Author: Noeleen Stedman, Gizmos Grooming
As a Groomer I’ve seen too often the damage caused by customers who use home grooming kits on their pets. They seem like a great idea but so much can go wrong.
Your dog may get nicked or cut by the clippers, the clippers may overheat causing clipper burn which can permanently damage the coat and hurt your dog, and of course there’s the risk your dog may snap or bite.
No matter how quiet and friendly your dog is there’s always a chance your dog may feel threatened and bite out of fear. Groomers are trained to deal with this and to read your dogs body language. So while I don’t advise home grooming there are ways to keep your dogs coat in tip top condition between grooms and make sure you get the most out of your professional groom.
Brushing your dog is an absolute must, especially if you have a dog with long or curly hair. Anyone with Bichons, Shih tzus etc know how horrible it is to have your dogs coat completely clipped back. Unfortunately there’s no alternative if your dogs coat is matted. Brushing between grooms helps prevent mats forming and thus allows you to have a fluffier, longer coat at your next groom.
When brushing your dog brush down and out away from the skin, don’t pull the hair as you will damage the hair and hurt your dog. Make sure you brush your whole dog including legs and belly as these are the area’s most prone to matting. Brushing between grooms will remove any dead hair and fur, saving your carpets and furniture too!
Washing and Drying
Depending how often you visit your groomer it may be necessary to wash your dog between grooms. When your dogs coat is dirty for long periods mats can form when the dirt particles come together and it’s impossible to remedy this.
To prevent this happening, wash your dog thoroughly using dog shampoo, don’t use human shampoo as the PH is much too strong for your dogs coat. If you wish to wash your dogs face I recommend using baby shampoo as this will prevent any distress to your dogs eyes. If your dog has a curly coat, a conditioner may also be used as this will help ease out any tangles.
Make sure you thoroughly wash out any products you used. At this point either dry your dog with a pet friendly hair dryer or air dry. It is really important to thoroughly brush your dog after every bath.
Some dogs are extremely prone to eye stains. This is a brown/red residue that appears from your dogs tear ducts. So often I have dogs come to me with staining so bad that it has to be clipped off in one big hard clump. There is not necessarily anything wrong with your dog but I recommend that you clean your dogs eye area once a day or every second day depending on how bad it is.
Simply dip some cotton wool into cool boiled water and rub downwards from the corner of the eye, away from the eye. It may not stop the staining but it will prevent clumping and the subsequent eye problems associated with it.
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