Being a dog owner is always a challenging yet fun experience. Who can say no to dogs, right? They’re the most lovable, loyal, and playful pets you’ll ever have. But apart from cuddling and playing with them, dogs also have their own hygiene that any dog owner should be concerned about.
Caring for your new dog starts long before you bring them home. Old pet owners are already aware of this, but if you are only starting to become a dog owner, then you’re in the right place. Here, you’ll find ten tips that will help you make your relationship with your dog healthier.
1. Pick the right dog
Although this isn’t a grooming tip, your dog’s hygiene will be directly affected by its surroundings, that’s why you have to pick a dog that can adapt to the climate in your area. Take, for example, Huskies. Huskies are used to cold climates and their fur and paws help them thrive on icy terrain. However, if you get one and you live in a tropical area, then your Husky might have a hard time adapting let alone surviving.
A lot of people pick dogs because of their cuteness and size. But if you could help it, do some research when it comes to dogs that are the best fit for the climate in your area.
2. Establish grooming habits early
Even if your dog is still a puppy or even when they are new to your house, you have to establish grooming habits at an early stage. Grooming habits can be the time of the day where you groom them or how grooming time is not playing time. It’s important to try to train your dogs to behave when grooming for both your benefit. This will be helpful for your dogs, too when you decide that it’s time to ask a professional groomer for help. When dogs are given to grooming salons, there will be different devices that will be foreign to your pet, so to help them prepare for that, it’s best to groom them yourself and train them to behave during that time.
3. Consult with a vet and professional pet groomer
These two people are important if you want to keep your dog healthy and fresh. When it comes to visiting the vet, some dog owners don’t find it urgent because their dog isn’t sick. However, visiting a vet earlier on will help assess your dog’s well-being and he or she can also give you advice on how to better treat or feed them. On the other hand, a professional groomer will be able to tell you how to properly groom your dog, just make sure that you tip your dog’s groomer for the advice they’ll give.
4. Know how to properly groom your dog
There’s a lot of material online so you can just research on how to brush and bathe them properly. Usually, long-haired dogs are harder to maintain because their hair is prone to get tangled. They are also prone to smelling bad because a lot of dust and dirt can stick to their fur. Nonetheless, with proper care and maintenance, long-haired dogs can still smell clean and fresh.
5. Buy the right materials
Half of the work is done by your grooming materials so you should buy the right ones for your dogs. The right brush, the right nail clippers, even the right toothbrush will help your dog a lot. When buying shampoo, you have to check the scent and the ingredients and make sure that they are mild to your dogs.
6. Pay attention to their teeth
Just imagine getting licked by your dog with bad breath. No amount of cuteness can cover for their breath so it’s important to give equal attention to their teeth too. Pick a toothbrush that isn’t too big that would harm their gums and a toothpaste that smells good will help too. Toothbrushing is a step you shouldn’t miss even if there are doggie treats that claim to clean your dog’s teeth. These products could be helpful, but there’s no replacement for actual brushing.
7. Schedule grooming time
Unlike humans, dogs aren’t supposed to be groomed every single day. They shouldn’t take daily baths either. Depending on their fur and their shedding periods, dogs are groomed only once in a while. For you to be sure, you can ask your vet about this because grooming schedules vary. But you have to remember that just because your dog doesn’t smell doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be groomed.
8. Clean their ears
Dogs need to have clean ears too because they aren’t immune to ear infections. If you are doing this on your own, remember to be very gentle as dogs are sensitive in the ears. You can use cotton buds (just don’t put them too deep in their ears) or cotton dipped in an ear cleaning solution for dogs.
9. Trim their nails
Keeping their nails trimmed will help lessen scars and scratches that can hurt. Use a nail clipper designed for dogs and remember to just trim their nails. Don’t make them too short as it might hurt your pet. Don’t cut too close to their paws because dogs have veins in their feet and you don’t want to injure them. Be extra careful because some dogs become restless when their nails are being cut.
10. Give them treats
Last but not the least is give them treats. Don’t forget that giving them treats can be done to reward your dogs for their behavior while grooming. Treats can also help motivate them into behaving and this will reinforce the good behavior. Just make sure that you give only after they behave well.
The hard part of being a dog owner is the grooming. Unless you choose to bring them to a grooming salon, grooming them on your own can be a challenge. However, you will surely be able to form closer ties with your pets if you are the one who grooms them.
Thank you to contributing author, Jenny Spiers. Spiers is a mom of three, a dog lover and the head editor of MyPetNeedsThat.com