Owning a dog is an important responsibility that goes way beyond feeding and walking one’s dog. One of the most important responsibilities of the dog owner is grooming the dog. Generally, there are 2 levels or types of grooming. There is daily grooming, which should be a part of the owner’s and the dog’s daily routine. Periodic grooming, such as when a professional cuts the dog’s fur. The purpose here is to discuss daily grooming by the owner. Grooming is essential. It maintains the dog’s health, and just as importantly, it builds trust and confidence between owner and dog. The first rule of daily grooming is to make it routine. Remember, dogs love routine. They have an internal clock, which is amazingly accurate. To know that grooming occurs every day at the same time is comforting to a dog. It is suggested that you make grooming, or any arduous task, at the same time every day, just before mealtime. This way, the dog will choose to be obedient and get the grooming over with so he/she can eat.
Dogs with long, fine hair, such as Cocker spaniels, Shih Tzu’s, or poodles will take much longer to groom than a short hair, such as Labrador’s, Dachshunds, or Beagles. The basic elements good grooming is the following:
- Combing and brushing
- Checking or clipping nails
- Checking for parasites
- Dental Care
Basic Elements Good Dog Grooming
Combing and Brushing
Imagine never combing your hair. You would never let it happen, but some people would let their dog go its whole life without combing or brushing. The propose behind combing and brushing is to remove dead hair and skin, and to maintain its skin. Unbelievably, dogs get eczema, dandruff, dry skin and many other maladies.
Checking the nails for cracks or bleeding is important. If a dog’s nails are allowed to grow, they will become long and curled just as a human’s does.
Check for parasites
This should be a daily task. Checking the anus for worms, the coat and belly for ticks or fleas should be a daily occurrence.
Bathing should occur no more than once or twice a month, because it is not good to wash all oils from the skin. It also improves the smell of your dog.
This is a tricky one, I do not recommend brushing dog’s teeth, however the dog should not be on a steady diet of soft foods, as this will allow for tartar build up.
In summary, owning a dog is a vital responsibility. Grooming is an opportunity to spend some time with your dog, and it is necessary maintenance. Especially for dogs with long fine “hair”. It is a time for you to teach your dog some rudimentary basics, such as standing still on command. Most important of all, it is spending time with a faithful friend.