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Dog grooming may seem like a tedious task but it can serve as a good opportunity to bond with your pup. It’s also good for their health! So while it might seem like a pain, it’s important to regularly groom your pooch. Here is dog grooming 101!
How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails
An important part of dog grooming is trimming your dog’s nails. In fact, letting them grow too long can actually injure your pup. If you’ve never cut them before, you might want to have a veterinarian or groomer show you how. To trim your dog’s nails, you’ll need these items:
- Dog nail clippers or a nail dremel
- Dog treats
- Styptic powder or another clotting powder, such as baking soda, cornstarch or baking flour
Follow these steps to cut your dog’s nails:
- Test the nail dremel or clippers to make sure they work before you use them on your dog.
- Squeeze the clippers or use the dremel near your dog, but not on their nails, just so they can get used to the sound. Each time, reward your pup with a treat.
- Hold the clippers or dremel in one hand and use your other hand to spread your dog’s toes.
- Identify the quick of the nail. This is the part of the nail you do not want to trim, as it’s still alive and will cause your dog to bleed if cut. On dog’s with white nails, the quick is pink and easier to spot. The quick is a darker shade of black on dog’s with black nails. You can also identify the quick by squeezing your clippers around the nail, but not cutting. If your dog reacts, then you’ve squeeze around the quick.
- Once you identify the quick, trim only the dead part of the nail.
- Don’t panic if you accidentally cut into the quick. Use the styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
- If the bleeding doesn’t cease after 10 minutes, contact your veterinarian.
How to Bathe Your Dog
Bathing your dog is also important. You will need:
- Dog shampoo (human or baby shampoo is the wrong pH!)
- Dog conditioner
- Grooming brush
- Spray nozzle
- Three towels
- Drain blocker
- Blowdryer (optional)
- Leash and treats
Follow these steps to bathe your dog at home:
- If your dog doesn’t like the sound of rushing water, fill the tub or sink with water before your pup enters the bathroom. Test the water with your hand to make sure it isn’t too hot or too cold.
- Get your dog into the bathing area with the leash and treats. Use a soothing voice so you don’t spook them.
- Soak your dog completely.
- Apply shampoo at the neck and work down to the feet and tail. Leave suds at the base of the skull to stop migrating parasites.
- Rinse your dog with the spray nozzle and repeat step 4 with conditioner.
- Express your dog’s anal glands.
- Rinse your dog again.
- Dry your pup. Use one towel as a bath mat, another one over their back like a horse’s blanket and use the third for their ears, face and paws.
- Lastly blowdry your dog. Again, this step is optional.
Also remember to regularly brush your dog and brush their teeth with dental products. Some dogs need to be brushed as often as once a day and all need their teeth brushed daily. Good dental hygiene can help prevent serious health issues, such as infections and heart murmurs!