If your dog is an important part of your life, you will want to provide the best of care for her so she can enjoy a long and rewarding life. A trip or two each year to your veterinary clinic does not guarantee that your loyal canine will maintain her healthy appearance and youthful spirit. It is you, the dog’s owner, who can make the difference between your dog living a long, full life or one of physical disease and health problems.
Many dogs are treated like they are immune from common heath problems – they are NOT! They suffer many of the same health issues that afflict humans; teeth and gum disease, ear infections, toe nail problems, and hair issues, just to name a few.
Well, don’t get discouraged, because a few simple and easy grooming practices can help you prevent the premature aging of your pet. Basic personal dog grooming is the key to early recognition of skin and tumor issues, dental problems, and mobility difficulties.
To help you establish a regular dog grooming regimen, the following tips are provided covering five key areas; brushing, bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental hygiene.
Brushing Your Dog
Brushing, or grooming, your dog is a great time for bonding with her and providing the physical contact that all dogs desire. This practice promotes a lustrous shine on the dog’s coat, whiling eliminating dirt, debris, and dead fur.
This is also the perfect opportunity to examine your dog’s skin for fleas and ticks, lumps, cuts, or contusions. And while you’re at it, take a moment and examine her ears, eyes, teeth and nails.
Bathing Your Dog
Here is the good news – most dogs only need bathing once a month, unless she likes to play in the rain and mud. If she does get dirty on a regular basis, adjust your bathing schedule accordingly.
A prerequisite to bathing is a good brushing. This loosens up any dead hair or dirt and makes the bathing process much more productive. A good practice is to start bathing your dog as young as possible. Generally start when she is about 14-15 weeks old, or earlier, if they tend to get into messy situations.
Find a good location to bathe your dog, preferably one that is contained and has good drainage. Undoubtedly, water will be spilled or shaken near and far. An enclosed shower or tub is an ideal location, or if your dog is a smaller breed, the kitchen sink can also work.