Basic Dog Grooming Care
In addition to feeding your dog a nutritious diet and treating his medical and physical needs, you should be certain that you are taking care of some of the basic grooming needs that all dogs have. A dog that is well-groomed and has his basic hygiene needs taken care of will in a much better position to fight off potential infections.
Most of the grooming care needs for your dog can be taken care of at home; however, you may wish to take your dog to a professional groomer in order to ensure that he is groomed from shiny wet nose to the tip of his happy wagging tail.
Washing Your Dog
A bath can help to clean your dog and also loosen his undercoat so it can be easily brushed out. However, as a general rule of thumb, your dog doesn’t need to be bathed very frequently unless he gets overly muddy or rolls in something less than pleasant. Bathing him too often can strip his coat of the natural oils it has in it and leave him with both dry skin and a dry coat. Some dogs require frequent baths because someone in the household is allergic to them, and some dogs require more frequent baths because they have skin conditions that can benefit from the baths. If you are unsure as to how often you should bath your dog, consider talking to your vet for suggestions as well as for recommendations for shampoos and conditioners
Brushing Your Dog
It should go without saying that most dogs really love being brushed. Not only is brushing them a great way to spend time bonding, but it is also a great way to pull out the thick winter undercoat during the spring and summer months. Frequent brushing can help to keep your dog’s coat looking healthy while also helping to reduce the shedding that is often the bane of dog lovers.
Dogs with long floppy ears, like labradors or spaniels are very prone to developing ear infections. With this in mind, you should consider rinsing out their ears at least once a month with an ear rinse that your vet can provide you with. Alternatively, you can use a 50/50 vinegar/water solution to rinse out their ears. For dogs that have severe ear infections you may need to ensure that the infection has cleared up before you attempt to treat and clean their ears.
Dogs that do not receive adequate dental care are much more prone to developing cavities, mouth infections, and even blood infections. While your veterinarian can certainly perform dental procedures to remove build-up from your dog’s teeth, offering your dog a diet that includes plenty of raw bones can help to ensure that his teeth remain clean and healthy.
Anal Gland Expression
Your dog’s anal glands might not be your favorite part of his body, however if you don’t take care to ensure that his anal glands are expressed, you may just find that he is in extreme discomfort or has even developed an infection. The liquid excreted from the anal glands has a very foul smell to humans so if you are less than inspired to clean them yourself you may want to consider recruiting the assistance of your vet’s technicians or of a professional groomer.
Taking care of these most basic grooming requirements for your dog will help you to ensure that your dog looks good, smells good, and best of all feels good! A healthy and happy dog is always the goal!