1. All about Dog Grooming
There are several fundamental issues that are involved with successfully grooming and maintaining your dog in peak condition. These issues include preparation for grooming, how to bathe your dog, what to watch for while using clippers, looking after his nails, dental hygiene and more.
All of these things are important to keep your dog looking his best and to ensure that you pick up any potential problems or illnesses as early as possible.
Different types of dog coats require different grooming methods and equipment to maintain his coat in great condition. It however is important to understand that grooming is only part of the dog maintenance picture and that exercise and good nutrition are equally important in ensuring that your dog lives a long and healthy life.
Handling and Preparation
It is essential that you get your dog used to being handled by humans at an early age. If you manage to regularly play with and handle your dog as a puppy, there are far lesser chances of problems cropping up later on in your dog’s life especially with regards to grooming.
This is because grooming invariably calls for a human (either you or someone else in your family or even someone at a pet grooming parlor) to take care of this aspect for your pet.
Another important factor that is a prerequisite for successful grooming is your dog’s ability to obey the stand, sit and stay commands. Using these commands when you are grooming your dog is also a great way to ensure that your authority is reinforced. Train your dog well from an early age and grooming is likely to turn into an exercise you’re your dog will enjoy rather than loathe.
Where and how you groom your dog will depend to a great extent upon his size and his temperament. Ideally you would like your dog to be standing still on a table, so that you can easily groom him without having to bend over or be overly restraining him. It is recommended that you use a non-slip mat on the table so that your dog does not damage the table or himself by slipping off.
A general grooming kit must consist of scissors or clippers along with the appropriate types of brushes and combs for your pet. Make sure that you have your grooming kit ready to avoid uncomfortable delays and mishaps owing to these.
Picking Up Warning Signs Early
Grooming no doubt is all about keeping your dog looking his best at all times. After all, who likes an unkempt, smelly dog?
There however are more vital reasons why regular grooming sessions must be carried out for your pet. Not only is this a chance to interact with your dog and improve your bonding with him, but also a chance to scrutinize him carefully for any signs of impending ailment or any other health disorder. Through regular grooming, you will be able to notice any warning signs that there may be something wrong with your dog.
Some of the signs that indicate that not all may be right with your dog include the following:
- Swelling of the stomach can indicate a variety of complaints. These can be a simple case of indigestion of something more serious like something your dog has swallowed which is causing an obstruction of the normal functioning of the digestive system. Inflammation in any internal organ can also translate to a swollen stomach and this must be taken seriously always.
- Report any unusual lumps to your vet immediately as they could be the sign of a serious illness such as cancer. Routine checking to see if these lumps are growing in size or number are also equally important.
- If you see flaking, scabs or rashes on the skin then it could be a sign of an allergy, fungal infection or even a more serious skin disorder. It is quite possible that your dog will start to scratch and itch more than he normally does as well. Remedial action must be taken as soon as possible to avoid cases of serious skin infections.
- Labored breathing may indicate respiratory problems or even something your dog has swallowed which is obstructing the wind pipe. Instant medical care is advisable in such cases.
- If your dog squints, has bloodshot eyes, has cloudy eyes or a discharge coming from the eyes then your vet should check him over immediately for a potentially contagious eye infection. Glaucoma and conjunctivitis are relatively common in older dogs – regular check ups to rule these out are recommended.
- Unusual bowel movements, such as loose motions, constipation or else blood in the stools may need medical attention.
- If he has yellow teeth or bad breath, it is probably time to get his teeth cleaned.
In simple terms, utilize every opportunity with your dog to further your relationship!