If you have recently added a dog to the family, you may have some questions about caring for it. No doubt you will have been inundated with tips from family members and well-meaning friends on how to look after your new puppy, but they may not have necessarily told you how to go about grooming him. Here are a few tips for you to make a note of when trying to keep your dog in the best condition.
Don’t wait around
Like a small child, introducing your dog to the joys of personal hygiene from an early age is always a good decision to make. Get him used to being brushed and having baths as soon as possible, and try to make the activity a playful one. This will reduce the chances of the dog being scared of these processes and boost the chances of him actually enjoying them. Ensure the puppy is allowed to investigate every tool and implement you plan to use so that he feels comfortable with everything. If he wants to sniff his brush for three minutes, let him get on with it. It’ll make life much easier when he gets bigger and you don’t have to chase him around the house just to give him a quick brush.
Take your time
Once your puppy is aware of everything that’s going to be used to beautify him, remember the mantra, you can’t rush a good job. Plan for any mishaps and take your time with the grooming process. If you come across any knots in the dog’s coat, be careful to get them all out. If you leave knots, they can become matted and the dog may eventually have to have his hair shaved. Don’t yank on them because this may hurt and pay close attention to the reactions of your dog. Praise him if he sits still and allows you to groom him and, if you’re feeling generous, reward him with a treat when you’ve finished grooming.
Keep the insides clean
The orifices of dogs are prone to infections, much the same way as humans are. This means that their ears and teeth will need a good clean. Don’t expect this to be a fun experience because dogs do not like to be held against their will. You can get special dog toothpaste which tastes nicer for them, but having their jaw held open while you scrub isn’t going to be pleasant.
When it comes to cleaning ears, you need to go careful so you don’t cause any damage. It may be worthwhile taking your puppy to the vet or a professional groomer to have his ears cleaned; at least you’ll know he’s in safe hands.
Keep that coat tidy
Your dog’s hair will grow and can look a bit shaggy and scruffy if left for too long. While baths and brushing will help to keep your puppy’s coat looking healthy and clean, he could end up with eyebrows so bushy, he struggles to see properly. Invest in some dog clippers and keep your pup’s coat maintained regularly. It comes down to personal preference on the length of his hair so try a few different lengths until you find one that you think suits best.