Keeping up with your dog's hygiene and grooming is an important part of being a dog parent! There are many ways you can go about this. You can routinely take your dog to the groomers, or you can do some, or all, of their grooming at home! Here are some tips and products we at the Sassy Woof office use on our dogs, as well as recommendations!
Let's start from the top! 🐶
Using ear wipes or cleaner drops will help ensure your pup's ears stay clean and don't get irritated! A liquid solution is generally much more effective. Another thing to remember is to protect your dog's ears from water while bathing!
A pup's nose can tell a lot about their health! A healthy nose is wet! Sometime's depending on the breed, allergies, injuries, etc. a dog's nose might need some medical love! Using a nose balm for these occasions can get your dog nose back to healthy!
You brush your teeth multiple times a day, so why should you not take care of your pup's teefs? Here are some ways you can!
Baths & Skin
There can be lots of questions about bathing your dog - how often, best shampoo, do you use conditioner, are there other products? Here are some tips on best practices, as well as products!
- Don't bathe your pup too often! If you do, you'll likely dry out, or irritate your pup's skin. Once a week is way too often, around once a month is okay. The recommendation is at least once every 2-3 months.
- Of course sometimes you can't help it, maybe your dog got into mud, so there are some options. If you find you need to bathe your dog more often, do so with only water, or with a soap-free/moisturizing shampoo to prevent the skin from becoming dry.
- Another option for making your pup smell nicer than they do without a full bath, is doggy dry shampoo or wipes! It's true - they make that now!
- When it comes to brushing and baths, you should brush your dog prior to the bath, and avoid brushing when their hair is wet!
Hair & Brushing
For dog fur, not all brushes are equal! You want to make sure you use the correct brush for your dog's fur type, as well as making sure you read the directions and are using the tool correctly. Let's go through some!
- Slicker: Consisting of fine, short wires close together on a flat surface, this brush is often used to remove knots & tangles. The top-rated is Chris Christensen!
- Rakes/De-Shedding: This type of brush is used for the purpose of combing through to get the excess hair that you find on your couch! It's important to read the directions prior to usage to make sure you're using it at the right time, and at the frequency, or infrequency necessary! You may have heard of a FURminator!
- Bristle: This brush can be used on different lengths of fur, and is used to help soften the pup's fur!
- Rubber brushes: This is a good brush for short-haired pups who shed! It massages your pup while removing loose fur!
- Pin: Typically the most common type of brush used, it looks a lot like a human brush, but is actually the least useful for success in brushing your pup! They are best used to finish off the grooming process, after de-shedding, removing knots, or distributing the oil for shiny fur.
- Flea comb: This can be used on any type of fur, and is used to check your dogs for fleas!
Nails & Feet
Your pup's paws have to take them all over town! Whether it's through the woods, on a gravel path, a sidewalk, on rocks... the options are vast, and your pup's paws need to be protected! You want to make sure their nails aren't too long or too short!
- Nails: You can take your pup to a groomer for their nails, or with care and instructions, do them at home! Here are a couple of tips for each! One is to certainly keep the treats at hand for rewards! You want them to think of this task with pawsitivity!
- Clippers: Let your pup sniff the clippers first, touch the clippers to the nail, and each paw with the clipper! If you use the clippers, you could use a file or the grinder after to get a smoother tip.
- Grinder: This works better on thicker nails. Let your pup hear the grinder first. The grinder will take longer, so take your time.
- Make sure you know where the quick is
before starting on the nail and know where to stop
- Make sure your dog is calm and relaxed - helps before to take your time and calm them down before you start, and continue with pets and treats as they go.
- Take your time during the entire process to ensure your pup is comfortable and you do a great job
- Paw Balm: This can be used for multiple reasons to keep your pup's paws safe!
- Protecting the beds from the elements
- Treating blisters, dry beds, burns, irritation