Updated: Jan 26, 2021
Wouldn't you love for your dog to always have silky soft and sweetly scented fur, white teeth and live a long healthy, and happy life? Follow our groomer tips on how to keep your dog looking and feeling their best.
1. Regularly brush their fur:
Brushing your dog's fur should be a relaxing time to bond with your dog. Regular brushing will keep your dog's fur soft, get rid of dead hairs, and make your next trip to the groomer's a lot easier on your dog, quicker, and more cost-efficient. Then your groomer can focus on giving your dog its most adorable style without spending so much time removing tangles. The ideal is to brush your dog's fur several times a week (Every day or ever other day is best for many types of thicker coats).
Dogs often get tangles and mats around their collar, tails, ears, armpits, and legs, so make sure to get all these areas. Don't forget to take off their collar to give them a full brushing sometimes. Try to get rid of any matting as soon as you see it. If you cannot get it out, call your groomer immediately. Matted fur can be painful for dogs and cause all sorts of skin infections from the buildup of bacteria. In extreme cases, some dogs have even lost a leg due to this, which is animal abuse.
De-matting a dog can be very uncomfortable for the dog and can be very time-consuming (it can take hours of de-tangling) thus your groomer should charge accordingly. If you do not wish to do this the only option would be to give your dog a very close shave and it will lose all its fur, which can be horrible for the dog in winter. This can also cause irreparable damage to the undercoat of many types of dogs. Just by brushing your dog's fur, you will keep your dog looking great and you will avoid a large bill at the groomer and make it a more pleasurable experience for your dog.
Choose the right kinds of brushes for your dogs. A pin brush is gentle and good for puppies and everyday brushing. A slicker brush is good for a lot of different dog coats and is good at getting rid of tangles and making their fur nice and smooth. A rake brush is good for de-shedding and to get through matted fur.
2. Groom your dog regularly:
Getting your dog groomed will keep their fur in good condition. Your groomer will make sure they are clean and tidy and their nails and fur will stay in good condition. Certain dogs may also need a lot of ear care, so make sure to keep their ears clean to avoid any infections. If you fear cutting their nails at home or are unable to brush out their fur regularly, you should talk with your groomer and make regular appointments to keep your dog well maintained and happy with the process. Every 4-8 weeks is ideal, it depends on the type of dog and your home routine.
3. Brush your dog's teeth diligently:
Dogs need their teeth brushed as much as people, but it is easy to forget about your dog's teeth, especially when they put up a fuss. Most dogs do not like to brush their teeth at first, but there are many ways you can get your dog accustomed to it and make it a pleasurable daily routine. It is so sad to see a beautiful dog who had all its teeth taken out because the owners neglected its dental hygiene.
You should start brushing their teeth when they are puppies so that their teeth stay nice and white and healthy and they will be used to this routine. While they are puppies they lose their baby teeth, so it is important to at least start brushing them as soon as some of their adult teeth start coming in.
If you have adopted an adult dog their teeth may have never been brushed before, so it is important to start brushing their teeth right away. You may need to take them to a dog dentist. Just be aware, if a dog has a heart condition, it could die by being put under anesthesia.
Brushing their teeth will feel unnatural to many dogs, but there are many ways to get them used to this so that it can be a more enjoyable process for both the dogs and their owners.
First, choose a toothpaste that they like the taste of. Our dog Henri and most of the other dogs that we have worked with enjoy the taste of the Sentry toothpaste. It is a highly effective, chicken-flavored enzyme toothpaste and it also makes their breath smell fresh. Let them lick it and gently put the toothbrush in their mouth. For puppies it is easy to get them to bite the toothbrush and then you can move it around in their mouth, focusing on their back teeth as they bite the bristles. You can also give them a healthy treat as a reward. Get them used to this and they will come running to you when you take out their toothpaste and toothbrush.
There are also pet chew toys that you can fill with toothpaste to make sure their teeth are taken care of even if you are too tired or forget to brush their teeth one day.
Another great way to maintain their teeth is Plaque Off, it comes in a powder form that you sprinkle on their food. It is very effective in getting rid of and preventing any plaque from forming. Just remember, a powder can only go so far, you will still need to brush their teeth as well. Plaque off also has yummy chew treats that will keep your dog busy chewing while it is cleaning their teeth.
4. Healthy diet and supplements:
A raw food diet is ideal for any dog. We choose the organic raw patties and vary the types of meats for a complete and natural diet. You can also choose a high-grade organic kibble, but be careful, it should be consumed within a month. Most kibbles have a long expiration date, but once they are exposed to air if they contain certain ingredients such as fish oil, they can go bad within 3 weeks.
Dogs need some supplements as well, one with prebiotics and probiotics is great for their gut and overall health. Our Pomeranian has always had a sensitive tummy but with the raw food and probiotics, he is so healthy and never has any problems with his gut.
Omega fatty acids have so many health benefits, such as for their heart and their coat.
You can also get a supplement that contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, omegas, etc. that will be good for their joints, heart, skin, and fur, and overall health.
5: Nail care:
Remember to keep your dog's nails trimmed so that they don't get too long and break off painfully. They could also get infected if this happens.
You can cut your dog's nails at home or take them to the groomer or vet. You can see the pink vein in the middle of the nail. Try not to cut past this point, or it will cause the dog to bleed and be painful. The best way is to just cut a little bit at a time so that you do not get too close to the quick. Some nails are black and you cannot see the pink. In this case, really be careful to just cut a little at a time. Some dogs have a longer quick, so you don't really need to cut too much off.
We use a gentle electric grinder to do their nails as there is a lot less chance of injury and it is painless for the dog. This also files and shapes the dog's nails nicely.
Whenever a dog has a bad experience with the nails, it will usually hate having the nails done and will struggle a lot, making the job very difficult or impossible. We prefer using the grinder to avoid any injury.
Make sure to trim your dog's nails or bring them to the groomer if you prefer to take care of their nails. The time between varies depending on the dog. Aim to have the nails done at least once a month or as needed.
You can also have fun painting your dog's nails in all sorts of beautiful and fun colors of non-toxic dog nail polish. Some come in a pen form that you can just draw a couple of coats on.
6. Daily walks, exercise, and socialization time:
Every dog loves the outdoors, this is their nature. They need time outside to run and enjoy all the smells and the whole experience. Makes sure to take your dog out of a walk every day and go on hikes, to dog parks, etc. Even if your dog is not crazy about meeting other dogs, there is not a dog in the world that doesn't like to go outside. Walks and playtime will keep them fit and healthy for a long time.
7: Health check-ups at the vet:
If a dog is older it is good to take them for a check-up at least once a year. If you leave it too long to see a vet, there may be no way for them to heal your pet.
Get pet insurance if you can. Trupanion is good if your dog is a bit older as they give the same rate for all ages. (www.trupanion.com)
8. Be a good pack leader. Understand your dog's psychology and use positive reinforcement:
Understanding the way your dog thinks will help you deal with any behavioral issues and build a greater connection with your dog. They look to you as their pack leader and will listen to you if you treat them accordingly. Instead of getting angry at your dog, it helps to understand why they behave in a certain way and just make it so that they are unable to do the undesired behavior. For example, if a dog pees on your bed, don't let them on the bed and keep them in one area until they are potty trained. It is natural for dogs to want to pee and mark their scent, it takes some getting used to peeing on a little square and hiding their scent. Personally, I think that training the dog to go pee outside is best, but due to apartment living, you may not be able to let them out as often as they require, so pee pads are fine too. Give your dog a treat and lots of praise when they go pee outside or on the pee pad. You can also put scents like lemon or vinegar wherever you do not want your puppy to pee like on the floors, and furniture.
9. Give your dog the attention and care it deserves:
It is natural for dogs to always stay with their pack, but sometimes we have other obligations such as work. Thus, we should teach them to be a little more independent so that they don't get too much separation anxiety. However, it is not easy for many dogs to be left at home for 8 hours a day. If you have a busy schedule you should take your dog to daycare or hire a pet sitter or dog walker to give them a walk and some attention during the day.
10. Spend some quality time together:
Enjoy a chill night at home with your dog playing, cuddling, give them some healthy treats, watch a dog movie together, or tuck them in and read them a bedtime story. You can gently bush your dog's fur and teeth while you are cuddling in bed together. Take them on excursions with you and enjoy your time together, going on hikes, walks, dog cafes, and more. You are the center of your pet's world, It is pure happiness just of being by each other's side.