Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fundamentals of Basic Grooming for Pet Owners

Very often, groomers get clients who visit the groomers with a matted pet or all tangled up, and the poor dog will end up spending hours standing on the grooming table, all stressed out by the de-tangling comb, continuous brushing and tugging to remove the tangles.

As a pet owner, one should have the knowledge of basic grooming to avoid putting your dogs to unnecessary stress at the groomer's.

Today, we will demonstrate to you, the basic methods of brushing, combing, and dematting, as well as nail clipping and filing, in doggy terms its mani-pedicure.

Brushing is very important especially for long coated breeds like the Maltese, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Schnauzers and Shetland Sheepdogs.

A very common mistake pet owners make when it comes to self-grooming is by going through the motion of brushing the dog from head to tail, head to tail, and thinking that as long as the dog is soft and fluffy at the end of it, it's a job done and finished!

What they do not know is that, by only brushing the surface of the coat, one is not paying enough attention to the layer of fur close to the skin. When the coat is not dried thoroughly after a wash, the shampoo or conditioner residue tend to clump the inner coat together, and over the next few days, the fur will start to tangle up. If left unnoticed, more fur catches on after a few showers, and eventually more fur gets tangled and matted.

When brushing a long coated dog, always remember to brush them upwards, against the direction of the fur's growth, and then slowly brushing the fur down, layer by layer. This way, fur near the skin gets brushed out and thus preventing tangles.

Finish up with a flat metal comb, run through the various parts of the body to ensure the comb does not get caught at any point. When the comb is jamed at some point, it simply means there's another tangle to work on.

Slowly brush out the tangle in all angles, best if you have a detangling spray on hand to help you. Mist a bit of detangle onto the tangle, and start combing out.

If time permits, the nail clipping part

Many owners make the common mistake of clipping their dog's nails too short and end up traumatizing the dog at their first attempt. Such a shocking experience will result in the dog losing confidence in its own owner when it comes to nail clipping, and will find their best ways and means to wriggle themselves out of it, some even develop aggression resulting in bites whenever anyone attempts to even touch their paw.

Never try to be over-confident during your first attempts at nail clipping. Treat the nail like an onion, we peel it off layer by layer. Likewise with the nail, hold the nail clipper in such a way, that you do not snip off a whole portion of the nail. Rather, work your nail clipper around the outer layer of the nail, clipping out small bits at each time.

When your dog has learnt that the nail clipping session is not so traumatizing, move on to clipping a little bit more on your future attempts.

A good guide is to place your nail clipper at a 45 degrees angle, taking reference from the paw pad. Apply a bit of pressure on the nail so that the quick, or nerve will retract a bit, as such, you are able to remove more of the nail..
Picture credited to pawluxury.blogspot

If you already are the owner of a traumatized dog, a good tip is to use a nail file, or an electric nail grinder instead. The grinder can take off more of the nail than clipping with the nail clipper, and chances of the dog bleeding are low.

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