Simple Dog Grooming Tips to Save Time and Money

happy dog with vet

New pet owners sometimes find it difficult to keep their dog well groomed, finding the process expensive and strenuous. However, keeping your dog’s skin and coat well groomed will improve your pet’s overall health and well-being.

Following a simple grooming routine at home will keep your pet’s skin and fur healthy in the long-run, and save on professional grooming expenses and trips to the vet. If you’ve noticed your dog’s fur is becoming matted or losing its shine, there are a number of steps you can follow to prevent your pet from developing skin conditions. If your pet’s skin is already becoming flaky and itchy, this could be caused by a number of reasons - including poor grooming, poor diet, or allergies.

Your exact grooming regimen should depend on a number of factors, like your breed of dog, dog’s age, and other elements unique to your pet’s health. For specific grooming tips, we recommend speaking to our vet. We will be more than happy to offer suggestions that will make grooming your pet an easier and more effective process.

Feed Your Dog a Balanced Diet

Like humans, dogs need a balanced diet to ensure their skin and fur stays healthy. Feeding your dog low-quality commercial foods that aren’t balanced appropriately can lead to an unhealthy coat. For instance, low fat diets that are high in omega-6 fats and genetically modified grains can cause skin disorders and lead to course, dry fur.

When looking for the appropriate dog food for your pet, look for kibble that is high in omega-3 fats. Omega-3s will improve your pet’s immune system, causing their hair to become shinier, and preventing the amount she sheds. If your kibble doesn’t have omega-3s you can find an omega-3 supplement to add to the top of your pet’s food to improve her fur and skin health. However, we recommend speaking to our vet first to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

Brush Your Dog Multiple Times a Week

Imagine how your scalp would feel if you went more than a few days without brushing your hair. Similar to humans, most breeds of dog fur can pick up a lot of dirt, buildup, and tangles, when they go too long without getting their hair brushed. Not to mention, the natural oils in dog’s skin can build up, creating an uncomfortable mixture of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt.

By quickly brushing your pet’s hair about 2-3 times a week, you can help comb away dirt, straighten the fur, and help your pet’s skin feel cleaner. Brushing fur regularly helps with general hygiene and reduces the amount of time you will need to spend bathing your dog. Here are some general rules of thumb to follow when brushing your pet’s coat:

● Make sure you’re using the right kind of brush. For pet’s with finer and longer hair, you should use a smoother brush to untangle matted fur. Undercoat rakes and bristle brushes are another good choice of brush to ensure you thoroughly detange the fur.

● Don’t forget to brush your pet’s tail and underbelly. To ensure you are brushing effectively, start by brushing your pet’s head down to the tail, then work in the same direction when brushing her underside.

● Be gentle when brushing matted areas. If your pet’s fur has become matted, it’s a good deal to wash and clip the matted areas before brushing to ensure the fur is becoming untangled without hurting her skin.

Keep Your Dog’s Eyes and Ears Clean

Certain dog breeds are notorious for developing tear stains and ear infections. The easiest way to keep your pet’s face clean is by wiping it off with a soft cloth and warm water on a daily basis. Start by wiping around the corner of your pet’s eyes, similar to how you would wash your own face in the morning. For pets with long facial hair, like yorkshire terriers, you should also gently brush the beard areas around the face, when you’re done cleaning the eyes.

To keep your pets ears clean, use a wipe or dog ear cleaning solutions to clean around the visible parts of the ear. While doing this, be careful that you don’t clean too deep into the ear. Cleaning visible wax regularly keeps the area free of uncomfortable wax buildup. We also recommend talking to our vet about ear cleanings, which can be done during your pet’s routine wellness exams.

Don’t Forget Dental Hygiene for Your Dog

Dental hygiene is one of the most ignored aspects of pet ownership. Forming a habit of brushing your pet’s teeth every 2-3 days from a young age will make your puppy comfortable with having her teeth brushed, while helping you avoid costly dental problems when your pet gets older.

It can be difficult to teach your pet to feel calm while having her teeth brushed. The most important technique for effective dog dental cleanings is gradually and slowly brushing her teeth. When brushing your pet’s teeth, you should:

● Start by brushing a few teeth at a time, until your dog gets used to the taste of doggy toothpaste and the feeling of having her teeth brushed.

● Pay attention to the upper arch of teeth, since this is where plaque usually builds up.

● Block time out in your day to groom your pet. Generally choose a time when she is calm and tired. Schedule a time to groom your pet at a regular interval, like after dinner or in the evening, so she becomes used to the schedule.

Clip Your Pets Nails Regularly

Like dental hygiene, it’s not uncommon for pet owners to let their pet’s nail health fall by the wayside. Trimming your puppy’s nails regularly can help prevent them from growing too long. When dog nails grow too long, they can curl under the paw, causing your pet to slide when running or even hurting her paw.

The most important thing to keep in mind when cutting your pet’s nails is to not trim too far down, where the nail is dark. Cutting the quick of your pet’s nail can cause bleeding and pain. Purchasing nail clippers specifically designed for dogs can help you manage how far down you are cutting. If you’re nervous about cutting your pet’s nails yourself, you can ask our groomers to cut them for you at your pet’s next wellness exam.

Bathe Your Dog Regularly

Following a regular brushing regimen helps keep your pet’s fur and skin healthier by removing dirt and bacteria. However, you should still make sure that you bathe your dog regularly. The frequency that you bathe your dog will depend on a number of thing, like her breed, fur type, and health.

Some dogs have skin that should only be shampooed once every 2-3 months, while other breeds should be bathed weekly. Ask our vet what is right for your dog’s unique skin health. If your dog has dry skin, try and use a dog shampoo that has aloe vera or oatmeal in it. There are also a variety of hypoallergenic shampoos that might be more suitable for your pet’s skin and fur type.

If your dog is itching regularly, or if you’ve noticed flaky skin or other issues, your pet could have allergies. Skin allergies in dogs can often be treated by a change in diet or dermal treatments for itchy skin.

Our experienced veterinarian can help determine the cause of your pet’s skin disorders. Call our office today to schedule an exam, and learn the best grooming regimen for your pup 702-903-3200.