Whether you own a sporting dog or a toy breed, the importance of regularly grooming your canine friend cannot be emphasized enough. Forget the many publications you’ve read that suggest some dogs can do without grooming. Despite his age, breed, or fur size, every dog requires regular grooming.
Grooming your dog serves various crucial purposes. First, it’s an excellent way to keep your pooch parasite-free. Grooming also allows you to examine your dog for any issues that could potentially degenerate into full-blown skin conditions. Most importantly, grooming helps you bond with your furry friend.
However, all dogs aren’t made equal. While most canines have a high affinity for water and will gladly walk themselves into the bathtub, some dogs can be so skittish as to resist any grooming gestures.
That notwithstanding, dog grooming can be a fun and rewarding experience. You only need to know how to approach the exercise.
Listed below are the top five ways to make every dog grooming a fun-filled activity to always look forward to.
The first tip to make every dog grooming session a fun-filled experience is to start early. This means introducing grooming sessions earlier in your dog’s life.
There’s no standard rule on how old a dog should be before you can start grooming him. The conventional wisdom is to introduce grooming sessions as soon as the dog is weaned. You can even start earlier, provided that the nursing dog can let you mingle freely with her litter.
The good news is that dogs are generally water-loving pets. So, your canine friend will likely be more welcoming of grooming than opposed to it.
That said, your dog’s temperament and personality can play an instrumental role in making him more receptive or averse to grooming. As we already mentioned, skittish dogs may require more time before they can fully embrace the idea of grooming.
Use Pet-safe Grooming Products
There are several items you require for a successful dog grooming session—these range from a dog comb to dog shampoo and even dog deodorizer.
It’s best only to use pet-safe grooming items for your dog. Pay particular attention to shampoos and deodorants.
Some shampoo products could leave your dog’s skin dry and itchy, depending on the ingredients used. Itchiness after every grooming session might cause your dog to associate the exercise with unpleasant experiences. Your pet may blatantly oppose any grooming attempts on a long enough timeline.
That underscores the importance of investing in pet-safe shampoos. Shampoos containing moisturizing properties that don’t trigger allergic reactions are usually safe for pets.
As you endeavor to select the best shampoos, also give some thought to deodorants. Insist on products formulated with compounds not known to trigger respiratory reactions in dogs. A bonus point is to prioritize deodorizers that contain naturally-soothing herbs, such as lavender.
Understand Your Dog’s Fur and Coat
Understanding your dog’s fur size and coat type can go a long way in making every grooming session fun-filled.
For instance, Shih Tzu breeds have long, flowery coats that may dry out and even start to flake if groomed using strong shampoos. If you have a Shih Tzu or similar dog breed, your best bet would be to consider dog shampoo specially designed for pets with sensitive coat types.
Fortunately, numerous brands offer pet shampoos intended for dogs with longer furs and tender coats. Once you find such a brand, be sure to read the product’s label to establish that all the ingredients are considered pet-safe.
Kin and Kind dog shampoo is a noteworthy recommendation when looking for the best shampoos for dogs with sensitive coats. This product is formulated with pet-approved ingredients, including moisturizing compounds like coconut oil, olive oil, and glycerin. You can use Kin and Kind shampoo without worrying about your dog developing allergic reactions, which happens to be a common concern with standard dog shampoos.
Dogs like Bloodhounds have an all-weather coat. Such dogs secrete sebum that keeps their coats moisturized. The sebum acts as a water-proof layer, preventing water from penetrating the dog’s coat.
Tire Your Dog Down
Dogs are hyperactive creatures with plenty of pent-up energy. Regular exercise helps them release this energy to lead a healthy life free of destructive behaviors like obsessive digging and scratching.
Regular exercise is also recommended for your dog’s overall well-being. It promotes the healthy function of vital organs, particularly the heart, muscles, and brain.
Exercise has been cited as one of the most effective natural ways to avoid canine mental conditions like separation anxiety. That’s due to its ability to trigger the release of endorphins, chemicals associated with happiness.
It seems there’s no limit to the benefits of exercising your pup regularly.
Like humans, dogs feel their best when happy. The fact that exercise triggers ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters mean it can make your dog happier and psychologically disposed to grooming.
Exercise may also help tire your dog down for a necessary training or grooming session. Approaching a grooming session before walking your dog or playing the game of fetch together means the animal will have too much energy, hence easily distracted.
Keep the Sessions Short
Dogs have a shorter attention span than humans. Your canine friend is bound to become disinterested in grooming despite your best efforts if the sessions go on too long.
Therefore, it’s essential to keep every grooming session short. 5 to 10 minutes would do.
Although, 5-minute grooming may seem too short for a dog with heavy fur and a thick coat. But it shouldn’t be too much of a problem if the dog gets groomed regularly.
Besides, there are several ways to make the sessions longer if need be.
For instance, you might consider doling out treats whenever you realize that your dog is losing interest in the exercise. Proper timing is vital. The goal is to ensure the animal can find a reason to last three or five minutes longer.
You could also get your dog a special grooming toy. A chew toy would work wonders here. It helps distract the dog while you work your fingers through the fur.
Lastly, shower your dog with compliments.
There are numerous ways to make every dog grooming exercise something you and your pup can always look forward to. We hope you can implement the above tips the next time you want to groom your canine friend.