Why is it important to groom your dog?
The health benefits and tips on what you can do.
There are many health benefits that regular grooming brings to your dog that you may not realise. On the surface it may not look like your dog needs a trip to the groomers, however, your dog’s skin and fur will benefit greatly with regular grooming.
Regular brushing is essential for preventing the matting of hair. Loose hair from moulting can get tangled, resulting in matting, which unfortunately will only get worse.
Matting can be extremely uncomfortable for your dog where it is pulling on their skin, and can gradually lead to sore painful patches.
Keeping on top of brushing not only help’s your dog’s coat look glossy and healthy (by stimulating natural oils), but it keeps it tangle free. A winning combination for a happy pooch!
What are the best brushes or combs to use at home?
We know that choosing a brush can feel a bit overwhelming. With so many choices, it’s not always clear what they all can do. Below we’ve listed several types and their functions, however, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any advice.
- Pin brushes – good for smoothing out small tangles and removing dead fur from both the coat and undercoat. These brushes have metal pins with rounded ends to make it comfortable for your dog. The longer the pins on the brush, the better it is for dogs with longer, thicker coats.
- Slicker brushes – these brushes have short, fine hairs on a flat brush and are suitable for removing knots from short to medium coat breeds, or those with curly fur. The pins are angled to avoid scratching the skin while brushing, but don’t apply too much pressure – and look out for any pins sticking out at the wrong angle.
- Rubber brushes – ideal for removing dead fur and massaging the skin to encourage natural oils to be released, which make a dog’s coat look healthy and glossy.
- Grooming mitts – a useful tool for removing dirt and dead hair from short-coated breeds, but not recommended for dogs with medium to long-haired coats.
- Undercoat rake or de-shedding tools – these brushes are brilliant for gently removing the dead fur from a dog’s undercoat, while still brushing through the top coat and removing any dirt. These are particularly useful for dogs that moult frequently.
- Bristle brush – these brushes are ideal for finishing off grooming, and for quick maintenance brushes in between brushes. They brush through the top coat, removing dead fur and dirt while stimulating natural oil production.
When Should I Start Grooming My Dog?
This is essentially determined by the breed of your dog. In general, dog owners should get their pooch comfortable with regular grooming as early as possibly. The ideal time being when they are a puppy. Getting into a routine early on helps your dog get used to the different environment and handling, which can also make going to the vet a lot easier.
At The Groom Pad we offer puppy induction appointments, where we focus on getting your pup gradually used to us and the salon. If you’re looking for a groomer for your new pup, we’d love to hear from you!
Why Visit a Professional?
Professional groomers have the expertise and tools you most likely don’t have at home.
Long haired dogs
A lot of dogs with a longer coat will be in need of a more thorough groom and often will have a specific style suited to that breed. Professional dog groomers understand what style will suit which hairstyles, resulting in an enhanced coat for your dog. The frequency of groom’s ultimately comes down to your dog’s lifestyle and coat. Speak to one of us if you aren’t sure, and we’ll be happy to advise.
Short haired dogs
Where they most likely will not need to be professionally groomed as frequently as a long haired dog, grooming them regularly will enable your dog’s coat to remain healthy, enhanced and mat free. Bringing your dog to the groomers is a chance for them to have social interaction in a different environment and leads to them becoming more accustomed to being handled by strangers. Which, overall, can help with a lot of situations.
My dog hates going to the groomers, what can you do?…
We understand that not all dogs like to pay us a visit. However, there are several ways to help the situation that work for us, and can work for you at home too:
- Always make handling and grooming a happy experience. Treats, rewards, and praise go a long way.
- Start early! Grooming your dog during the time-frame they are making associations is the best way in making this a normal experience for them.
- Remaining calm. It’s important not to match your dog’s level of anxiety. If they are afraid of being brushed take some steps back and take your time.
- Positive association – For example, if your dog has a particular fear of brushes, get a few out so they can start getting used to them being around. To help this, create a positive association by producing something your dog really likes, like their favourite treat. Gradually introduce brushing by touching your dog gently with a soft brush for short periods of time and be sure to reward them!
Avoiding bringing your dog to the groomers or grooming them yourself isn’t going to make the situation easier.
Unfortunately, leaving long periods of time between grooming can cause a negative association for your dog. If they become matted they will become more uncomfortable and it will be unpleasant for them to be touched, let alone groomed. So, working towards a happier dog and tackling any grooming anxieties is the best thing for your dog.
How often does my dog need grooming?
We recommend, for a short-haired, smooth-coat that they are brushed at least once a week and rough or long-coated dog will need much more regular grooming. Often a long coat will require clipping to keep the fur at a manageable length.
With clipping, it is ultimately dependent on your dog’s breed. So this can vary from every 4 weeks to every 12.
Other breeds may need ‘stripping’ rather than a ‘normal’ groom to make sure dead hairs are removed. This is due to them not shedding as well as others.
With the time of year, it is especially important to keep on top of your pet’s coat in order for them to keep cool during the summer months.