Whether you groom your dog yourself or get the professionals to do it is a personal choice. Either way, proper grooming is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. The frequency of grooming depends on the breed’s coat requirements – while dogs like Poodles have to be groomed often, other dogs like Labrador Retrievers need less grooming.
Here are a few guidelines for pet owners who want to do it themselves.
1. Regular brushing required
Brush your dog’s coat regularly to get rid of all dead and moulted hair. Loose hair causes knots, which can be very painful to brush out. This can be prevented with regular brushing. If you do find knots in your dog’s fur, it might be kinder to cut them out rather than to try brush them out.
2. Brush before bathing
Besides regular brushing, pets with soft hair, like Poodles, Maltese, Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers, must be completely brushed out before bathing. If you bath a matted dog, the mats get worse and will then need to be shaved off. Shaving off the mats can be painful to the animal and borders on animal abuse.
3. Quality shampoo and conditioner
Always use a good-quality shampoo and conditioner specifically made for dogs. Wash your dog with the shampoo in warm water, then rinse the coat. The next step is to condition his coat, and again rinse well. Towel-dry your dog to get rid of most of the water. Use a warm – not hot – blow-dryer, if your dog will allow, to dry his fur.
4. Final touches
Comb the hair and then use scissors to cut off excess hair on the legs and around the feet, and to get the top knot tidy, if your breed wears one.