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Dog Grooming

All dogs will require some level of grooming. Most dogs require grooming at least once a week but obviously this will vary according to the breed of your dog. Some long-haired breeds require daily grooming.

You can either choose to take your dog to your local groomers or you can do it yourself. If you’ve already got a dog, or had one before, then you will probably know exactly what to do and how often. If you are new to dog ownership you can learn about grooming from books and websites or you could enrol yourself on a dog grooming course.

By grooming your dog regularly they will have a healthier coat. Brushing and combing them will remove any dead hair and dirt that is in their fur and prevent knots and tangles forming. You should notice that their coat becomes a lot shinier because brushing them stimulates the blood in their skin. Taking time to groom your dog will also help you to bond with them. If you make sure you groom them from a young age they will get used to it and see it as another form of getting your attention and affection.

You will see when your dog needs the hair cut around their eyes and ears. Their nails also need to be checked regulalrly and trimmed when they become too long.

Here are a few grooming tips:

  • Be careful if you are considering shaving your dog's coat. It may seem like the easy option, but shaving their fur will expose their skin to the sun more and increase their chances of getting sunburnt. Some dogs are particularly susceptible to skin cancers if their skin is unprotected when they are playing or exercising outside. If you do shave their fur, make sure you don’t cut the undercoat on dogs with a double layered coat - this is their own natural protective layer. Advice and expertise from a professional dog groomer is the best option when it comes to trimming your dog's coat.
  • If you do cut or shave your dog it’s advisable to use comb attachments on your clippers. You should also brush their hair backwards against the grain and clip in the same direction of the growth of the hair. When clipping let the clippers do the work. Don’t push down with them to avoid getting marks on the dog's coat. You should clip in short overlapping strokes. If you are new to dog grooming use a professional, reputable dog groomer for the best and safest results.
  • When brushing a dog you should brush from their skin out in a smooth, straight movement. This avoids pulling their skin and causing any discomfort. If your dog has long hair then you should divide it into small sections so you don’t miss anything or pull on too much hair at one time. You should work from the head down to the tail. When brushing you can also use a grooming spray which will let the brush move more smoothly through the fur.

Here are some specific grooming requirements for some of the most popular breeds of dogs;

  • Pomeranians – due to Pomeranians having a long, double coat they need regular brushing as they do shed quite a lot. Daily brushing will prevent their fur tangling. As well as this you should clean their eyes, ears and teeth daily. You can use dry shampoo on their fur when it is needed.
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers – Staffies are quite easy to care for when it comes to grooming because they have a very short and soft coat. Brushing them every now and then with a bristle brush, or a glove-style grooming mitt, will get rid of any dead hair. You can keep their coat shiny by wiping them over with a towel. As with all dogs you should bath them when needed.
  • Border Collies – as a breed Borders are fairly average when it comes to the amount of fur they shed. This means that you should try to brush them regularly to keep their coat in good condition. Brushing becomes particularly important in the seasons when the Border Collie loses its undercoat.
  • Chihuahuas – whether your Chihuahua has short or long hair they should be a fairly average shedder. You should keep an eye on their nails, and ears making sure that nails are cut when needed, and the hair around the ears should also be cut when required. Shorthaired Chihuahuas require less grooming than those with long hair who require daily brushing with a soft bristled brush. You should try and aim to give your Chihuahua a bath once a month.
  • English Cocker Spaniels -  as Cocker Spaniels don’t particularly shed a lot, they do require daily grooming to keep their long coats in good condition and in order to stop matting and tangling. The hair on their feet also needs to be brushed and trimmed when needed, and their ears should be cleaned of excess wax regularly.
  • Newfoundlands – as they were originally bred as a water dog they have a long, thick waterproof coat. This means that they need daily brushing to prevent their fur from matting. As they shed more heavily in certain seasons they will need extra grooming during these periods. Baths should rarely be given. Instead you should use dry shampoo rather than bathing.