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How to groom your dog from home

Author: Chris Chamberlin

Have you spent your hard-earned money at the groomers, only to find your dog looking scruffy within a few short days? He doesn't smell as nice either! Well don't fire the groomer. It just means you haven't done your job at home.

Now all of you who can afford to send their dog to a grooming shop once a week.  Click Here! "". With the one in ten thousand folks off to do what rich folks do, we can get down to business. Here you will find groomers best tips on keeping fido looking great and better yet smelling great. He will love you and so will everyone he wants to cuddle up to. The following are excuses and complaints I hear all too often for not taking good grooming care of your dog at home.

 He won't let me groom him with a brush!

First things first. Your new puppy should be introduced to a brush at about three weeks old. Now if the breeder has not started this before you get the little darlin' home then get crackin'. My point is they are never too young or too old to be taught about grooming. The procedure is the same for any age. You set the behavior pattern and your pet will respond accordingly. Too rough and he will pull away. Gentle and he will trust you even when there are tangles to get out. Consistency is the key.

Use a brush with soft bristles to introduce a daily brushing routine of ten minutes to start and gradually increasing depending on coat length. Find a time that is convenient, like while watching TV in the evening. Set the same time, or close to it, so he will be expecting it. For longhaired dogs, start at the ends of his hair and work down to the skin. He will actually enjoy this form of petting. Notice I said petting NOT playing. Grooming time is not time for play and the ground rules must be set right from the beginning. If he gets out of it by a whimper once, he will do it every time. Getting your dog to relax is important. You want to be able to have him lay on his side so you can brush underneath his legs. This takes time, but again letting him know you are the boss and he can not get up while you are brushing is essential.

 My dog has short hair. He doesn't need grooming.

Wrong! Brushing is not only for the heavily coated breeds. It stimulates the natural oils in your dog's skin and conditions the coat naturally. It enables you to rid him of the dirt he will collect just being a dog. It can alert you to potential health problems early. Brushing is only part of providing good grooming for your dog. Besides, it is silent communication between you and your dog;)

 Isn't bathing too often bad for your dogs coat?

Well it can be, if you are using a harsh shampoo. The show dogs of today are certainly bathed often and look wonderful.Why? Because special care is given to keeping their coats clean. That is the key.You can spend a lot of money buying fancy canine shampoos or just go to the market and buy a mild baby shampoo. It costs less and does the job without hurting the dogs coat and it doesn't sting their eyes.You can follow with a creme rince to aid in taking out tangles of the longer coated breeds.

 He scoots his bottom on the floor. Does he have worms?

Not necessarily. His anal glands could be full or plugged and he is trying to express them. These dandy little gems are found internally on both sides of the rectum and are about the size of a pea. Any larger than that can mean trouble. Infected glands need the attention of a veterinarian. Using your thumb and forefinger you can do the job for him and relieve his discomfort. Firm pressure upward and out will produce the gland to expel any fluid build up. It does have an unpleasant odor so have a tissue ready to catch it as it comes out. This odor can contribute to why your dog stinks, even after taking him to the groomers, as not all groomers will do this chore.

 His ear's stink and I just cleaned them.

He could have an ear mite or infection. Dogs with long ears or long hair around their ears are more susceptible to this. Keeping the hair away from his ears and allowing air to circulate keeps them dry, as moisture is the chief cause of ear infections. Regular treatment for ear mites will help keep the problem from progressing to an ear infection or a chronic ear problem. Most pet stores carry solutions for ear mites, however if your dog has developed an infection, it is off the vets you go for antibiotics.

 His breath is really awful!

Probably because he needs his teeth scaled. Tartar can build up on his teeth and collect bacteria from food that deposits on them causing a worse problem called gingivitis. You can prevent this from happening by teaching your young dog to allow you to brush his teeth. Again, there are pet shops that carry everything from toothpaste to mouthwash for dogs.

Older dogs who have never had their mouth handled or probed may need to have the scaling done by a professional. This is a something that should be started when the dog is young when no tartar build up has begun so that when they are older and it begins (and it will) they will allow you to keep their teeth clean. Proper dental care will provide fresh breath and no loss of teeth right into their old age. A scaling can be done by a vet but the dog is usually put under anesthetics to do it. Some grooming shops will provide the service if the dog is cooperative. Tooth scalars can be obtained from your dentist as he will have ones the will be discarded for human use but work quite well for your dog.

Well these are few tips from this groomer of 20 years that should help your groomer and your dog and most of all you to have an easier time with your canine's hygiene.

 If you have a question you would like see answered here feel free to email me with it and I will do my best to help.