Just as humans require good grooming habits, so do our dogs. Besides being a healthy habit for our dogs, grooming is an important part of the relationship we have with them. Regular grooming sessions are beneficial because they:
- allow you and your dog to have quiet time together.
- promote your dog’s good health in terms of his coat, skin, feet, ears, teeth, etc.
- allow you to become very familiar with all parts of your dog’s body and you’ll notice early on anything unusual that may require veterinary attention.
- promote good health for both humans and puppies – this type of interaction can actually lower stress levels and reduce blood pressure for both you and puppy.
When you and your puppy are learning how to groom, come armed with a great attitude, lots of patience, and in the beginning, lots of treats. Always start slowly and add more as your puppy accepts what you’re doing. If you start getting frustrated, stop and come back to it later. Remember to keep it positive and fun.
Consulting a professional groomer is important for owners of dogs needing to be clipped or trimmed on a regular basis.
Unless your dog has gotten into something smelly or dirty, she will need to be bathed only every two to four months. Bathing her too frequently will dry out her skin and strip the natural oils from her coat.
How to get started?
Make sure to use a shampoo that’s made for dogs. Human shampoo can be too harsh for your puppy’s skin and coat. Put a non-slip surface, such as a bath mat or towel, in the bottom of your tub (or sink, kiddie pool, or wherever you are doing your bathing). Lather up the coat, and then rinse thoroughly. Be sure to rinse completely or the shampoo will leave a dull residue on puppy’s fur. Avoid getting shampoo and water directly in the eyes, mouth and inside the ears.
Regular brushing is great, regardless of the length of your dog’s coat, because it removes dead hair, distributes the natural oils for a clean and healthy coat, stimulates the surface of the skin, sloughs off dead and dry skin, and helps you become very familiar with your dog’s body.
You should brush your dog every couple of days no matter what the length of the coat. Sometimes your brushing can have a specific purpose, such as removing hair mats or helping them shed their seasonal coat, but most often you’ll just be doing a general purpose brushing or combing.