When you own pets, there are lots of things to juggle. Knowing when, why, and how to groom your dog are just a few of them. We understand — it can be quite a challenge to know all the ins and outs of the dog grooming process! That’s why we’ve put together this simple list for you to consult regarding when, why, and how to groom your dog. Let’s get started.

When: Setting up a Grooming Schedule

In the vast majority of cases, your four-legged friend will benefit from a regular grooming schedule. Whether you’re planning on doing all the grooming yourself or if you’ve hired a professional pet grooming service, it’s always a good idea to maintain a solid schedule. The schedule that you choose will depend on the nature of your pets. For one, long-haired dogs may require more intensive and regular grooming than, say, a dog with hair that’s naturally shorter. Doing some basic research on your dog’s breed and hairstyle can help you to have an easier time when setting up your grooming schedule. Similarly, you may want to consult with your local pet grooming service if you’re confused about the frequency of grooming.

Why: Grooming to Keep Pets Happy and Healthy

If you’ve ever gone a long time without a haircut, then you know how aggravating it can feel to let your personal grooming sit on the back burner. Your pets are no different! When dogs have excess hair growth in all the wrong places, it can really detract from their quality of life. All it takes is some hair growing over or into a dog’s eye to harm their vision and hamper their ability to enjoy their next walk. Not to mention fur matting on dogs with longer hair. Similarly, other forms of neglected grooming can have more harmful health effects. Take a dog’s nails, for example. If left to grow too long your dog’s nails can be the source of significant pain any time the dog has to put pressure on them. Taking care of such issues will ensure that your dog is the happiest and healthiest they can be.

How: Tackling Key Elements of Grooming

While there are many detailed steps to proper dog grooming, we’re going to cover some of the basics here. It’s sometimes possible to save some money by performing some basic dog grooming at home. Depending on the character and disposition of your dog, this process may prove to be quite simple, or a little more difficult. As you probably know, some dogs are content to sit still while you perform your grooming tasks, but others a bit more restless. If your dog is on the nervous or rambunctious side, it’s best to trust their hair care to a professional groomer.

The hair comes first. You want to first brush your dog’s hair to get rid of any sections of matted or tangled hair. It’s a good idea to start with a wide comb or brush, then use a finer one if needed. Flea combs are also useful to help you check for any unwanted pests. Next, you’ll want to bathe your dog completely. This means washing every part of their coat and getting rid of any unwanted tangles that you may have missed in the brushing stage. Once you’re done with the bathing process, you can dry them off using a dog hair dryer, or a normal hairdryer (just don’t apply any heat).

Next, it’s time to clean the dog’s ears with an approved solution. You can then trim the dog’s toenails. Don’t forget to brush the dog’s teeth, either. Were you aware of the fact that it’s estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease by age three? This can lead to abscesses, loose teeth, and chronic pain. So make sure you brush your dog’s teeth with special dog toothpaste. Then you can clip any areas on the dog’s coat that may have gotten too long or uncomfortable.

Caring for your dog’s grooming needs is an important part of maintaining your dog’s health and wellness. By following these simple tips you’ll be that much closer to mastering your dog’s grooming routine!

At Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center we are happy to provide a wide range of veterinary specialty and emergency services. It is important to have a “primary care” veterinarian to keep your new family member healthy and happy with routine vaccinations and health checks. But if you find yourself in the midst of a veterinary emergency, our team of experienced veterinarians is here to help. When it comes to visiting animal hospitals, we understand that the experience can be full of stress and worry, so we aim to make things as simple as possible. For more information, get in touch with one of our experts today.