Unlike cats, which can clean themselves autonomously, dogs are often vectors of dirt, odors, and parasites, so being mindful of the care of dogs in the same living environment is an essential hygiene rule. Not sure where to start? See how to groom your four-legged friend in eight easy steps!
Phase 1: Brushing
Brush regularly to remove coarse dirt and prevent tangles in the fur. Start at the neck and move along the rest of the body, including the paws, back, and tail. For dogs, try to be especially careful on the belly, which is a susceptible area. For short-haired breeds, it is best to brush them once a week using a brush with plastic teeth, a rubber curry comb, or special gloves. On the other hand, long-haired breeds should be brushed daily with a specialized tool such as a carding brush or rake comb.
Step 2: Remove Stubborn Knots
If you find knots in the coat that cannot be untied during brushing, you can cut or trim them. Take extra care, especially if the knot is close to the animal’s skin.
Step 3: Eye Wash
Eye cleaning is a fundamental part of dog care, essential for preventing conjunctivitis and other infections. To remove eye discharge, wring out a piece of gauze moistened with a small amount of water and gently dab the affected area, avoiding rubbing. Avoid using cotton wool, as it tends to be brittle and can get tangled in the dog’s hair, irritating the eyes.
Step 4: Cleaning the Ears
It is essential to remove cerumen and dirt from your dog’s ears. Soak a cotton ball in an antiseptic solution, squeeze it, and gently stroke it inside the animal’s ear canal, not too deep and not too hard.
Step 5: Cleaning the Teeth
A toothbrush is essential for healthy teeth and gums and is used daily. For oral care for dogs, apply a small amount of special toothpaste to the teeth with your finger and rub gently with a gauze or finger brush. Buy toothpaste for dogs: toothpaste used by humans contains fluoride, a substance that can be harmful and deadly to our four-legged friends.
Step 6: Nail Clipping
Overgrown nails can cause various problems, including damage to joints and changes in posture. Once the nails are on the ground, clip them. Before you begin cutting, determine where the pulp begins and, using dog clippers, cut the nail very short (about 1.5 mm), cutting gradually. If the pith of the nail is left, there will be no evidence of bleeding; if not, intervene immediately and apply an antiseptic powder to the wound.
Phase 7: Cleaning
A good grooming program should not lack a complete cleaning. Immerse the four-legged animal in a tub of warm water and wet it thoroughly. Once well moistened, apply the special shampoo to the dog’s coat and massage the entire body except for the head and muzzle with your hands or a soft sponge to prevent water from accidentally getting into the eyes and ears. Rinse thoroughly until all the shampoo is gone.
Phase 8: Drying
The final step in grooming your dog is to dry the coat. After washing, lay a clean, dry towel on the dog’s back, and using a microfiber or other absorbent cloth, dab the dog’s body until all excess water is gone. Finish drying the dog with a hair dryer, but do so at the proper temperature and distance to avoid scalding the delicate skin.
With the right tools and ingenuity, dog grooming can become an enjoyable routine. To avoid stress, satisfy the animal’s needs by taking several breaks, stroking, and rewarding him. Give them love and affection, and your four-legged friend will be happy to see you.