7 grooming tips for you to keep your pet looking great. Dog Grooming by Janice also offers these “Touch up Session” services in between groomings.
Regular grooming is important for the health of your pet’s skin and coat. Regular brushing has a two-fold benefit: obviously it removes tangles, dirt and foliage pick up from your romps together, but brushing also helps to distribute the natural oils in your pet’s coat that keep it healthy and shiny.
1. The type of brush to use depends on the type and length of coat that your pet has.
Short haired dogs, especially the dense coated ones get the most benefit from the FURminator. This is a fantastic tool for getting rid of that undercoat!
For long haired dogs use a slicker brush (I find that the curved ones are the most comfortable to use), and a comb. There are lots of types of combs out there, so here’s some tips for choosing the right one:
If your pet has fine hair, such as a Yorkie, or even a Schnauzer, use a fine toothed comb as a lot of tangles slip right through the wide toothed combs and be missed. Dogs with denser coats, such as the Poodle and Bichon, should get a medium toothed comb. See if you can invest in a steel comb, as the plastic ones will bend easily and tend to snag up your dogs coat, especially if your dog has a thick coat!
2. Sometimes owners who want to keep their pets brushed only groom the top of the dog and often miss areas when brushing out their pet. Here is a list of some of the spots you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss!
- Ears. Behind the ears especially.
- Under the collar
- Paws, including between the toes (This area can be touchy, so be gentle!)
- Elbows and hocks
- The insides of the legs
- Chest area
- Base of tail
If you find that some areas have gotten matted, they may need to be clipped out. But don’t worry, the hair will re-grow, just keep brushing it as the hair grows.
3. Brushing your pet is a great time to check for those dreaded pests: fleas and ticks. Though you may not see those fast little fleas, watch out for the tell-tale flea dirt: tiny black specks usually in clusters. Found especially at the base of the tale, the armpits, belly and groin area. To tell the difference between flea dirt and good ol’ soil, put some on a sheet of paper, and put a few drops of water on it. If it turns red, it’s flea dirt. This is because the fleas have been sucking blood.
4. Watch those wrinkles! Wrinkled breeds like the Shar Pei, Mastiff and Pug. Those cute creases can harbor dirt, and bacteria, which, if left, can lead to hair-loss, red inflamed skin and infection. Clean out the folds with a damp cotton ball, and always dry the area thoroughly.
5. “All the better to hear you with, my dear!” Long, droopy ears should be checked weekly for wax build up. Use a damp cotton ball to remove any wax. If the wax smells bad, if there’s a lot of it, or if it’s yellow, that may indicate an ear infection.
6. Swimming in the lake or lounging in a kiddie pool is a great way to cool off in the summer heat, but if your dog has a long coat, you’ll need to be extra careful to watch for mats. The more often a mat gets wet, the harder it becomes to brush out. Some dogs can develop hotspots from being damp a lot. Thick coated dogs take longer to dry off and may be more prone to developing hotspots. Keeping them well brushed and free from dead undercoat will help them to dry faster as well as keeping them cooler.
7. And last, but maybe most importantly, remember to always make grooming enjoyable! Keep it short and sweet! Use lots of praise and some treats. You can get all-natural, human grade, dog treats here, or you can make your own.