Dog Grooming is Important
Most people that own long haired or double-coated breeds understand the importance of brushing, particularly when the dog is shedding. If the owner doesn’t brush, the entire home is quickly covered with a thick layer of fine, fluffy hair that can be substantial even with the small dogs. Dog grooming is important.
While the need for regular brushing is obvious at this time and for these dogs, it is actually a critical aspect for dogs of all sizes, breeds and coat types. Regular grooming routines are an important part of keeping your pet clean, healthy and to quickly identify if there are any problems with the skin or coat that can be a sign of a more serious health issue.
Short Haired Dogs
Dogs with short hair need regular grooming just like their long-haired counterparts. With the short haired breeds from hounds to Chihuahuas, a rubber grooming glove or a soft bristle brush or dog curry comb is a great way to remove the dead hair from the coat as well as to distribute oil from the hair follicle all along the hair shaft.
For the very short coats, a chamois, which is a soft cloth, can be used to wipe along the dog’s coat in the direction of growth. This is a great way to add a lot of shine and also make the experience pleasant and enjoyable for your pet.
Avoid using pin brushes or grooming combs on these dogs as the coat doesn’t require this ability to penetrate through the dense layers found on double-coated breeds or single coat long haired breeds.
Medium to Long Coats
Medium coats, both single and double, can be managed with pin or bristle brushes, shedding brushes or grooming rakes and combs. Be sure to always groom in the direction of hair growth, never against the hair, or it can cause damage to the hair shafts.
If there is any matting or tangles, start with a larger grooming tool, such as a comb, to remove the large tangles. Take small sections and a pin brush and work gently with lots of praise for the dog. There are some commercial detangling products that can be helpful, but with routine grooming every day to every other day this is rarely a concern.
The Rest of the Grooming Process
Removing dead hair and keeping your dog’s coat in top shape is often the main reason for grooming, but this is a great time to bond with your dog and also have a chance for an up-close inspection.
Look at the dog for:
- Long nails – keep an eye on the nails and clip as needed. Long nails can cause pain for the dog and also lead to infections.
- Hot spots – warm, irritated and moist areas on the skin are called hot spots. They can become infected easily and result in painful lesions and, in severe cases, permanent loss of hair in the area.
- Eyes and ears – check the eyes and the ears with every grooming. The eyes should be clear and bright without discharge. The ears should be clean and free from any foul odors.
Additionally, run your hands over the dog’s entire body once they have been groomed. Look for any lesions, wounds, rashes, bumps or lumps on or under the skin and have them checked by the vet if anything is discovered.