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    How to groom your dog | Dogs and puppies

    Articlegeneral dog adviceWednesday 29 February 2012
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    Different dogs need different levels of grooming, if you have a low maintenance dog then you are lucky but whatever type of dog you own dog grooming needs to be carried out regularly.

    If you have a poodle or another breed that requires extensive care and cutting then you might want to leave the difficult bits to professional dog groomers. Usually dog grooming is quite easy and simple so you should have no problems keeping a simple dog grooming routine.

    Dog grooming kit essentials

    • Metal grooming comb
    • Soft wire slicker brush
    • Mat splitter

    Dog grooming – brushing
    For brushing most breeds of dog you will only need the top two combs on the dog grooming kit essentials list. If your dog has long hair then you might need a mat splitter. A mat splitter is essentially an ‘L’ shaped tool with a razor blade attached to cut out tangled mats of hair.

    Before bathing your dog as part of your dog grooming routine you must remove all of the loose and matted hair from the dog’s coat. If you give your dog a bath when he is still tangled the mats will collect moisture and bacteria could develop and case skin infections.

    If you cannot get mats of hair out with a grooming comb, slicker brush or mat splitter then your best option is to use dog clippers
         
    Do not remove mats of hair with scissors as they can form next to the skin and you could cut or damage your dog by accident.

    Start by brushing your dog’s head and move downwards across the back, sides, chest, legs and tail in that order.

    Look out for mats in the most common places which are behind the ears, armpits, backs of legs and tail.
         
    If your dog gets mats between the toes then the best way to remove them is with the soft wire slicker brush from your dog grooming kit. Hold the dog’s paw in your hand, brush away from you towards the toes; this will bring the hair up through the toes without causing discomfort.
         
    If you have a heavily matted dog this part of dog grooming will be time consuming and you should give your dog a break every half an hour or so.
         
    Comb through your dogs coat, if you can do so without coming across any tangles then you can go ahead a bathe your dog.

    Dog grooming – bathing
    If you have a small dog a sink is the perfect place for bathing.
     
    If your dog is large then put him in the bath.
     
    Try and have a flexible shower head available, so you can take it out of the hook and bring it down close to the dog and wash him properly.
     
    Never use cold water to bathe your dog. You should have warm water as this will remove dirt and grease more quickly and the dog grooming process will be much more pleasurable for your pet.
         
    You should shampoo your dog twice. Lather the shampoo from head to toe and make sure that you rinse with warm water thoroughly
         
    If you are using a flea shampoo then use a normal shampoo for the first lather and the flea shampoo on the second round. Leave the flea shampoo as a lather for ten minutes before washing out (this could alter with different products so I would advise checking the label).

    Dishwashing liquid is sometimes brilliant for removing the grease from the greasiest of dogs
         
    After rinsing out all of the soap you should squeeze all of the water out from your dog’s coat.

    Use a towel to dry off your dog and give him a last brush to remove any hairs loosened by the bath.

    If your dog doesn’t like being cleaned and groomed then you can pay professional dog groomers to carry out the work for you.

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