How Often Should You Wash Your Dog? Cut Their Hair?

Common Grooming Questions Answered

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Common Grooming Questions Answered

Part of caring for your beloved pet dog is ensuring he’s given proper grooming. A well-groomed dog is a healthy dog, so this is not something a pet owner should take for granted. Also, if your dog is groomed regularly, you spare yourself from having to clean up a lot of mess from all the shedding inside your home!

Regardless of what breed of dog you own, it’s important to pay proper attention to caring for the fur, the eyes, ears, and the paws. Even if you have a reliable groomer who does the job for you, it’s still important to know all the grooming basics. Here are the answers to some of the commonly asked grooming questions.

How often should I wash my dog?

How often should I give my dog a bath?

It’s actually different for every dog. You’d have to consider how long or how thick your dog’s fur is, how active he is, and whether or not he has allergies or skin conditions that would require a more or less frequent bathing schedule. The season or where you live might also be determining factor on how often your furry friends need a bath.

Some owners bathe their dogs once a week. Essentially, it’s best not to bathe your dog too frequently as too much bathing may cause skin dryness and itchiness. It’s generally advised to wash your dog at least once every three months. But if you start noticing an unpleasant odor or if your dog’s coat has turned dirty, it’s definitely time to give him another bath.

What type of dog shampoo should I use?

Veterinary experts generally recommend using a mild and hypoallergenic shampoo that’s designed especially for dogs. Never use products people use for bathing on your dog as canines have different pH levels. You may use a dog conditioner if necessary. Dogs with extremely thick, shedding hair could benefit from a good soaking and conditioning.

How do I train my dog enjoy bath time?

If you own a dog that runs and hides at the sound of the first splashes of water, use positive motivation can help get rid of his fear. Coax him gently into the bathing area. Have him stand on the bathing mat and allow him time to get used to it and to take in his surroundings. Offer him treats and lots of praise if he obeys and stays calm.

Keep repeating this step and gradually start giving him a bath. Reward him with treats if he behaves. If he gets upset, don’t force it and try again the next day, until he understands bathing as a positive event, which he can associate with treats.

You may also try taking your dog for a short walk or playing with him for a few minutes before a bath. He may feel a little calmer during bath time.

How often should I cut my dog's hair?

How often should I cut my dog’s hair?

The type of coat your dog has would help you determine how often he needs grooming. Dogs with long fur that grows continuously need to be groomed every four to six weeks as, with regular combing at home. Double-coated, long-haired dogs need special attention to their feet, bellies, ears, buttocks, and legs, where hair could grow and become matted. Very short-haired dogs wouldn’t need to go the groomer for more than a few times a tear.

How often do I need to brush my dog’s hair?

Long-coated dogs should have their coats brushed at least once a week to prevent mats. Matting can be painful to dogs and if neglected, could lead to skin irritation and infections. If your dog has short but very dense fur, brush his coat once or twice a week. If you own a short-haired dog, brush him every few weeks to remove any loose hair.

Is blow-drying safe for my dog?

Drying after a bath is especially important for dogs with long or thick fur. Blow-drying is generally safe as long as you use the lowest heat setting. Position the dryer’s nozzle a few inches away and never direct the airflow towards one area for more than a few seconds  

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How do I ease my dogs anxiety about grooming?

My dog gets anxious at the grooming table. What do I do?

It’s not uncommon for dogs to seem anxious or uneasy when being groomed. If you’re taking your pet to see a professional groomer or are grooming him yourself, prepare him by touching him in certain body parts that dogs don’t often like to be touched. Gently touch him in the ears, around the eyes, the muzzle, and the tail. Find out which part he’s most sensitive to and let him get used to the sensation of being touched there.

You can use positive reinforcement to acclimatize your dog to the touching sensation. Start touching him around the sensitive area and utter a cue word to associate it with, such as “tail” or “paw.” Give him a treat afterwards. He will eventually learn to associate being touched to a positive event.

How do I trim my dog’s nails without making him anxious?

Getting their nails trimmed is terrifying to some pooches, and understandably so. But nail-trimming doesn’t have to be an unpleasant exercise for you and your pet. Use a nail clipper to cut a little off the tip of each nail. Be careful not to cut the nails too short. If your dog refuses to get his nails trimmed, he may have been traumatized from a previous experience. In this case, try using a different nail clipper and start slowly. Offer treats and praises if your pooch behaves while you clip his nails.

Frequently asked dog grooming questions

We hope you found the answers to your questions about dog grooming. Bathing and grooming should be a fun and relaxing experience for your dog. If he gets anxious or uneasy when it’s time for a bath, you can help him get over his fears with positive reinforcement. If you have more questions about grooming, don’t hesitate to talk to your vet or a professional groomer, who’d be more than happy to give you their professional recommendations.

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