with any hefty vet bills should a condition get any worse.
It's also important to set down certain rules when it comes to grooming and although it's nice to make it as much fun for your dog as possible, you need to set the parameters so that when you do brush your pet, they don't think it's all about playtime which can make your life and a professional groomer’s life very difficult.
If you take your dog along to a professional groomer, they will have to deal with all sorts of things which vibrate, shake and which blow air at them. You dog will have to put up with being sprayed too which means you need to teach them not to react when these things happen because they think it’s playtime.
You should never tease a dog when you touch their feet or ears because it makes things much harder when anything needs to be done to them which includes having their nails clipped or their ears checked for mites and then treated. It's far better to establish a good experience when they have their feet and ears touched so that when and if they ever need to be treated, your dog will accept it as being perfectly normal.
You may be forgiven for not wanting to brush your dog so much over the winter months after all they need their thick coats to keep them warmer when they weather turns really cold. However, this is a common mistake that many people make because by not grooming a dog during the wintertime can do more harm than good.
The colder months are the time when a dog's coat tends to get more tangled and if left for too long, you might find you have to clip or shave their coat to get rid of all the tangles because trying to brush them out would just be too painful for your dog to have to put up with. Grooming sessions have to be an all year-round thing and not just something you need to do when your pet is shedding.