With the weather warming up, a thorough spring clean is just around the corner - it's also the perfect time to spruce up the appearance of your four-legged friend. Just like us humans, dogs benefit hugely from a good soak, a trim and blow dry and a gentle manicure! Not only will your furry friend look and smell better, they'll feel so much happier too. It's easy enough to cover off the basics at home, without a visit to a professional groomer. There are plenty of benefits in a little DIY grooming too, including helping to build the bond between you and your pup, helping you to spot any unusual body changes early on, and help to reduce anxiety at the vets.
If you visit a professional groomer, ask them for tips on what you could be doing regularly at home in order to keep your dog happy and healthy between grooming visits. When you and your dog are learning how to groom, it’s important that you come armed with a positive attitude, lots of patience, and in the beginning lots of healthy treats! As with all new activities for your dog, start off slowly doing little amounts here and there, gradually building on the grooming routine.
Unless your dog has rolled into something horrid they’ll only need a bath every 2-4 months. Some breeds should be bathed less often (those with double coats for example), so research your breed before you start. Bathing your dog too often can strip the natural oils from their coat and dry out their skin.
Regular brushing is important regardless of the length of your dog’s coat because it removes dead hair and dead skin, whilst distributing beneficial natural oils. Aim to give your dog a brush at least every couple of days – if you’ve got a longer haired breed, or if your dog is shedding a seasonal coat, then brush daily to prevent tangles and matting.
Apart from looking nice and neat, keeping your dog's paw fur trimmed, helps to reduce the amount of dirt and foreign objects that could cause pain and discomfort.
Your dog’s nails grow in a curve, so allowing them to get too long will cause your dog’s ‘toes’ to splay or twist when walking - aside from being very uncomfortable for your pup, it can also lead to broken toes. Regular nail clipping will reduce the risk of unnecessary injuries and reduce the risk of torn nails. Trimming nails is probably the most feared task for both pets and owners when it comes to grooming at home, so if you’re at all nervous or don't have a steady hand and lots of patience – leave it to the professional groomers. If you want to give it a try at home then here’s some handy tips:
Keeping your dog’s ears clean will not only feel great for your dog, but will help prevent ear infections and allow you to spot ticks, fleas or anything else unusual or unpleasant.
Keeping your dog’s eyes clean will help to prevent infections and foreign bodies damaging the eyes.
Dogs can suffer from similar dental issues as us humans, so it’s important to monitor your pups dental hygiene to avoid other health problems. Diet is a good place to start, ensuring that your dog eats a healthy balanced diet which is free from artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. A healthy diet will help support your dog's oral health.