India is one of many nations of dog lovers. According to Statista, there were nearly 20 million pet dogs in India during 2019, but that figure is growing very quickly.
The number of pet dogs is predicted to reach 31 million by 2023 in India, which shows how quickly the trend for owning dogs is growing. Although there is a long way before India catches up with America’s huge 70 million pet dog population, it is clearly a nation of pet lovers.
If you are one of the many people who appreciate a fine-looking German Shepherd, or a feisty Beagle, then you are surely keen on keeping them looking good and well-groomed.
Here is a short article on the benefits of grooming your dog, why you should never ignore it, and the best tips for doing it.
What are the perks of grooming your dog?
Well for starters, do you think anyone would want to come near you if you didn’t bathe? It is identical for dogs of course. Grooming your dog well makes them look healthy and clean, but there are deeper benefits too.
Grooming a dog helps them to prevent certain diseases. It will help to remove dead skin, dirt, and other irritations that may be making them itch and feel uncomfortable.
Giving your pet a good going over will also help their mental health. Think how good you feel when you have had a good shower on a hot sticky day, or when you have visited the spa. This is exactly how your pet will feel when they are groomed,
just like a new dog.
What happens if you neglect to groom your dog?
Owning a dog is a big responsibility, they need to be cared for, fed, exercised, mentally stimulated, and of course, cleaned.
Many problems can arise if your pet isn’t groomed properly, according to the RSPCA, which should know one or two things. Ticks can go undetected, as can fleas and other irritants such as grass seeds. Dogs can get infections from these, and in some cases, it can be fatal.
If grooming is ignored then the hair can become greasy, matted, and also get in the way of a dog’s vision. This isn’t just an aesthetic problem either. Matted hair can become painful and even lead to infection.
How often, and how much time should you put into grooming?
There is no straight answer to this question, unfortunately. Different breeds require different levels of care. For instance wiry-haired dogs, short-haired dogs, and long-haired dogs, all need different things.
As a rule of thumb, you could say that you should brush your dog’s hair at least once a week, but some breeds such as a German Shepherd should be done several times. This is to remove the dead hair that will stay if not brushed away.
It is important to bathe your dog, but also not to do it too often. If you bathe your dog too frequently you will strip away some of its natural protection. Bathing can take away oil from the skin and damage follicles which can lead to infection.
Around once a month should be ok to bathe a dog unless they’ve rolled in something unpleasant. Some experts advocate bathing as infrequently as every six to 8 weeks.
What tools do you need?
If you are very keen on doing your own pampering then you should own the most common dog grooming tools at least.
Not surprisingly perhaps, most of these tools revolve around dog hair. You won’t need to buy all of these, and some will work better on certain breeds than others.
Below are a few of the more useful dog grooming tools:
- Metal comb
- Bristle brush
- Dog shampoo
- Nail trimmers
- Pin brush
- Shedding brush or a de-shedding comb
- Ear cleaners
- Handheld vacuum
Don’t worry, that last item is for you to keep a tidy home and zap the sofa.
Ear cleaners are important for dogs and you can buy the solution at a pet shop, or use a normal saline solution instead. Just as you shouldn’t bathe your dog too often, you must limit ear cleaning too.
Most of the tools here are good for removing dead hair, helping them along when they are shedding, and for making your pet look well-groomed. Many people don’t like to cut their dog’s nails, so if you are uncomfortable with that use a vet instead.
Can you groom your dog at home?
Absolutely, as you have seen above, there are plenty of tools available for home dog grooming.
You should be able to find plenty of tips on grooming your dog at home too, and you can see some below. There is no need to go to an expensive parlor if you don’t wish, although there are many in India now.
What are the ultimate dog grooming tips?
So, you want to groom your dog like the experts but at home? Here below are some of the methods you should follow. Before you go there though, you should consider two other areas that are highly important and part of the overall grooming regime.
Food and exercise
There is no point in grooming your dog to pet show standards if they are living on junk food and they are obese. If you want the best for your dog and them to look their best, they need to be healthy on the inside and outside.
It is worth spending some time researching what food works best for your breed. Not all dogs should eat the same food, and some have bad reactions to certain types.
Exercise is vital to having a healthy dog. This doesn’t just affect their physical health but their mental wellness too. A well-exercised dog is happy and they will look better than some groomed dogs that are neglected in this area.
The six areas of grooming
This covers six main areas that you need to follow over a number of weeks to keep your dog in tip-top condition.
- Hair brushing
- Nail clipping
- Teeth brushing
- Eyes, ears, and paws
- Hair trimming
As not all breeds are the same, and different lifestyles require different schedules, the timings here are broad. You should adjust them to suit you and your dog.
Normally once a month should be ok. However, there are occasions when you need to give your pet a quick once-over. There is one tool that an owner of any active dog would appreciate, and that is the portable dog washer.
This portable dog washer guide might show you a way to keep your home clean after you both return home from a muddy walk. Top tip, call ahead to have your partner fill it up with warm water ready!
At least once a week, but 3 times is better for longer-haired dogs.
If you feel confident enough to do this yourself then about once a month should be enough.
Many owners neglect this area, but brushing twice a week can help your dog’s dental health immensely.
Ears, eyes, and paws
Clean these areas about every 2 weeks.
This really depends on what type of dog you have, but normally every two months should be ample.
Dog grooming doesn’t need to be expensive or a chore. It is something that you can take pleasure and pride in, and do at home.
If you wish to visit a dog parlor then by all means go for it, and if you don’t like to trim their nails then perhaps use a vet. If you get a few tools though, you should be able to do much of your pet’s grooming at home.