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Top 10 Dog Grooming Tips

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We all want our dogs to look their best, but having them professionally groomed all the time is not financially feasible for everyone. Brent Lotz, veterinary assistant and dog groomer, gives the following top 10 dog grooming tips to help make your dog look like he just stepped out of the beauty parlor.

#1 – Baby Powder

Have tangles? Baby powder is your new best friend. Sprinkle it on your dog’s tangles and you will be able to comb them out a lot easier. Plus, your dog will smell good.

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#2 – Flea Combs Aren’t Just For Fleas

For dogs with longer hair on their faces, like Shih Tzus, Schanuzers, and most doodles, a flea comb works great to detangle without causing pain or discomfort.

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#3 – Trim The Paws

Trimming the hair around and in between your dog’s pads has many positives: it’s easier to wipe them clean after being outside; they don’t get things such as burrs or thistles caught as easily. Your dog will also have better traction on slippery floors without the hair getting in the way of their pads.

Image source: @TonyAlter via Flickr
Image source: @TonyAlter via Flickr

#4 – Use Appropriate Brushes

Make sure you use the right brush for your dog’s coat type:

  • For short-hair breeds, like Labs, use a Furminator short toothed comb and a curry comb (useful for bathing).
  • For medium-length breeds with undercoat, like the Husky, use a double or single rake to reach the dead undercoat. Dematting combs and slicker brushes can also be useful.
  • For Doodle-type dogs, use a pin brush and a slicker or straight comb.
  • For long-haired breeds like Shelties, Maltese, etc., use a double rake, straight comb and/or slicker depending on if they have an undercoat or not.
  • For wire-haired breeds like the Brussels Griffon, use a slicker brush, wide-toothed flea comb (for the face). Dematting and straight combs can be handy too.

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#5 – Use Appropriate Shampoo and Conditioner

Use shampoo and conditioner that is formulated for dogs, not humans. Human shampoos can be harsh and toxic if ingested. Choose an all-natural shampoo and conditioner. Talk to your vet prior to using if your dog has any allergies, sensitives or skin conditions.

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#6 – Double Rinse

Make sure you rinse every bit of shampoo and conditioner out of your dog. Left in product can irritate the skin causing problems such as dry skin, flaking, itchiness, etc.

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#7 –  Exercise Before

Exercising your dog before you groom can help them stay still and calm while you work on them. It’s especially useful for younger or high-energy dogs.

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#8 – Show Sheen

This used to be a “best kept secret” of the dog grooming world – because it’s made for horses! But, now the company has a formulation just for dogs and it works just as well as the original. It gives your dog’s coat an amazingly soft and silky feel and appearance. Even better, it creates a barrier that keeps dirt from adhering to your dog’s coat, making it easier to just brush them off after they have been outside.

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#9 – Trim Nail Regularly

Most dog owners let their dog nails go too long between trims. On average, their nails should be trimmed every three to four weeks. Your dog’s nails shouldn’t touch the ground, so if you hear that “clacking” noise on hard surfaces, he is probably overdo for a trim.

Image source: @GeorgeCarter via Flickr
Image source: @GeorgeCarter via Flickr

#10 – Keep Equipment Clean

After each use, clean your brushes, combs, nail trimmers, etc. This will help you avoid giving your dog a secondary infection from bacteria the grooming utensils collect. Below is a Chris Christensen brush cleaner, designed to remove hair and grime from your pin and slicker brushes. Amazon.com

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Written by Kristina Lotz

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