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Dog Grooming Basics: What you need to know!

When it comes to grooming, don’t forget the basics. Why, when and how.

WHY

For long haired dogs, the why is clear.  Their fur tends to mat, can sweep across the floor and pick up unwanted debris, and it’s possible for skin irritation to develop if the hair gets matted, wet and stuck to the skin. The furrier dogs even have impaired vision when their hair covers their eyes.  With a regular grooming routine, these problems will cease to exist and your pet will be more comfortable.

For short haired dogs, grooming is still essential.  These dogs can have a heavy amount of shedding during the spring months and will most likely require a professional de-shedding. While professional groomers are not used as often for short haired dogs, you will still need to bathe, brush and perform basic care for your pet.

WHEN

So How Often Should My Pet Be Groomed? Depending on the breed of dog, the frequency of grooming will change.  Coat condition, density, hair type and climate are just a few variables.  Will you be home grooming or visit a professional?

Here are some guidelines for breeds suggested by grooming authorities.  If you want to know about your specific breed, ask a professional groomer.

Airedale = 6 weeks

Bichon Frise = 4 weeks

Brittany Spaniel = 8–12 weeks

Cairn Terrier = 6–10 weeks

Cockapoo = 6 weeks (if regularly brushed, 4 weeks if not)

Cocker Spaniel = 4–8 weeks

Collie = 6 weeks

Golden Retriever = 8–12 weeks

Lhasa Apso = 3–4 weeks

Maltese = 4 weeks

Pomeranian = 12–16 weeks

Poodle = 4–6 weeks

Westie = 6–8 weeks

Yorkshire Terrier = 4 weeks

dog-grooming-stratford-upon-avon-cotswoldsDiscuss these guidelines with your professional groomer, they will give you a duration time based on your pet’s coat and character.  Take note that this list is for breeds that require a full service grooms with cuts.  If you have a breed that needs only a simple groom (no trimming required), you may consider a seasonal grooming to freshen up your pet.  Again, be sure to speak with your professional groomer—they are the experts.

Have a puppy?  Start a grooming routine now!  If you want your adult dog to love being brushed, start at a young age so there is no fuss in the future.  Remember to be gentle.  Same goes for if you have adopted an adult dog, start right away—simply introduce each body part slowly and gently so you gain their trust.  It’s also a great way to discover what they like and don’t like!  It’s never too late to start an grooming routine for your pet.

HOW

This is the easiest question to answer, schedule your groom today!  However, since this is an educational piece, I will share additional advice.

Don’t over-complicate things, just think about the basic when considering your pet’s grooming needs at home including brushing and bathing.

For brushing your pet, invest in a quality brush and comb that is best suited for your pet’s coat.

If your pet doesn’t particularly like brushing, don’t worry!  Many dogs, even some cats, love a good belly rub in which you can slowly introduce the brushing with extra added luxury.  It’s best not to hold up the brush and in an excited tone exclaim, “Hey Doggy, let’s get brushing!” as this could be interpreted as a threat.  Once your pet has been taught that grooming is about love and care, they will be begging for a good groom in no time.

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