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Guide to grooming a dog

Guide to grooming a dog

Grooming isn’t just about your dog looking good – it’s vital to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Read our guide for everything you need to know about how to groom a dog. 

Tom Harrison
Content writer
minute read
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Posted 7 OCTOBER 2019

How important is dog grooming?

Neglecting to groom your dog can cause discomfort, pain and potentially serious health problems – including dental diseases, and ear and eye infections.  

Regular grooming helps to:

  • keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy by removing dead hair
  • improve circulation
  • create a strong bond with your dog
  • calm your dog, reducing stress and blood pressure.

Plus, it can help you to spot early signs of any health problems before they become serious.

Each dog breed has its own grooming needs – some long-haired breeds need to be trimmed up to six times a year.  

The earlier you start grooming your dog, the better, as they’ll get used to all the fuss and hopefully even enjoy it.

When should I bath my dog?

How often you bath a dog really depends on its lifestyle and whether it has any skin conditions. It’s best to only give your dog a bath when necessary, as too much bath time can strip the natural oils from their coat and dry out their skin.

If you’ve been out for a walk and your dog’s got a little muddy, you might be able to give your dog a quick rinse with warm water. But if your dog’s rolled in something nasty or is absolutely filthy, you may need to go the whole hog.

Tips for bathing a dog

  • Take things slowly, to make sure your dog is relaxed and happy  
  • Brush out any tangles before you get them wet
  • Use a jug or shower attachment to wet their coat before applying shampoo
  • Make sure you use a pet-safe shampoo – never use human products
  • Try to avoid the head – it’s best to clean their head and face gently with a washcloth
  • Massage the shampoo in and be sure to rinse thoroughly
  • Dry with a towel before allowing your dog to shake off and roll around  
  • Make sure they’re warm enough while they’re drying out naturally

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How can I keep my dog’s paws healthy?

Your dog’s paws can be very sensitive and are prone to scratches and wounds, so it’s a good idea to regularly check their feet and footpads.  

When you’re out for a walk, check for signs of limping. And when you get home, brush off any seeds or burrs that might have got caught in their fur.

How often do dogs need their nails clipping?

As with bathing, nail clipping should only be done when needed. A dog’s nails are naturally worn down by walking on hard surfaces. However, if you notice that your dog’s nails are getting long, digging into the pad or curling over – especially the higher ‘thumb’ nail – you may need to clip or file them.

Make sure you use pet nail clippers or nail files. Avoid cutting the nails too short as it can be very painful around sensitive nerve endings. If your dog has a torn or missing nail, they might need medical attention from your vet to make sure it doesn’t become infected. 

Where can I find a professional dog groomer?

If you’re not sure what sort of grooming your dog needs – it might depend on how often they shed their hair – or you’re looking for advice on how to groom your dog, a professional dog groomer will be able to help. It’s important to find a reputable dog groomer to make sure your dog’s in capable, confident hands. Ask for recommendations from your vet, or family and friends.

If I groom my dog regularly, do I need pet insurance?

Keeping on top of your dog’s grooming will certainly contribute to maintaining their health and happiness – especially since it can help you spot some ailments early on. But dog insurance covers a whole host of health issues your dog might face, giving you proper protection when you need it.

Looking to compare pet insurance quotes? You can get the right pet insurance at the right price with our comparison service. All you need to do is tell us a little bit about you and your four-legged friend.

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