3 Simple ways to groom your dog at home
Regular grooming will help to keep your dog’s skin, coat and nails healthy, and they’ll look and smell better, too. If you can’t get the groomers, or want to save some money, you can get your furry friend looking pristine at home with a basic grooming routine. Hayley Norris from pet supplies retailer Millbry Hill, shares her tips to get your canine companion in top condition.
1. Brush and comb your dog’s coat properly
Brushing your furry friend’s coat is a great bonding activity, and can be extremely soothing for both you and your pet. Not only is a pampering session relaxing: regular brushing will keep your pet’s coat in good condition, and can also help cut down on the amount of hair they shed on your carpets and furniture, too.
Exactly how often you should brush your dog’s coat will depend on the breed of your dog, the length of their coat, and how fond they are of getting mucky during walks. If your dog has longer fur, you should probably be grooming them at least once a day, preferably after their walk. Dog breeds with shorter, denser fur can probably get away with being brushed once a week. If you’re not sure which brush is suitable for your breed of dog, check out this guide to different dog brushes and their uses on Top Dog Tips.
As you brush your canine companion, take a look at the condition of their skin: is it sore or irritated, or dry and flaky? Is there excessive dandruff? These symptoms could indicate an underlying problem with your pet’s skin, so if you notice any, be sure to take your pooch to the vet to get them checked over. Be careful not to overbrush their fur, as this could irritate their skin: if you notice your dog’s skin turning red during a detangling session, then it’s time to put the brush down.
2. Bathe them regularly with a dog shampoo
In addition to regular brushing, you should bathe your dog about once a month. You’ll need to use a mild shampoo that’s suitable for your dog’s skin and coat type, so if you’re unsure about this, seek advice about this from your vet. You should also wear an old outfit that you won’t mind getting wet, as cleaning your furry friend can sometimes result in getting a little messy yourself.
Place your pet in a few inches of warm water, and if you have a shower attachment, use this to wash their upper body. Thoroughly saturate their coat with water, and gently scrub the fur to loosen any dirt before applying your specialist shampoo and using your fingers to form a thick lather. Avoid shampooing your dog’s head and face, as this can cause irritation to their eyes and ears; instead, use a damp cloth to gently wipe away any dirt.
Be especially careful to rinse away all the shampoo, as leaving residue can inflame and dry your dog’s delicate skin. When you’ve finished bathing your pooch, dry them off with an old towel. Remember to put a towel down on the bathroom floor to help dry their feet, as this will stop them from tracking soggy paw prints through your house.
3. Trim overgrown nails
If left untrimmed, your dog’s nails can curl underneath their paw pads or twist their toes in way that may damage their joints. If you can hear your furry friend scratching the ground when they move, then this means it’s time for a trim.
To make the job easier, use a pair of scissor-style clippers suited to the size and thickness of your dog’s nails. You want to avoid cutting down to the quick, which is the pink point where the nail meets the paw. On some dog breeds, this will be dark in colour and difficult to spot, so be careful not to cut their nails too short. If you still need more guidance, you can find more advice in this guide to grooming your dog’s nails on PetMD.
Remember that for many dogs, trimming can be a stressful experience, so offer plenty of reassurance and treats, and let them take a break if you think they’re becoming overwhelmed.
Following a simple grooming routine is a great way to keep your dog happy, healthy and comfortable. Spending some time pampering your pooch is a great bonding activity, and it will keep them looking their best, too.
Millbry Hill have 4 stores all of which are dog friendly, to find your nearest take a look at their listings: Millbry Hill