Owning a dog can bring unlimited amounts of joy to many households. They’re funny to watch, affectionate, and can offer a comforting presence when you’re going through a hard time – it’s no wonder that surveys show that 94% of pet owners say that their animal companion makes them happy.
But raising a puppy is also a steep learning curve for first-time pet owners. There’s a lot to consider, from vet visits to training and nutrition. Grooming is one of those essentials that might not be at the top of your learning list but needs to be done correctly to ensure a happy and healthy canine. So what are the common mistakes to look out for? Read on to discover how to make grooming your pup a walk in the park.
Lack of Training
Some young dogs are reluctant to get into a shower or bath for their first wash. Remember that humans are well accustomed to getting into a stream of water, but it can be a sensory overload for pups. From the noise of the water to the smell of the shampoo, a lot is going on. This is only amplified if you take them to a professional groomer – there will be other dogs, the noise and sensation of clippers, and a lot more chatter than they’re used to.
To combat this, start slowly, and get your dog used to being handled. Put their food bowl in the bathroom with a trail of treats leading up to it, or use peanut butter on the side of the bath to show them that there is nothing to be frightened of. You can then gently brush them and run a shallow bath for them to get used to the water.
This training is essential for your dog’s well-being and future success at grooming time. Making sure they are comfortable standing still and being washed and clipped will save them from accidents that create negative memories and associations.
Inconsistent Grooming Schedule
It can be easy to skip grooming when you’re trying to balance your schedule, let alone your pet’s, but keeping on top of their hygiene is important. Failing to do so will leave your dog grubby and with overgrown nails, but it also means they stop being used to the grooming routine, and they might misbehave or get frightened when you next try to put them in the tub.
Skipping the Brush
Once you’ve got hold of your dog, the temptation can be to stick them straight under the water to get the whole thing over with as soon as possible. But brushing is essential for getting loose fur and dirt out, especially on double-coat breeds. Pre-bath brushing also stops fur from getting tangled, which can be painful for your pup when you brush after washing.
Choosing the Wrong Shampoo
Like humans, dogs can get skin conditions under their fur, such as sensitive skin or dandruff, which can be managed by choosing the right shampoo. Additionally, dogs can have thick or thin coats, or curly or straight coats, all of which can be supported by their grooming routine. By ensuring that you understand your dog’s needs rather than just using a generic shampoo, you can ensure their coat health and help them shine when meeting new friends at the dog park.
A Happy Dog
Grooming is essential to pet ownership and keeping your pup happy and healthy. Be sure to make them feel safe and help them get used to this experience from a young age so that bathtime is just another part of their life rather than something to fear!