Dog Grooming Tips
No matter their breed, regular grooming is important for dogs, follow the tips below to keep your best friend looking smart, healthy and happy.
- Regular grooming will help to keep your dog’s coat shiny, their skin clean and healthy and prevent tangles from turning into matted clumps of hair
- Badly matted hair can cause pain and lead to self trauma and skin infections – foreign bodies like grass seeds can be hidden inside mats and with movement can burrow into the skin to cause an abscess
- Grooming can be special one-on-one time with your dog and gives you the opportunity to be more aware of your dog’s skin so you’re more likely to notice any irregularities and parasites
- Keeping hair around the eyes trimmed short prevents overgrown hair from blocking vision and rubbing against and damaging their eyes
- Trimming the hair inside the ears can improve air movement and help to prevent ear infections – this is best done by an experienced groomer or at your vet clinic
- Keeping nails trimmed allows normal weight bearing on the feet and prevents nails from painfully growing back into the skin or pad of the toes
- Vet visits will become more relaxed as your dog becomes accustomed to grooming – especially when being handled around the face, feet and tail
DIY or professional grooming? It’s easy to accidentally cut your pet with scissors or clippers and blades can heat up quickly causing burns and clipper rash that may end up needing a vet visit. Always take care or use a professional grooming service.
What grooming does my dog need?
Not every dog needs every type of grooming but all dogs – even those with short, low maintenance coats – will need, brushing, bathing and nail trimming. Dogs with longer coasts may also need clipping and hair trimming.
Training puppies to enjoy grooming sessions
- Spread Vegemite™ on a washable surface and allow them to lick it off while you brush or wash them
- Leave your pup’s collar on in the bath to give you something to hold to keep their head up if they slip
- Take things slowly and give lots of rewards so your pup will be looking forward to their next pamper session
Examining your dog’s skin
The grooming process is a good time to take a closer look at your dog’s skin and ears.
Allergic skin diseases are common in dogs, causing itchiness and making them scratch, chew or lick their skin.
External parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice and mites can cause discomfort or itchiness and even transfer disease or other parasites like the tapeworm.
Start by running your fingers through your dog’s coat, feeling their skin for anything unusual. You can investigate further by parting the coat to examine their skin more closely for signs such as sores, redness, lumps or bumps, rashes, bald spots and parasites.
Examining your dog’s ears
When checking your dog’s skin, it’s a good idea to also have a look inside their ears. Ear infections can be painful, so if you notice any of the following changes or behaviours take your dog to your vet for a check-up:
- The inside of their ears appear moist or reddened
- The ears contain more or different discharge than usual (a little wax is normal)
- They react when you examine their ears when usually they’d tolerate it
- Their ears smell or your dog shakes their head or scratches at their ears
To reduce the risk of ear infections, avoid getting water into your dog’s ears whilst bathing – this can create a moist environment for bacterial and fungal infections to take hold.
Diet and Nutrition
- A complete and balanced diet is central to optimum skin and coat health – some commercial diets developed by veterinarians and animal nutritionists are specifically designed for skin and coat health
- Vitamin, mineral, amino acid and fatty acid supplements are available but should not be added to the diet unless recommended by your veterinarian
- It’s important to consult your vet about homemade diets to ensure they’re complete and balanced – an imbalanced diet can be detrimental to your pet’s health
Speak to your veterinarian about what diet is best for the life stage of your dog and diets available to support a healthy skin and coat.
Bathing your dog
Most dogs with healthy skin only need to be bathed every couple of months and won’t smell.
If your dog smells, but hasn’t rolled in something awful, then you should discuss this with your vet, as there may be an underlying reason such as dental disease or a skin infection.
- Dog skin has a different pH level to our own so never use baby or human shampoo – choose a soap-free shampoo specially formulated for dogs which will be gentle on their skin
- Pour warm water over your dog until they are thoroughly wet and then gently massage the shampoo into their coat – avoid their eyes, mouth and the insides of their ears
- Rinse the shampoo off with warm water then let them shake and air dry outside (if the weather is warm) – in cooler weather dry them faster by gently towel-drying or blow-drying them on the coolest setting
- Always praise your dog when they’re calm and try to make bath time a positive experience – they’ll be more likely to cooperate in the future if they enjoy it
Bathing too often isn’t good for your dog’s skin – it can strip the natural oils from their coat and dry out their skin.
If you have a question on anything from parasites to pet health, ask us we don't bite!
Call The Advantage Pet Care Line on 1800 678 368.
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Advantage is the fastest relief from fleas for dogs and not only kills fleas fast, it acts on multiple flea stages to rid infestations too.Treats
Protect your pet from nasty Australian parasites.