Natural Dog Grooming
Many pet owners groom their pets at home, and many use a professional groomer to help keep their coats in tip-top shape. Some dogs can be quite challenging to groom, and for some people, it is just easier to take their pet to a professional.
Trained groomers can often more safely handle tricky procedures such as nail clippings with temperamental animals. Also, if your dog has severe mats, it is safer to have them removed by an experienced groomer to avoid accidental cuts.
Regardless of whether you choose to use a groomer or not, it is important to do some of the brushing and simple grooming procedures yourself. Brushing helps you build a close bond with your pet, but just as importantly, it helps keep you informed about the condition of their skin, fur, nails, ears, and alert you to anything out of the ordinary.
First, we'll talk about home grooming, and how to bathe, brush, clip nails, and clean ears. Then, we'll talk about professional groomers and tips on choosing the best groomer for your pet.
Grooming At Home
Establishing a regular grooming routine with your pup is simple, and can be a very rewarding and emotionally bonding experience. Not only does it give you the opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time together, but it allows you to become familiar with their body and check the overall condition of their skin, coat, teeth, and ears, and know quickly if something is amiss. It also keeps them looking and feeling great!
The earlier you start grooming, the better so that they will adapt to how it feels. Most dogs should be brushed at least once a week, with some longer haired or shedding breeds brushed daily. Bathing should be done depending on the need. When it comes to grooming, all you need are some simple tools, such as the right dog brush, a pair of nail clippers, natural dog shampoo, and cotton balls.
Home grooming includes almost everything a groomer would do, except you do it yourself:
- Nail Clipping
- Ear Cleaning
- Giving A Bath (as needed)
- Teeth Cleaning (2-3 times each week) ...learn about pet dental care
Selecting A Professional Groomer
When selecting a groomer, here are some helpful tips:
- Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, or veterinarian. Check Google and Yelp reviews online, or speak to others that have used the groomer so that you can get some feedback. You can also contact the National Dog Groomers Association of America for groomers in your area.
- Evaluate the grooming facility. Does it look and smell clean? How are the pet's handled? Do they use cages, and if so, are they the appropriate size? Does the groomer keep complete records (grooming, medical, vaccinations, etc.)?
- Does your groomer uses natural grooming products, rather than synthetic ones?
- Schedule a "meet and greet" session with yourself, your pup, and the groomer and see how they respond to eachother. Pay attention to the groomer's handling skills, and how they interact with your pup.
- If possible, ask to view a grooming session for a few minutes (but not with your pup, as this can create difficulties for the groomer if your pet can see you).
- Before you schedule a session, discuss any chronic health conditions you pet may have with the groomer, as well as any temperament issues that may interfere with successful grooming. Also discuss any skin conditions.
After the first grooming, judge for yourself how your pet looks and acts, and see if you are happy with the results. A good groomer will spend a few minutes with you to tell you how the grooming went, and if any issues cropped up that they feel you should be aware of (such as a hot-spot on the skin).
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- Raw food diet for pets
- Home-baked doggy treats
- Bones - nature's toothbrush
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- Pet dental care