Hollywood Dog Grooming 101Hollywood Dog Grooming 101

Dog grooming is about more than just grabbing a bucket and some soap and scrubbing down your pooch. Today's dogs and owners have an entire selection of grooming options available to them that go way beyond a simple bath.

Even once you get past the basics of bathing and a hair cut there is oh so much more available to pamper your pet. These days our dog's have become individualized members of our families, not just an animal that hangs out in the backyard their whole lives.

We have brought them into our homes and now we give them gourmet foods, homemade dog treats, orthopedic pet beds and of course, let's not forget the designer clothes. There are even massage parlors, pet hotels, pet spas and entire stores designed around pets now. Imagine, what our ancestors would think if they could see us now?

So beyond a simple shampoo and trim but not so far as the super star treatment, what should you add to your dog grooming routine? First and foremost, if you don't know what you are doing, then get some information before you begin. Some places offer grooming classes and you can always get dog grooming tips from your local veterinarian. The important thing is that you never attempt any dog treatment without prior knowledge and information on how to perform it correctly and with the correct products.

Once you have a little training under your belt, choose an area to start and remember that you don't have to groom everything in one day. Start slow and do a little at a time. When you become more comfortable with the grooming routine, you can attempt additional grooming projects at the same time.

Tear Stains

For example, you could start with the red "tear stains" under your dog's eyes. Many people assume that it is always a red yeast bacteria infection. However, this condition can have many causes and needs to be properly diagnosed to be treated correctly.

Nail Trimming

Once you have tackled cleaning out your dog's eyes, you can move on to trimming your dog's nails. For many people this chore seems like one that is more for aesthetics but it's actually quite important that you keep your dog's nails maintained at a healthy length to prevent painful side effects.

For example, it is not uncommon for a dog that spends a lot of time in the house to catch an overgrown nail on the carpet and tear the nail. This is quite painful and can lead to infections. When a dog is kept inside most of the time, they do not wear their nails down and will require trimming.

There are multiple nail trimming and grooming tools available for you to choose from when maintaining your dog's nails. Once again though, I must caution you to make sure you know how to properly trim them before beginning. If you trim in too far, you will cut the quick and cause your dog pain.

There are tools that will actually cut or trim the nail like a pair of nail clipper only for dogs and there are also scissor type tools. My personal favorite is the new dremel type grinding tools that are available. They allow you to take a little off of the nail at a time and do not crush or pinch the nail like some clippers can.

Cleaning Ears

Cleaning your dog's ears is something you may find yourself doing more often that other grooming tasks, especially if your dog spends time outdoors or is a working dog. Ear mites are a common problem that will require you to keep there ears clean and a few drops of ear treatment. I also find that my dogs will itch there ears just because they are dirty. So every time Rodeo comes home from a cow roundup, I clean his ears, because I know if I don't he will be scratching like crazy.

Breath Bone Anyone?

You love your dog but you just can't handle those "doggie breath" kisses anymore. I completely understand and I have been around dogs where I have thought, what have you been eating?
There are those who are seriously dedicated and brush their dog's teeth everyday. I try to find more natural solutions such as pressed bones or dental bones which will help clean the plaque and tarter off of their teeth.

However, if you are sold on the toothbrush idea, you need to know that they make a specific dog toothpaste and you should never use human toothpaste on your dog!

The point is, that if you see something that is an obvious grooming issue for your dog, take care of it. It doesn't matter if it's on the list or not. You know your dog and what they need so don't be afraid to use your own common sense judgment. It's all in the details... Just remember, A well-groomed pet is a healthy pet.
by Mike Houser
References and Bibliography
To read more pet advice on how to add years to your pets life or even to have some of your own pet questions answered, head on over to my new site - Online Pet Answers
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