Quarantine Dog Grooming Essentials
Now that we’re all spending more time at home and grooming services are not available in some areas, we can give you some guidance on how to groom and style your pup at home. Proper dog grooming is about more than doggie hairstyles or being best in show, it is an essential part of the life of any healthy dog. Dogs, just like people, need regular baths and other physical maintenance. Regular grooming also will keep you in sync with changes in your dog’s health and builds the bond between you and your four-legged friend.
We know that you want your furry friend looking as fine as you do, so keep that coat sleek by regularly brushing it. Brushing is essential for preventing the buildup of dirt in their coat in between baths and reducing shedding in medium and long-haired dogs. Make sure you to use the right type of brush to make brushing comfortable and effective. How you often should brush your dog depends on their fur type:
- Long haired dogs need to be brushed daily to keep their locks luscious and untangled.
- Medium haired dogs should be brushed weekly to prevent matting.
- Short-haired dogs are the most low-maintenance in the hair department and can get by with being brushed every few weeks.
Apart from hygienic reasons, brushing is a great chance to bond with your dog. Talking to them and messaging their coat as you brush will strengthen your relationship, so feel free to brush even your short haired dog daily.
Dog bathing day may not be the highlight of your calendar, but the rewards for their health, and your nose, are definitely worth it. So, how often should you bathe your dog? The answer depends on their breed and lifestyle. Once a month ought to do the trick for most dogs, but up to once a week is a better choice for long haired dogs or those that spend a lot of time outdoors.
When bathing your dog, step one is choosing the right shampoo. Here’s a hint, it’s not yours! Dogs can be sensitive to the chemicals in human shampoo, so you should choose a dog shampoo from your local or online pet store that is suitable for your dog’s fur type, age, and special needs like dryness or fleas. When rinsing, place a hand above their eyes to avoid any irritation from the shampoo.
Bath time is also a chance for you to give your dog a checkup. Whenever giving your dog a bath, give them a once-over for ticks, fleas, and any abnormalities or wounds underneath their coat. Pay special attention to their ears, belly, and collar area, as these areas can be party zones for dirt and critters. Checking for these can alert you to any issues you might not notice while palling around, before they become serious.
Too often, nail trimming can be like a trip to the DMV of the canine world, long, painful, and invoking sudden flashes of rage. Similarly, many pet parents are nervous about hurting their special pooch. However, it doesn’t need to be unpleasant for either party.
Dogs’ nails contain nerves and blood vessels close to the paw, in an area called ‘the quick’. Accidentally cutting into the quick will cause your dog discomfort and bleeding, so have your veterinarian teach you how to trim dog nails correctly. Alternately, you can opt to file down the nails instead of clipping them, if that’s more comfortable for you. If you still quail at the thought of wielding a sharp implement at your pooch, make a date to visit the local dog groomer together and have a professional take care of it. Regardless of who does the trimming, make sure it gets done about once a month. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors might not need it as frequently because of the natural wear on their nails from their environment.
Say what?? Its true dogs have teeth, and those teeth must be brushed. Most veterinarians recommend brushing a dog’s teeth once a day, but if this seems a bit ambitious, 2-3 times a week is enough to keep dogs’ mouths fresh, on your off days dental treats/supplements a good alternative to support dental health.
Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can upset dogs’ stomachs, so be sure to use dog toothpaste. Along with dog toothpaste, you’ll also want to use a special toothbrush or brush strips, which are designed to allow you to get those hard to reach places without hurting your dog. All of these can be purchased at a pet store or online retailer.
If teeth brushing hasn’t been a regular part of your dog’s life, start out by slowly acclimating them to the feel. Start massaging your dog’s muzzle about a week before introducing toothpaste. After this, give them the chance to get used to the taste of toothpaste by dabbing it on their lips a few nights. Next, let them get acquainted with the toothbrush. Don’t force it on them by holding them down or in a headlock.
Now you are ready to start brushing your dog’s teeth! Try to reach as far back as is comfortable for you and your dog in order to get all the bacteria that can hang out in those places.
If you’re a pet parent with a passion for style, then having your dogs a haircut by a professional dog groomer is probably already one of your favorite activities. If you’re a pet parent with a passion for something else, your dog still needs a haircut.
How often should I give my dog a haircut?
Keeping that coat fresh and trimmed is an essential part of dog grooming. Short haired and medium haired dogs, for example, typically require regular maintenance in this department, whereas long haired dogs need more frequent brushing, but can get away with getting a haircut less often. Most groomers recommend a trim in the summer to keep them cool, and skipping it in the winter when they need their fur to protect them against the cold.
Age is also a factor. You should start grooming your puppy at about 10-12 weeks old but let them get used to the basics of grooming first: bath, brushing, and nail trimming; and save the haircut for later. A dog’s first experience being groomed will affect their attitude towards grooming their whole life, so do your best to make it a calm, pleasant experience.
Older dogs, on the other hand, should be given haircuts infrequently. This is for the simple reason that senior pet citizens, like senior citizens of the human variety, have a harder time warming themselves. A thick coat will keep them comfortable and cozy.
What kind of haircut should I give my dog?
The appropriate cut depends on the breed and lifestyle of your four-legged companion. Your local pet groomer will be able to personally consult you on the best style for your dog, but in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of five tried-and-true cuts to consider rocking:
- The All Over. Clean and simple, the All Over cut (or Even Cut) is a basic trim that gets your furry friend in, out, and looking sharp.
- The Cocker Style. Don’t be fooled by the name, this cut looks great on most medium haired breeds. Closely trimmed on the top with a fuller skirt and legs, the Cocker Style will make your pooch’s coat look luscious, but not showy.
- The Lamb Cut. In the words of Agnes Gru, “IT’S SO FLUFFY!!!” Snuggly little dogs and lambs are two of the cutest animals known to humankind, so with a name like the Lamb Cut, this style does not disappoint.
- The Lion Cut. A more daring look, this style is fierce when done well, and hilarious when not. It’s not too hard to imagine what the Lion Cut entails in the body, head, and neck department, but a tip to pull off an eye-catching look is to leave the fur around the ankles long, as well.
- The Schnauzer Cut. Like the Cocker Style, the Schnauzer cut isn’t limited to breed. It’s a look that emphasizes contouring of the fur around the ears, cheeks, eyes, and mouth to give your furry companion a dignified look. If you are a connoisseur of facial hair or feel your heart flutter when faced with an exceptional beard, the Schnauzer Cut will definitely strike your fancy.
Then, of course, there’s what can affectionately be referred to as “doggie style grooming”. These are the kinds of cuts that give you and your Fluffy, Rover, or Maxine the chance to really work your stuff, be it as best of the show, best of the internet, or best of the neighborhood dog park. With all-natural dog shampoos and dyes that won’t damage or irritate canine skin, the only limit is your imagination.
How much does a dog haircut cost?
Like with most things in the human world, how much you pay for your dog’s haircut will depend on where you go and what kind of cut you want. If you need help to find a local dog groomer, websites like Homeguide can help you out. You can usually expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $90 for a standard cut, depending on the size of your dog and length of hair. More involved styling and creative grooming, on the other hand, is a bit more of an investment oftentimes in the upper hundreds.
Alternately, if you want to try your hand at DIY dog grooming, a standard clipper set on Amazon will put you out about $20 to $30. However, if you are not comfortable to properly give your dog a haircut, it’s best to leave this job to the experts to avoid accidental injuries.