Monday, December 3, 2007

Bathing, Brushing & Nail Trimming Your Dog


Regular brushing removes dead hair from the coat before it mats, stimulates the skin and helps distribute the natural oils, producing a healthy, shiny coat. Begin brushing at the head, working toward the tail and down the legs. Always brush in the direction of hair growth. Pay particular attention to the legs and flanks, and areas that easily mat. The final step in brushing is to go through the coat using a fine/medium toothed comb, checking for any mats that may still be in the coat.

If your new friend is a longer-haired breed, you'll have to brush his undercoat to keep it from building up. Most long-haired breeds have an undercoat, which is the softer fur inside his coat. If the undercoat builds up, it can prevent him from properly regulating his body temperature. Brushing of both long and short-haired breeds also helps prevent excessive shedding which goes a long way in keeping your home (not to mention your wardrobe) free of dog hair.


In addition to keeping your dog smelling fresh, a good bath also keeps his skin clean. Dirty skin can be oily, causing your pet to scratch and lick himself, resulting in sore spots and hairless patches. A good shampoo and proper conditioning will keep his skin healthy and make his coat easier to brush. Speaking of brushing, be sure to brush your dog's coat before every bath, to loosen any matted hair. Mats will only tighten when wet, so it's important to get rid of them before the bath. Also, a dog's skin has a different pH balance than ours, so the two of you shouldn't share shampoo. You'll find a variety of shampoos and conditioners made just for dogs.

Nail Trimming

Regular nail trimming is important to your dog's health and well-being. Never use ordinary scissors to trim your dog's nails. Use trimmers that are specially designed for dogs. Hold the dog's paw firmly, and cut off the tip of the nail with a single stroke. Be very careful to stop short of the quick, the blood vessel inside the nail. Cutting the nails right after bathing will make the quick softer; applying baby oil will serve the same purpose. Follow up by filing your dog's nails with a nail file for a smooth, snag-free finish

Smart Tip on Nail Clipping

Rub your puppy's paws often so he's used to having his feet touched. This will make nail trims much easier when he's an adult.

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1 comment:

Chris said...

Good advice about getting your puppy used to having his feet touched. Also a good idea to getting him used to having his head, ears and mouth touched so you can brush his teeth and clean/medicate his ears if necessary.