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List: Posted: 01/31/12
Grooming your dog is important. It helps to keep your dog healthy, keep their coat in good condition, ensure that their nails are clean and clipped, and even helps with skin problems. However, if you choose to let a professional groom your dog, it can be very expensive. You can do the same job at home, for little to no cost, while making your pet feel more comfortable in the hands of someone they love.
Brush Your Dog
The first step is to brush your dog's hair. A dog with short hair will be a relatively simple job. However, for a longer-haired breed, brushing can take a longer time. You need to be especially careful with knots and tangles. You don't want to hurt your dog, as this will just make them more antsy about the entire process. Use a natural bristle brush and avoid any brush with wire prongs, as these can scratch your pet and make them bleed if you brush too hard.
Express the Anal Glands
After brushing, you need to express the anal glands. This can be a bit dirty, but it is part of a good dog grooming. Wear gloves and learn where the anal glands are located so that you can do it quickly and effectively.
Wash Your Dog
Once you have done this, it's time for your dog to get a bath. Make sure that you put cotton balls in your dog's ears so that water doesn't get down inside them, and wash your dog thoroughly. Never use a cold hose - your dog is a warm-blooded mammal like you, and using cold water will shock and upset your pet. Instead, use lukewarm water from a hose, or use a pair of large watering cans filled with warm water as a makeshift doggy shower!
Use the Correct Shampoo
Use a specialty dog shampoo or human baby shampoo (the 'no more tears' kind is best) and towel your dog dry when finished. Make sure no suds get in your pet's eye - dogs can't rub their eyes like we can to rid them of irritants, and any stinging shampoo that goes in their eyes will make their eyes red, and condition them to expect pain and discomfort during a bath.
Clean Doggy Ears and Claws
After bathing your dog, you need to clean out his or her ears. Be gentle and use a gentle astringent cleaning solution and a cotton swab.
Trimming your dog's nails is the final step of the process. You can use a grinding nail tool here, or a guillotine style cutter. If you use a cutter, don't cut the nail too short or they will bleed and cause your pet pain. Look online to see a diagram of your dog's claws so you can see the bit to avoid cutting.
The cleaner your dog is, the happier and healthier your pet will be after proper maintenance and care in a familiar environment. You'll also save up to $500 a year just by skipping the professional dog groomer!
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