Grooming can be a big part of caring for your pet. It can give you a chance to bond with them, helps you get familiar with their coat and body and check them over for any health concerns which may require veterinary care. If started early, your pet will learn to enjoy this time with you and make the process go a lot easier. Patience is important when training your pet to learn to be groomed. Take your time and allow your pet to become comfortable with the different feelings, sounds, and scents of being grooming. 

Unless your dog is always running around outside and getting into things to get dirty, they will only need to be bathed every once in a while, typically every 2-4 months. Bathing more often than this can actually cause their skin to dry out from washing away the natural oils found on their coat.  

When bathing your pet, never use human products on them as they will be too harsh for your pet’s sensitive skin. Use only pet-friendly shampoo & conditioner designed for your specific pet. To avoid injury by slips and falls, have your pet sit or stand on a non-slip surface and keep the water temperature warm, even during summer. Wash and rinse thoroughly and avoid getting soap and water inside their ears, eyes, and mouth. Finish off by drying them off very well. If your pet does not like the sound of a blow dryer, thoroughly towel dry them. 

Brushing is a very important step in your pets grooming routine and should be done several times a week, if not daily. There are many brush styles available for different hair types. Long coated pets will need a different brush than a shorted coated pet. Brushing will help to remove tangles, dead hair, fleas, and anything caught in their hair from their outdoor explorations. 

After a good brushing, take a moment to check out your pet’s ears to see they are clean and have no debris. Giving their ears a good rub when they are clean can help them feel at ease when their ears do need cleaning. If you notice a foul odor, dirt, or if they seem to be in pain when their ear is touched, contact your veterinarian. 

This is also a great time to check your pet’s nails and teeth. Nails should be kept trimmed to avoid painful injury. Getting your pet used to having their paws touched will help to make trimming their nails a less stressful event. 

Dogs can experience many of the same dental conditions as humans. Cleaning your pet’s teeth on a regular basis will help prevent dental issues. Be patient as your pet gets used to having their teeth cleaned. Do not use human dental products, only those meant specifically for cats or dogs. If you notice that your pet has any dental issues or tartar build-up, contact our Ellicott City, MD veterinary office to schedule your pet for our dental care services. 

Grooming does not need to be unpleasant or stressful if you take the time to make it enjoyable for you both. With patience and persistence, it can become a great bonding experience.