Guide to Grooming Your Dog

While proper hygiene habits such as routine bathes are essential for a healthy dog, some breeds do not require frequent trips to the groomer. But, if you want your pooch to look and feel their best, a regular grooming regimen is the way to go.

If you have the time and feel comfortable doing so, in-house grooming is a great way to bond with your dog. We’ll go over all the basics of grooming your dog at home from hair and nail trimming to getting them acquainted with all the aspects of the grooming process.

Trimming Nails

 Clipping a dog's nails.

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is a must if you want your dog’s paws to remain healthy. When their nails get too long, they may adjust their walking stride to compensate for the discomfort. In the long term, this can result in joint pain, misalignment, and even arthritis. A few things to take note of when you’re cutting your dog’s nails:

  • To start, make sure you use clippers developed exclusively for clipping a dog’s nails. Most dog nail clippers come with a safety guard that prevents you from cutting their nails too short.
  • Only clip the hook-like portion of the nail that curves down. You should avoid trimming your dog’s nails too short since this can cut the quick (a blood vessel inside the nail that can be damaged if the nail is clipped too short), resulting in bleeding.
  • You also want to take it slow at first. Most dogs do not like to have their nails trimmed, so trying to rush through it as quickly as possible could just make things worse. They’ll recognize that you’re not trying to hurt them when you take your time and should realize that you’re actually helping them.
  • Finally, if you have any issues whatsoever, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian or local groomer. They’re professionals and will be able to help.

Brushing Hair

If your dog has a longer coat, you should brush their hair on a regular basis to ensure it stays lustrous and full of life. Regularly brushing of your dog’s hair will help to keep it from becoming matted which can not only be uncomfortable for your four-legged friend but can also lead to irritated skin and even infection. While you brush your pooch, check for any plant material or other foreign objects that can cause matting and discomfort. Regularly brushing your dog can also aid in reducing the amount of shedding that all dogs experience.

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