Dog grooming is an art that goes from basic pet care to almost spa-like pampering. The essential grooming requirements depend on the dog's breed and its characteristics. The first thing a pet owner deals with is dog hair.
Long hair dogs that shed need more frequent grooming than short hair dogs or those who only shed seasonally. Dogs with curly or frizzy hair need daily care to detangle the hair and remove debris or foliage that gets caught in the coat while the dog is outdoors. Sending your dog to a groomer each week gets expensive. But if you want the best for your dog, you can even hire mobile dog groomers who have a full grooming station in their vans. The groomer parks in your driveway and does the complete grooming onsite.
This is a great convenience and avoids the "wet dog" smell lingering in your bathroom. To save money, you can also learn to do many of the basic grooming techniques yourself. Dog grooming isn't just a luxury - it's a necessity. A dog that doesn't get proper grooming in a timely manner is at risk for illness, gingivitis, parasites and damage to both fur and skin.
Your dog may not be thrilled about getting a bath, but you can't let that stop you. Bathing is a health issue for dogs just as it is for people. You wouldn't stop bathing your toddler just because she screams at bath time, would you? If you aren't sure about the right techniques for bathing, brushing and detangling your dog's fur, find a good online resource or ask if you can watch the dog groomer work. You may also take a class from a pet store or vet's office to learn the correct procedures - as well as get some expert tips on how to deal with your dog's anxiety or fears during grooming. The skin under the dog's fur can be highly sensitive. Avoid aggressive scrubbing while bathing your dog or you can remove too much of the natural oils that protect both skin and hair follicles.
Adding powder or scents that aren't formulated for use with dogs adds the potential for skin irritation or infection. If a product isn't made for dogs or the type of fur on your dog breed, then make it a rule never to use it. Be patient when grooming. Take time to talk gently to your pet, rub his head or tummy and lend a playful quality to the grooming session. If you're rushed or impatient, then don't even start the grooming. Your dog will pick up on your attitude and be fearful or difficult to manage.
Even if your dog spends most of his time outdoors, you still need to do basic grooming. Without regular bathing, your dog is at the mercy of fleas and parasites that thrive on his lack of cleanliness. Use the right tools. Don't use your old hairbrush on your dog. Get special brushes and combs that are made for your dog's fur. You don't save money using your castoffs if you damage the dog's skin and create a big vet bill.
You might save some money by bringing the dog to a groomer monthly or alternate weeks, while you handle the bath and simple hair brushing on the other weeks. Dog grooming is an essential part of maintaining your dog's health - as well as his good looks.
To find out more out dogs (specifially, dog training), check out these dog training tips at DogObedienceTraining123.com.