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Keeping dogs well-groomed is an important part of helping them stay healthy and happy. The amount of grooming your dogs need depends on certain factors, such as the kind of coat they have or whether or not they tend to roll around in dirt or mud. The following grooming tips can help you keep your pups looking and feeling their best.
Brush Your Dogs Regularly
Dogs can end up with tangles or matted fur when it’s not brushed often enough. Brushing also helps distribute oils through their coat, which keeps their fur looking shiny rather than dull. Plan on brushing your dogs every couple of days or more often if they’re shedding. The kind of brush to use depends on their coat:
- Long coats: For dogs with longer fur, a slicker brush can get rid of mats, and an undercoat rake can eliminate dead hair near the skin.
- Short coats: For dogs with short fur, pinhead or slicker brushes remove mats, and bristle brushes remove dirt and dead hair.
- Rough coats: For dogs with rougher or wiry coats, slicker brushes eliminate mats, while stripping combs help prevent tangles from forming.
- Smooth coats: For dogs with smoother coats, rubber brushes pull dirt and debris up from the skin, and bristle brushes help remove it.
Give an Occasional Bath
Dogs don’t need baths as often as people do. In fact, bathing them too often can dry their skin and remove natural oils that keep their coat shiny. You can bathe your dogs every few months or whenever they’re muddy or dirty after playing outside. You should use a shampoo made for dogs, since shampoos for people are too rough on their skin. Before bathing, brush your dogs to remove dead hair and mats.
Keep Nails Trimmed
Long nails make it harder and more uncomfortable for dogs to walk around. They can also get caught on rugs or furniture and tear off. Dog nails should be trimmed when they’re long enough to reach the floor while they walk around. You can use scissors style or guillotine style trimmers, depending on how thick the nails are. Scissors style trimmers tend to work better on thick nails and dewclaws, while guillotine style trimmers work better on thinner nails.
For light nails, stop trimming before reaching the pink area, known as the quick. For dark nails, stop trimming when you see a pinkish or grayish color inside the nail. Keep a styptic pencil with you in case you do cut into the quick accidentally and bleeding occurs. This pencil, which contains silver nitrate, helps stop bleeding form occurring.