Nothing is better when you pick up your dog from Hungry Hound and they smell and look amazing. Most dogs get groomed once a month, but what about those weeks in between? How do you maintain the professional groom to keep your pup looking amazing all month long?
A lot of that depends on your dog’s coat. Some dogs shouldn’t be bathed more than once a month. Some need brushing to prevent matting. Others have folds that need to be wiped regularly. So let’s talk about the different types of maintenance that you may need to provide to your dog throughout the month.
Most dogs require regular brushing to keep their coat free of tangles. Combination Coated, Heavy Coated, Silky Coated, Natural Long Haired, Curly, Wavy, and Wire Coated need to be brushed at least once a week. Some of these breeds may need to be brushed even more frequently than that depending on the type of coat and activity level they have.
Matting can be incredibly painful for dogs and cause serious skin conditions, so investing in a slicker brush will help you to keep their coat tangle free. That not only makes trips to the groomer even easier, but them happier and healthier overall. You don’t need to neglect brushing your Short and Smooth coated dogs though. They tend to shed and giving them a brushing with a rubber curry brush can help to eliminate those pesky short and wiry hairs that can get everywhere.
Okay, we know… a lot of dogs HATE having their nails trimmed. Doing it at home can be a challenge. Even the most docile of dog can become a canine hulk when the nail clippers come out. However, keeping their nails short and trimmed is important. Dog’s nails can curve around and grow into their paw pads if not done regularly. This can cause foot deformity and extreme pain for your dog.
Ever caught your dog’s quick? If you’ve ever caught this blood vessel, you know the pain it can cause your dog as well as the mess that it can create. Well, the longer you let those nails grow, the longer the quick gets. Regular trimming will push the quick back and make it easier to get a short nail.
When in doubt, you can always take them to your groomer. We do nail trims without appointment. That way you can keep their nails the appropriate length without having to perform an entire groom.
Speaking of feet… did you know that the only place dogs sweat from is their nose and feet? That’s why it is important to keep their feet as clean as possible. Even if you aren’t going to be giving your dog a bath, giving the feet a good cleanse several times between grooming appointments is recommended.
Yep, they have wax just like we do! The wax can buildup and with the dog’s hair, catch debris. This can lead to infections, and no one wants an ear infection. Also, ear mites feed on wax and oils in the ear and this can cause scratching, head shaking, rubbing of ears and ear infections as well. Wiping the dog’s ear with a clean tissue or gauze on a regular basis works well, but if there is build-up in the ear of wax, dirt and debris, using an ear-cleaning solution from a vet or pet boutique is suggested.
As the former owner of a pug, I can write an essay on wrinkle folds. Wrinkles are havens for food, bacteria, dirt, and debris. Blemishes and sores can develop inside the wrinkle, and the smell… I used to say it smelled like a combination of corn chips and feet.
Cleaning can be tricky since the fold needs to be dry when done cleaning. Use a damp cloth and your finger or cotton swab to trace along the fold and remove any dirt. Then use a dry cloth to remove any moisture. You can also use special wipes and wrinkle cleaners if deeper cleaning is needed.
If you have a smooth or short coated dog, you can easily give your pup a bath in between grooming visits. However, it is incredibly important to use shampoo created FOR DOGS. Using human shampoo or any kind of dish soap can irritate their skin and if it gets in the eyes, cause serious issues. A gentle conditioner is recommended as well.
If you have dogs with a longer coat, be sure to brush out mats first. Water can set a mat if not treated properly. If you have a curly or wavy coat, keep in mind that groomers dry dogs with a special technique to straighten the coat for the perfect cut. While you can attempt the same maneuver, you need to use little to zero heat while drying. Dog’s skin is much different than a human head of hair. Even mild heat can cause serious skin issues and irritation.
Finally, remember that a puppy spa day is a great way to bond with your dog. Keep them warm during the process and have a lot of treats on hand. Doing these simple things can extend the life of your dog’s groom and keep them smelling fresh all month long.