For most dog owners, grooming is about making their pooch look good. Although this is true, grooming should also be about maintaining the physical health of the dog. In a general sense, grooming helps you spot symptoms of a potential illness so it can be treated right away. Regular grooming is also beneficial for humans interacting with the dog as it minimizes allergens like dander and shed hair. Using a reliable dog grooming kit, performing the job at home will be easier. Still be mindful of the varying approach depending on the dog breed that you have.
Grooming your dog can be a challenge especially if he loathes restraint. Nail clipping, brushing, and ear cleaning can be a pain to do if your doggo keeps on shoving your hand away. But this could have been dealt with when the furry ball is still a puppy. Soon enough, your pooch will get used to the routine and the tools on your dog grooming set.
Importance of dog grooming
Dog grooming is important for one thing: health check. Aside from snipping that extra length of coat, you should also keep an eye on lacerations, molting, and dry skin. All these can be telltale signs of an undiagnosed condition. Many dogs are saved by their owner’s keen eye.
Your dog goes to places you never knew about. He will dig under the fence, roll on the mud, or stomp on dirty puddles. All these make their coat soiled and dirty. You don’t want to cuddle with a filthy doggo, right? Keeping them clean also means keeping them away from illnesses. Use a reliable dog grooming kit and you’re golden.
No more matting
Also, you get to prevent matting and tangles when you groom your doggo on a regular basis. Coat matting is very uncomfortable for dogs and it can cause wounds, poor blood circulation, and movement problems if left untreated. Daily brushing keeps matting at bay, but make sure that you’re not grazing your dog’s skin too much.
Aside from this, cutting their nails short will prevent accidental scratching during playtime or when meeting other people. Keeping those spikes short is also an excellent hack to spare your sofa from being your pooch’s “scratch pad”. You can get a nail clipper so you no longer have to go to the groomer just to get it cut. A complete dog grooming set will be an excellent investment too.
Getting used to restraint
Dogs, especially puppies, aren’t used to the human touch. By grooming the dog at home, you can help him adjust to the new kind of restraint. The first few sessions would be messy, but they will soon realize that it’s part of their routines.
At some point in a doggo’s life, he will contract ticks and fleas. Grooming can help spot these pesky parasites that will damage the coat of your dog and cause wounds. If you saw little grain-like bugs, you should go to your vet or groomer right away. Ticks and fleas can also wreak havoc on your home aside from compromising your pooch’s health.
Responsible pet owning
Keeping your dog clean and healthy is mandated by the law. If you neglect your pooch, you can be sued by the authorities. Animal welfare is one of the most important reasons for regular grooming.
Coat types and how to groom it
Every dog type has unique grooming needs. Since dogs vary in coat thickness, grooming methods are different too. It’s important that you identify what type of coat your dog has before you even start grooming. For a quick reference, here are the five common coat types and how you should deal with it.
1. Double coat
This is coat has two hair layers and requires more TLC than the usual single coat breeds. Some of the double coated breeds are Alaskan Husky, Finnish Spitz, Chow Chow, and Akita. For long-haired, double coated dogs, you should hand-comb it in parts before using a slicker brush. Once the coat has fewer tangles, use a wide-tooth comb and glide it parallel to the doggo’s body. Short-haired ones can be combed using a regular dog brush. For both sub-types, always brush outward from the skin.
2. Smooth coat
Basset Hound, Beagle, and Great Dane are just some of the breeds with smooth coats. Their fur is relatively short and doesn’t require rigorous brushing. Bathing them using dog shampoo and conditioner will be enough to keep them clean. You can get a humble dog grooming set for this dog breed. To manage their coat, use a bristle dog brush. So far, smooth coats are the least demanding to groom of all the types listed here.
3. Curly coat
Do you have a Bichon Frise or a Poodle? These two breeds have the evident curly coat. The thick curls grow close their skin which makes combing a bit tricky. You should use a smooth slicker brush regardless if your doggo is sporting a puppy clip or a modified show clip. Always brush against the direction where the fur is growing to make it fluff. That way, you won’t ruin the natural kink of the coat. I suggest that you purchase a complete dog grooming kit for this.
4. Wire coat
Wire coat is commonly seen on breeds like Scottish terrier, Otterhound, and Brussels griffon. Their coat looks wavy and soft which is sometimes mistaken to be a double coat. Actually, it’s a broke coat that’s less fluffy than the latter. To groom this, you need a stripping comb and a slicker brush. Run the stripping comb first while gently working on the snags. Sometimes the tangles can be pretty stubborn that you’ll need a small amount of a coat detangler. Once you thinned the coat, finish the grooming with a slicker brush.
5. Hairless coat
Pet owners who have a Chinese Crested dog or Peruvian Inca Orchid are probably rejoicing. They are spared from the havoc of shedding. However, that doesn’t mean they no longer have to pay attention to the coat. It’s important to bathe them to prevent skin diseases. Also, breeds like the Crested dog have tufts on top of their heads that you have to groom with a wide-tooth comb. And since they don’t have that layer of protection against outdoor elements, you have to apply a dog sunscreen.
Here, a doggo owner shows how home grooming goes for her Maltese. You can take some inspiration from her routines too!
How often should I groom my dog?
For newbie dog owners, you don’t have to bathe and groom your dog daily. Take note that the kind of coat they have will determine the frequency of grooming. Short-coated breeds can be groomed at least four times a year while those with longer fur should be groomed every two months (once a month for shedding large dogs). The rule of thumb is the shorter the coat gets, the longer your dog can go between grooming sessions.
Common grooming mistakes
Grooming mistakes stem from the wrong notion of owners that bathing and combing is enough. It’s a given fact that grooming is a messy task, but you should be careful not to damage the precious coat of your pooch. So aside from getting the best dog grooming kit, here are some mistakes they should watch out for:
-Not brushing before bathing
Tangles will be difficult once the coat is wet and matted. You’re damned if you have a wire coat breed. Brushing before bathing is necessary to limit the tangles that will hurt if you try to comb it after.
-Skipping grooming during winter
Many pet owners think that trimming their doggo’s coat during winter will make them less warm for the season. But what really happens is that the coat starts to mat and a close shave would be the only solution in the end. What’s more is that the other aspects of grooming will also be neglected.
-Not paying attention
At some point, grooming can be a familiar task that you start to get less thorough. Watch out for dirty ears, armpits, neck, belly, and paws. The skin folds here are perfect harborage spots for parasites.
-Shampoo in the eyes
Imagine yourself getting shampoo in your eyes. You’ll frantically reach on the shower knob, right? Slowing down and taking extra care when your dog is moving will prevent this from happening.
The 7-point health check
The problem with dog grooming is that many owners don’t know where to start. They could have a dog grooming set but not enough knowledge how to use it. But aside from bathing, trimming, and brushing, practicing the 7-point health check is advisable.
The 7-point health check is a flagship program of a pet brand that encourages groomers and pet owners to pay attention to seven important spots:
Eyes – Are your dog’s eyes bright? Or does it have a yellow discharge? All these can determine the state of your doggo’s health.
Nose – Are there scabs and cracks? The snoot of your dog should have enough moisture and dark color depending on his breed.
Ears – Does it smell so badly? Dog ears have a natural smell but it shouldn’t be too strong or foul.
Paw pads – Cracked paws can happen due to your doggo’s adventures. A vet can help cure this.
Teeth and mouth – Like, us, humans, having puffy and swollen gums are signs of a dental problem.
Underside – The underside of your pooch should be free from parasites, wounds, matting, and irritations.
Coat and skin – Are there lumps? Bumps? Lesions? A raised surface means that you have to bring your doggo to the vet.
Best Dog Grooming Sets
Wahl Professional Animal Deluxe Grooming Kit
The Wahl Grooming Kit is recommendable for newbie owners who are grooming their pooch for the first time. It comes with a corded clipper and a set of guards and plates adjustable to #30-15-10. The clipper is powerful at 7,200 strokes per minute for easy and quick trimming. It also comes with a nice long cord, best for dogs who keep escaping your watch.
Aside from that, this dog grooming set also has a plastic comb, a pair of scissors, apron, blade oil, cleaning brush, and a DVD and book instructional manuals. The 16-piece set is safe to use on the face, neck, and ears area, but always practice caution to avoid hurting your doggo. By the way, the apron is a big help. Some dogs tend to have a poo attack when they are nervous.
This excellent set is covered by a two-year warranty term. The best buy if you want a kit with a modest price and standard quality.
Sminiker Cordless Grooming Clipper Kit
If you want to go all in from head to toe, you’ll never go wrong with the Sminiker Clipper and Grooming Kit. It’s a certified best seller due to its cordless horse clipper that allows control and freedom if you need to do a little chasing around the grooming area. The blade length comes in 0.9 mm to 2 mm for tiny adjustments based on coat length.
The best thing about this dog grooming kit is the quiet clipper. Trust me, this will save you from the crazy dog jitters. Aside from the clipper, you’ll also get two pairs of shears (one serrated), steel comb, nail file, nail clipper, clipper brush, guards, and a user manual. A one-stop package for all grooming needs.
Pet Tech Professional Dog Grooming Set
Another complete kit is the one from PetTech. They also have an ultra-quiet, cordless clipper, four guards, nail clipper, nail file, comb, two pairs of shears (one serrated as well), cleaning brush, and blade oil. The blades are adjustable too to suit the length of your dog’s coat.
It’s very similar to the Sminiker set, but it deserves recognition for quality and the lifetime authenticdogs02-20nt guarantee. If any of the pieces on the set are damaged or got easily broken, you’ll get a refund or a authenticdogs02-20nt anytime. The set is a bit expensive than the first two options, but I’m willing to let a few dollars slip for the excellent guarantee.
Take note that aside from getting a dog grooming kit, you should practice proper grooming methods. A clipper, no matter how safe, can cause injuries if the handler isn’t skilled enough. Start with the biggest clip guard and work your way from there. Do things as gentle as possible to prevent any issues.
To get you started with any of these kits, this video from DIY Pets Groom explains each tool: