Grooming Your Dog

You can decrease the back stress of leaning or bending down while grooming your dog by using raised bathtubs and grooming tables. An old dinning table that is no longer used or even a piece of plywood which is attached to a sturdy surface can serve well for a makeshift grooming table, however, you should take care to use a non-skid surface for the dog to stand upon. Dogs are more confident when they have a sure footing. You will be able to find rubber backed mats or rubber runners, which is sold by the yard and cut, to size at your local hardware stores.

You should also consider a professional quality dryer such as the Double K Airmax when you need to blow-dry your pet. Dogs with a double coat, such as Bernese Mountain Dogs can take up to six hours to be dried using a human blow dryer that can also cause problems with burning the dog, if not used carefully. The use of a professional quality dryer will cut down on a great deal of drying time. If you find that a human dryer is able to blow dry your pet in a reasonable amount of time, you may want to consider the purchase of a dog dryer which is hand held, such as the Crazy Dog dryer, which offers the ability to minimize or even eliminate the risk of burns to your dog.

You might want to consider the use of a self-serve dog wash, if you determine that it is not possible or infeasible to purchase expensive dog grooming supplies such as raised tubs and professional dog dryers for the use in grooming your own dog. Since you may have a lack of available space, or your dogs personal needs call for infrequent bathing of the animal. A self-serve dog wash normally offers the use of such tools and at a much lower price that paying a professional dog groomer to groom your dog. Although, one of the best features of a self-serve dog wash is that you do not have to clean up the mess.

On occasion, you may have to pluck ear hairs from your pet; you should consult with a professional groomer or your veterinarian for the instructions of doing this properly and safely. Keep in mind that the use of ear powder will aid you in making the process quick and easy by giving you the added gripping power while working on the slipperier hair of a dog’s ears.

You may also want to consider having a professional dog groomer to clean your dog for you if you are not able to find the time to bathe the dog yourself, since to be tolerable, a dog must be clean and healthy.

You can safely add a couple of drops of pine oil or a little Dawn dish soap to your dog’s shampoo to kill adult fleas, however you should take care not to get the solution in the dog’s nose or eyes.

You should take the time to research your dog’s breed and coat type when finding a routine of coat care for your pet, as there may be the need for specific provisions for your particular breed of dog. These requirements will give you the knowledge and ability to care for your pet’s coat while keeping it clean and in its best healthy condition. For instance, to give the proper care to a Komondor, they require an attention especially for separating forming cords on the coat. While grooming the GSD, one favorite tool for frequent use is the shedding rake.

Warnings

Although there are exceptions to be made for differences between many individuals, it is a myth that the pH difference between human skin and the skin of a dog are such a consideration. The pet shampoo industry thrives on this myth. However, you can safely use human shampoo on your dog, although it is imperative to remember that anything you put on your dog’s coat he is likely to ingest, even in small quantities. In addition, it is wise to acknowledge that any product, which is too harsh for your hair, is more than likely to harsh for your pet’s hair as well. Bear in mind that like humans, a dog is just as likely to develop an allergy to shampoo ingredients, so you should keep a good eye on your pet so you may be able to recognize any showing of negative or allergic reactions of either pet or human shampoo.

While bathing your pet, you should do your best not to get shampoo in your dog’s eyes or nose, as this can seriously irritate them. You may also choose to use a baby shampoo while washing your dog’s face and head. The proper way to apply shampoo, is to pour it into your hand, then rub your hands together, then apply to your pets wet hair, rather than pouring straight from the shampoo bottle. Doing so will aid you in the control of shampooing the areas that receive shampoo and the areas that do not. Be especially careful while rinsing your dog, so that soap and suds do not enter your dogs eyes or nose, you can also gently squeeze the dogs ears shut so that water does not enter its ears while you work around those areas. You may want to consider the use of a good quality baby shampoo that is diluted 4 to 1 with warm water, remembering to add water first and the shampoo, as this solution can be used all over your pet while it will rinse away much cleaner than other types of human shampoo. Doing so will bypass the problem of burning your dogs eyes and nose.

When you shampoo your pet, you are cleaning the whole dog and not just parts of it, so if you have a problem with touching certain areas of your dog, you will have to just get over it, as you are doing your pet a great injustice by not washing the dog thoroughly. On the other hand, since the genital area of a dog is more sensitive than that of a human, you should be especially careful not to use medicated shampoos or hot water while cleaning your pet’s genital area.

Do not overdo your pets bathing ritual as bathing to often can cause problems of drying out the skin while eliminating its natural oils. Remember that for some dogs, a weekly bath is fine, but for other dogs, this is not acceptable. However if you do live in a city where there are filthy streets it may be in your pets best interest to be bathed weekly, with a solution of one part shampoo and ten parts water. You may also want to consider the use of waterless shampoos, as they are the ideal for the quick and easy clean up of butt and foot areas. While using a waterless shampoo, you will directly spot spray and then use a damp sponge to sponge off the waterless shampoo. There is also available soap free shampoos that are diluted and therefore less irritating the use of regular shampoos, these come in quite handy when you are concerned for maintaining a healthy coat and skin while bathing your pet frequently. You may find these types of products by doing an online search as well as in many pet supply stores.

You should also bear in mind that it is a natural instinct for many dogs to automatically, pull away their back leg when it is lifted. The animal is not being disobedient, they are following their instincts and no opposing you when they do this, therefore you should not become irritated with your dog while bathing him, and never punish it while bathing. Instead, it is best for you to struggle through this phase of bathing as best you can and then praise your pet when it is being still while having a bath. In addition, if you own a large or medium size dog, you may be able to clip the nails of their hind feet without having to lift their foot.

Since water can easily cause serious problems for your dog’s ears, it is best to avoid getting water in them. However, if water does get into their ears, you can safely use a cotton ball or cotton pad to gently pat the inside of your dogs ears, however under no circumstance should you ever attempt to use Q-tips in your dog’s ears as they can possibly cause damage as well. If you do observe that your pet begins to scratch their ears soon after being bathed, you may want to consider a visit to the vet so they can remove any irritating water.

Moreover, remember, even if it may seem convenient, never, ever use human toothpaste to brush dog’s teeth as the animal may swallow the toothpaste and then get sick. Ask your veterinarian about the use of veterinary toothpaste for the best possible results.