Regardless of what breed of dog you own, it will need grooming to some extent because grooming helps keep your dog healthy and happy. Although some breeds do require more grooming than others, you could choose to learn how to groom them properly, or you could pay someone else to do it for you. However, grooming can cause anxiety and stress both on your part and your pet’s part too. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to make them feel more comfortable with the grooming process, so let’s get into it.
Grooming & Your Dog’s Health
Making sure that your dog is properly groomed obviously helps to maintain your dog’s coat. During the grooming process, the dirt, moulted fur, and dandruff are all removed from the coat. In addition, the hair follicles are stimulated, which encourages the production of oils too.
In addition to the coat, grooming also includes checking that the ears are clean and, removing any wax build-up, trimming the nails to make sure your dog can move about comfortably. During the grooming process, you can also ask the groomer to check your dog’s anal glands, now this won’t need doing during every grooming, but if you notice your dog licking its butt, then it’s likely that it will need doing; you can learn more about this from Native Pet.
How Often Should My Dog Be Groomed?
This is a difficult question to answer because some breeds need grooming more often than others. Ideally, you should try to introduce grooming fairly early to your pup so that they can get used to it; waiting too long can make your dog more frightened of the equipment used, making the process scarier for them. In terms of the full grooming experience: washing, drying, and trimming, this will only need to be done every couple of months when your dog starts to shed or if the weather changes.
Obviously, you will need to bathe your dog at home; washing your dog removes dirt, so you should only bathe your dog when they need it, some people choose to do this once a week, but you could do this less frequently. Depending on the length of your dog’s coat and the likelihood of tangles, you should also brush them semi-regularly. Some people brush their dogs following a bath or when the weather changes and the old coat needs stripping.
Should I Learn to Groom My Dog or Pay a Professional?
When it comes to grooming your dog, you have two choices, you can either do it yourself, or you can pay a professional. For the most part, grooming your dog is pretty straightforward, which is why a lot of people tend to do most of the work themselves. Washing and brushing your dog is quite easy. The stakes are low, and it is almost impossible to do wrong.
However, trimming your dog’s fur is much more hazardous. You could potentially injure your dog or yourself. You could also simply give them a terrible haircut. You can learn to trim your dog’s fur using online resources if you so choose. Remember to get the right equipment because it will make the task a lot easier. Go slowly, and make sure to restrain your dog as necessary. Clipping your dog’s claws or expressing its anal glands yourself are perhaps the most dangerous aspects of a groom. Your dog’s nails have a quick in them, which is essentially a vein meaning that your dogs have blood flow to a certain point in their nails;
If you hit that when clipping their claws, it obviously hurts them, but it can also be dangerous because they can lose a lot of blood and leave themselves open to infection. Anal glands are expressed manually, which means a finger up the butt, which is an invasive procedure, so if you don’t know what you are doing, you shouldn’t try.
Making Your Dog Feel More Comfortable at the Groomers
A lot of dogs experience anxiety and even fear when going to the groomers. This is in part because your dog doesn’t like to be separated from you. They might also dislike the process of being groomed in and of itself. Luckily, you can help to make your dog feel more comfortable. First, start with their separation anxiety. Then, if you can, you should get your dog to feel more comfortable with your absence. This could be done by leaving them alone for a few hours or dropping them off with a trusted friend or family member to look after them.
The anxiety around the grooming process itself is best remedied by working on desensitizing your dog to the experience. This can be done by washing and brushing your dog regularly. Think about the groomer’s tools and try to get your dog used to them. For example, the hair dryer can be scary so work on that or the noise of the clippers.
Grooming is an integral part of caring for your dog, and as a responsible dog owner, it has to be done. If you are willing to learn, then it is definitely something that you can do yourself. However, because it can be a more involved process that could be dangerous for yourself or your pet, it might be worth simply finding a good groomer you can trust.