Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets. www.greytinspirations.com

Dog grooming tips

I make my living by freelance writing. The last few days I’ve been writing articles about grooming dogs. Oh, my! I’ve been learning a lot. I thought I already knew how to groom a basic dog but it turns out there really isn’t any such thing as a basic dog. I may know how to groom my Setters and most of us can groom a shorthaired dog but there’s a lot more to grooming a lot of dogs.

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For instance, some dogs have single coats and some have double coats. That means that some dogs have an undercoat plus the guard hair that you see on the outside. But whether a dog has a single coat or a double coat doesn’t seem to make any difference when it comes to whether the dog will be easy to groom or not. Some single coat breeds require lots of grooming, such as Toy breeds like the Yorkie and the Maltese. Many double-coated breeds can be easy to care for, such as the Beagle and the Chihuahua. And some breeds can be a mix — Pugs are single-coated if they are black but double-coated if they are fawn-colored. Poodles are single-coated and can be very grooming-intensive if you keep them in show condition but their coats are somewhat easier to manage if you keep them in a pet clip. Bichon Frises are double-coated and can also be grooming-intensive if you try to keep them looking like show dogs but are easier to groom if you choose a pet look. Don’t even get me started on Terriers!

I never realized there was so much divergence between how you cared for each kind of dog’s coat. Each breed almost seems to require different grooming tools. It takes a considerable time commitment from an owner to groom some of these dogs each week. No wonder some people choose to use pet groomers instead. I feel lucky now that I can handle my dogs’ grooming myself.

For my dogs, which are a longhaired breed, I suppose I do have some special grooming tools, but I’ve been using them for so long that I don’t pay much attention to them any more. When I groom my dogs I typically put them up on my grooming table (since I have five dogs and I go to shows I do consider a grooming table a necessity and not a luxury) and begin by spritzing them with a spray bottle containing water or a little conditioner mixed with water. Experts say that dampening the coat with water before brushing it keeps the hair from breaking when you groom. Then I begin by brushing through my dog’s feathering with my pinbrush. I use the pinbrush on my dog’s ear feathers, chest hair, leg feathers, stomach feathers, and tail feathers. I don’t use the pinbrush on my dog’s body because the pins aren’t meant to be used against a dog’s skin. They are supposed to be used to lift and separate long hair or to fluff thick body hair.

Next I take my brush (which has boar bristles and a wooden back — you can find good ones at a Sally’s Beauty supply store) and brush my dog’s body thoroughly. This loosens any dirt, debris and dead hair. With both the brush and the pinbrush on the feathering it’s important to clean out the brush frequently to remove the hair you pick up.

Once I’ve gone over my dog’s body with the brush I’ll do any special grooming I need to do. This could be using thinning scissors on my dog’s head and neck to keep them looking trim and neat; tidying up his paws with scissors; using the nail clippers on his nails; or using the clippers on his neck. I don’t do these things as often as I brush my dog so the routine varies.

Ideally I should clean my dog’s ears and brush his teeth at least weekly.

And, of course, I am giving my dog treats for everything we do while he’s on the table so he will enjoy his grooming time. All of my dogs like to be groomed. They aren’t crazy about getting their nails trimmed but I don’t have anyone who really dreads it.

That’s it. That’s our routine. It works well for a longhaired dog like a Setter and something similar would probably work well for a lot of dogs.

Some of these grooming supplies aren’t usually carried in pet stores, not even in pet superstores. If you look online, however, at sites that carry grooming supplies, you can easily find them.

Believe it or not, grooming your dog can be very relaxing for both of you. Most dogs enjoy being groomed once they get used to it. Every time I walk past my grooming table Pearl and Blue jump up and put their paws on it, wanting to get up. If I say, “Table!” all of my dogs come running to the grooming table.

Maybe you and your dog can spend some quality time together while you groom.

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February 23, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, Pets | , ,

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