Dog Grooming can be a challenge especially if you’re new to the whole pet thing. When I got my first dog, grooming was a big issue because I didn’t know any Dog grooming Tools or any unorthodox way of grooming a dog.
After much research and years of practice, I can happily call myself a Dog grooming expert. In this article, I will in-depth explain how dog grooming works, certain terms used by professional breeders all over the world as well as recommend a few products I use when grooming my dogs.
What Is Dog Grooming
Dog grooming is the hygienic care and cleaning given to a dog, and it is also a process by which a dog owner, lover or a professional groomer enhances a dog’s physical appearance for a dog show, walk, personal satisfaction or other types of competition.
Who is a Dog Groomer?
A dog groomer is a person who beautifies dogs/pets and earns or makes a living by adorning dogs.
To be good at grooming, one must have the necessary types of equipment and must endeavor to follow a routine to all the steps each time.
Grooming dogs/pets are more than just a bath and brushing — it includes cleaning/brushing the teeth, cleaning the ears and trimming/cutting their nails.
You should also know how to deal with some nasty issues such as matted hair and skunk spray.
Dog grooming is very vital and essential in dog ownership.
Responsible dog owners ought to include grooming dogs as part of their daily or weekly schedule.
This is why every dog owner and lover needs to know the art of grooming dogs.
Should you have a very engaged schedule? Then get the services of a dog groomer.
One known for grooming dogs, and is a master of his art.
Dog grooming can be quite easy if you have the right dog grooming tools and an excellent tutor.
Reasons for Dog grooming
Dog grooming is an essential part of the beautification of a dog; it also enhances the health of a dog, which can improve the quality and longevity of a dog’s life.
How long one groom a dog depends on;
- The breed of the dog
- The age of the dog
- Health status of the dog.
Grooming your dog(s) regularly helps to ensure the dog is healthy and comfortable.
While some breeds of dogs shed, other kinds of dogs such as the poodle do not shed as regularly or profusely; they only require grooming every 2-4 weeks.
The main reasons for daily grooming include:
- To avoid skin issues such as thrush, scratches, and other skin problems
- Aids general cleanliness of the pet/dog
- Helps to check-mate the dog’s health by checking out for cuts on the skin, hot spots, swells, changes in temperament, etc.
- Enhances intimacy, bond and cordial relationship between the dog and owner
- Helps to reduce or prevent infestation load of external parasites on the skin
- Prevents matting or tangles that can cause skin irritation or the entrapment of harmful bacteria in the coat
Dog Grooming Tools and Supplies
The 10 Essential Dog Grooming Tools Every Dog Owners Should Have include;
Nail Trimmer/Nail Grinder
Dog Clipper/Clipper Oil and Clipper Spray
Comb/ Flea Comb
To get the above-listed dog grooming tools and even more check in here: All Dog Grooming Tools
The slicker brush is very versatile and can work for varieties of coat types.
It is used to brush long-haired dogs every day or three times a week.
It helps to keep a long-haired dog’s coat mat free.
The brush also possesses long pins that can penetrate the deepest layer or part of a dog’s coat.
The slicker brush helps to keep mats and tangles away from their coat.
Dog Grooming: Pin/Wire Brush
This can be made up of straight, metal, or wooden bristles on either a metal base or a wooden base. The Pin/Wire brush plays a vital role in styling and maintaining a long coat. The pin brushes help in removing dead hairs and locks, and at the same time, it distributes every natural oil in the dog’s skin. It is always used to detangle and condition spray while brushing the dog’s coat. The Pin brush also helps to keep mats and tangles away from their coat.
Dog Grooming: Nail Trimmer
This tool is used to cut down the nail of a dog.
It is imperative/essential to use the nail trimmer when cutting the nails of your dogs to avoid causing injuries to your dogs.
The trimmer cuts the nail in just one click.
This makes the process of trimming dog nails fast and very easy.
A good nail trimmer should have a non-slip grip, which prevents the dog’s nail from slipping when in the process of cutting it.
To avoid painful injury when trimming your dog’s nail, the non-slip grip should be one of the features of the nail trimmer, and you can look out for when getting one.
Dog Grooming: Nail Scissors
This is specially structured for smaller dogs. While the nail clipper is for adults.
De-matting Brush: This is an essential dog grooming tool that is used for detangling your dog’s coat.
Dog Grooming: Comb
This is an essential dog grooming tool. It is mainly of two types;
- The Large Tooth Comb
- The Fine Tooth Comb
The Large Tooth Comb: This type is specially designed for dogs with long hairs and also dogs with quite a dense undercoat.
This large tooth comb helps in losing tangles and removes the excess of undercoat in a dog.’
The Fine-Tooth Comb: This is specially designed for dogs with short hair and dog with thin undercoats.
Flea Comb: This is also an essential dog grooming tool, especially if your dog has got ticks and fleas on its coat.
The flea comb is built in such a way that it can get fleas out of your dog’s coat.
Unlike the regular dog comb, the flea comb has a finely spaced teeth which enable it to successfully get fleas, their eggs, and other dirt on the dog’s coat trapped and removed.
Dog Grooming: Dog Shampoo:
This is one crucial aspect of dog grooming. Without shampoo, the dog grooming tool cannot be complete. You should bath your dog(s) at least once a week or twice, depending on the environment the dog is located or the activities the dog is into. To bath, a dog owner must possess the shampoo. The dog shampoo is essential in bathing your dog-especially, with using the right product. Some dog shampoo can kill ectoparasites (such as; ticks, flea, etc.) found in the dog’s coat. So be sure that when getting your next dog shampoo, that you get the right one for your dog. Also, ensure that you go for a soap-free shampoo. Also, avoid getting shampoos that are high in coloring and fragrance formula. -ensure that you read the ingredients and ask your veterinarian before buying and type of shampoo for your dog.
Endeavor to get for yourself a hand glove. Put on your hand gloves to keep your hands safe while you shampoo your dog.
There are types of shampoos for dogs. I shall be giving a brief rundown on all kinds.
Some of the types of dog shampoo include:
Tear-Free Shampoo: This is a type of dog shampoo that aids the protection of your dog’s eyes during bath.
Natural Shampoo: This s a chemical-free shampoo that most times include herbs that very rich in nutrients that can be used to improve its effectiveness and enhances the skin and coat of your dog.
Medicated Shampoos: These are specially and specifically formulated prescribed by a veterinarian to help fight
Dog Grooming: Conditioners
This is one of the dog grooming tools that is used to keep the coat of your dog(s) moisturized, shiny, and free from tangles.
Dog Grooming: Nail Clipper
This is a handheld device that makes use of a small rotating machine which is used to grind your dog’s nail.
This dog grooming tool is the alternative to the “Nail Clipper,” especially if your dog hates the nail clipper.
Dog Grooming: Grooming Clipper
This is an essential dog grooming tool that is used to shave the dog’s coat either to a particular style or when the dog’s hair is matted or tangled.
If your dog has got a very thick and long hair, do not use the clipper.
You need to first make use of the scissors to cut it down or shorter; otherwise, the clipper may get jammed eventually get spoilt or won’t work effectively or adequately.
In getting a dog clipper, you should get varieties of clipper blades also.
These clipper blades come in different sizes and are used for various functions.
Some of the dimensions of dog blades include; size 4blades, size5 blades, size 7blades, size 10blades, size 30 blades, and size 40 blades.
Inside these blades are also types example; we have blade size seven and blade size7F although, these two are of the same proportions, they are quite different, and these differences can be seen in the spaces between their teeth.
Dog Grooming: Clipper Oil
This is essential to the clipper. It serves as a lubricant and is used to keep it running.
Dog Grooming: Cool Spray
This also essential. It is used to disinfect the clipper blades. And can also serve as a lubricant to the dog clipper.
You must always spray on the clipper before and aftershave.
Dog Grooming: Hemostats
A hemostat is a scissors-like tool that is used to remove excess hair from your dog’s ear canal.
This is done to ensure that, all possibilities of infections are eliminated.
Dog Grooming: Scissors
This is used in cutting down the hairs of a dog.
Now, the scissors come in different types, but the two widespread types are the straight and curved scissors and the long and short scissors.
I will recommend that you go for a pair of scissors which contains both the straight and curved.
The curve can be used where the straight can’t be used.
Talking about the long and short scissors, going for the shorter one can be ideal, but the disadvantage of using this is that it is not faster than the long scissors, but it is safer.
With the short scissors, you can cut at the desired length, but with the long, you are prone to make mistakes, except you are an expert in cutting down a dog’s coat.
Dog Grooming: Thinning Shears:
This looks like the scissors.
It has a scissors-like shape, but that doesn’t make its scissors.
The shear has well-distinguished attributes, which makes it quite different from the scissors.
The shear has on one side a comb-like structure while the other part of it can be used for cutting.
Just like the scissors, the thinning shear also comes in different shapes and sizes — the curved and the straight; the short and the long.
You’ve got to choose the one that best works for you.
If you are a newbie in Dog grooming, then go for the short and a pair of both the straight and curved thinning shear dog grooming tool for dogs.
Other Supplies include;
Dog Grooming: Stand dryers:
This is used to dry the dog’s coat.
Using a human specified drying for a dog is not recommended.
Using that for a dog may cause severe scalp irritation, skin dryness, or cause sores on the skin of the dog.
Dog Grooming: Bathing
There are lots of shampoos and conditioners formulated for dogs.
Pre-mixing shampoo with water is best for dense and double-coated dogs as it will help to ensure a more evenly distribute the shampoo all around the dog’s coat.
Avoid lather on the dog’s head, as some shampoo products can be irritating if they come in contact with the dog’s eyes.
Additionally, excess water may become suspended in the ear canal, leading to secondary ear infections.
Thoroughly rinse the dog after shampooing, as residual chemicals may become irritating to the skin.
Dogs are not to be bathed regularly; shampooing a coat too often may strip the natural oils of the coat of the dog, causing it to dry out.
Step by step guide on how to bath your dog
Bathing your dog when dirty, is vital in dog care.
we bath our dog to remove an unpleasant odor or accumulated dirt on their coat.
Make the skin and coat clean
Remove loose hairs, scale, mats, and debris and improve the hair coat’s shine.
For medical treatment plan as recommended by their vet- that is, if the dog has got some skin problems.
Where should you bathe your dog?
The places where a dog can be bathed include;
Unlike the bathtub, this has no cost effect. For some dog owners. This is the best when it comes to bathing your dogs. This is the easiest way to bathe them outside in the house and on the ground. But when bathing your dog, it is best you spread a mat, or you bath them on a solid surface where they cannot be easily stained. Using the mat, owners can avoid the dog from stepping on the soil by lifting, particularly medium to large-sized dogs. Outdoor can be a good option for dogs who always try to jump out of the tub when bathing them.
The bathtub is the best option when bathing your dog. Its sand-free, and very comfortable for the dog. The bathtub also well equipped with shower which makes washing very fast and easy if you don’t have a hose, then we can make do with containers or buckets of water and a smaller one for scooping water
Also, it is essential that you add a non-slip mat at the bottom of the bathtub. To avoid letting the dog slip which may cause injury.
Training your dog to enjoy bathing time
Pat and stroke them on different parts of their bodies. Once you notice they’re comfortable with you, try briefly lifting up them. You can also try to extend your hand to softly touching their footpads and nails. Praise and reward them with tasty dog food treats e.g., chicken and any order thing they like. You do this to reward them for calm behavior towards you. As soon as the dog allows general handling, this is a good sign that this dog is likely not to react when you touch them in these areas while bathing.
When getting your dog familiar with bathing, it should be done slowly, and this should come with plenty of praises and tasty dog food treats for being cool during the process. This will help him to become comfortable, relaxed, and associate bathing with positive things. Also, you need to be calm and do not speak harshly to your dog while bathing him.
Get the dog standing on the non-slip mat and give your dog a treat for standing on the mat. When successfully standing, give him a reward and some treats while standing in the tub.
Now that you have successfully gotten your dog into the bathtub and all bathing equipment are set. You begin at once. First, by showing has been positively introduced to bath equipment and the container (if you’re using a bathtub), you can introduce them to having a bath. Remember to be patient.
Most groomers and pet owners prefer to bath the dog before commencing hair removal.
To remove hairs from dogs, we must have the following tools;
Comb/ Flea Comb
Dog Grooming Basics
Trimming the hair
In trimming the coat of a dog, there are areas that are not to be overlooked and are to be given proper considerations and attention. These common body areas include:
Around the eye axis especially, if the hair is starting to obscure vision or cause irritation.
Hair growing around the anus should be appropriately trimmed as they are always known to trap feces.
Hair around the chin and lower jaw should also be properly trimmed as they are also known to trap food particles.
Also, trim areas where there are hair mats and tangles
Removing Shredded Hairs:
Any of the above is excellent for removing hairs from a dog’s coat.
But of all, the slickers brush is very important as it has the capacity to remove shredded hairs from the dogs
How do I groom an aggressive dog?
Use a muzzle. This muzzle will be used to guard the dog against biting. Get the dog on a harness and attach a leash to the harness and get it hooked to something or ask someone to hold it for you while you groom. Associate grooming with good treats to help change the perception of the dog.
Clean the dog’s ear by dusting the inside with medicated ear powder. Also, make use of the hemostat to remove dead hair with it or use your finger.
For de-shedding, treatment, make use of this;
For smooth or short coats, Groom fully every 7-12 weeks. Bath, brush, and blow-dry every 3-5weeks. Depending on the activities of the dog.
For long silk/ woolly coat; Groom entirely over 3-12 weeks. Bath, brush, and blow-dry every 2-4weeks.
For wire/Double coat; Groom fully every 5-12 weeks. Bath, brush, and blow-dry every 3-6 weeks. Also, involve hand stripping where it is needed.
This very essential for maintaining a dog’s health. If a dog’s nails are left to uncut, they will eventually get curved and will begin to pierce into the dog’s skin, thereby inflicting pains and injury on the dog.
Not trimming the nails of your dog will make walking become very painful for your dog.
This is because, as the nail grows and will keep piercing into the dog’s skin.
If this injury isn’t treated, it can lead to infection as the injury will remain open and a passage for bacteria.
Nail trimming can be done with a;
Handheld rotary tools are often used to smoothen the sharp edges of a dog’s nail, usually caused by nail clippers.
Make sure you go for a clipper or trimmer with a non-slip structure or design.
To trim your dog’s nail, the following should be done.
Hold the dog’s foot firmly and steadily.
Snip off a small part of the end of each of the do’s toenail below the quick. Also, clip the dewclaws.
Gently hold your dog’s head so that the ear is exposed.
Apply the otic solution.
Choose a product made especially for dogs and recommended by a qualified veterinarian.
Using a sterile gauze pad or sponge, gently wipe out the excess solution.
Use the hemostat to remove excess hair from the dog’s ear.
To ensuring your dog’s ears are healthy, it is essential that you know the signs of an ear problem in your dog. These sign(s) can include;
Frequent head shaking
Persistent scratching of the ear
Continually rubbing the ears along the floor or furniture
Redness or swelling around the ear opening or other sensitivity areas around the head.
You perceive an unpleasant odor from the ear.
How to Remove Matted Dog Hair
Having a matted hair can be annoying and at the same time, painful for your dog, so, to prevent your dog from having matted hair, ensure that you brush your dog’s coat regularly. But in case you’ve already had your dog’s coat matted. The following tips should be followed to enable you to remove snarled, tangled, matted dog hair:
If you notice that the mat isn’t too bad, spray the affected area with a detangler solution and use a comb to loosen the mat free slowly. To loosen it, start from the area close to the mats that are not affected, and slowly untangle the hair without pulling.
Now, If the mat refuses to come out with a comb, try with using the mat rake to cut through the mat. Be careful whenever you make use of this tool because it has sharp tines on it. Be careful not to cause more injury to your dog by cutting or scratching her with the rake.
If the mat rake isn’t doing the job, try using a mat splitter. Splitting the mat into horizontal or vertical strips are an excellent way to begin and then use either a mat rake or a comb to tackle the smaller pieces individually. – Be very careful and gentle when using this tool as this tool has in it a sharp blade that can effortlessly slice your dog’s skin.
If the mat appears to be in its worst shape it could or can ever be, then it’s time to make use of an electric clipper to slowly shave it away and trim the other parts/area of the dog’s coat uniformly.
Get some dog toothpaste. Paste some on the brush of the dog and allow your dog to lick it off.
Paste some on your dog’s lips and gently rub the brush against your dog’s teeth and gums for a few seconds.
After a successful tooth brushing, give your dog a treat, even if he only allowed you to brush his teeth for only a few seconds.
Provide safe chew items for your dog daily, to keep their teeth and gum healthy. Provide them with chew toys or dental chews.
Monitor your dog’s eye health.
Healthy eyes generally appear clear and bright.
It’s helpful that dog owners know the signs of an eye problem such as eye discharge and redness. Squinting or holding an eye also closed often signals an eye problem.
If you notice any usual changes in your dog’s eye, do not hesitate to call the attention of a veterinarian. Eye problems are known to worsen rapidly.
Hair around the eye should be trimmed especially those obscuring vision. Blunt-nosed safety scissors should be used to avoid accidents.
Always point them away from the eyes of the dogs and take extra care not to touch the eyes.
An Efficient Routine for Dog Grooming
These are the fundamental steps to give your dog a great look. This dog-grooming routine can be done monthly. (You might need to do it even more often, depending on the activity of the breed and type of hair your dog possess.) I grooming, we shall be looking into a lot of conditions; —activities such as brushing your dog’s teeth — should be taken seriously. It ought to be done at least a minimum of once a week, but other forms of grooming such as bathing, trimming, and clipping may be done less frequently. Always do this to keep your dog’s coat looking good without tangles.
Cut the nails with a scissors-type nail clipper or nail trimmer. Ensure that while removing it, you remove only the tip of the nail. If your dog isn’t okay with that, you make use of the nail grinder. Ensure you are very careful while making use of the nail trimmer to avoid inflicting injuries on your dog.
Brush the dog’s coat thoroughly using the slicker brush. The use of slicker brush cannot be overemphasized, you can use that to remove mats, dead hair, and shredded hair on the dog’s coat.
After making use of the clipper to cut the coat of the dog-preferably blade size#10. Trim to desirable height till all tangles are evacuated and or removed.