The best tips & tricks for dog grooming
Keeping your dog well-groomed is an important and essential way of ensuring your canine companion stays happy, healthy and hygienic. As well as keeping them healthy, you’re also establishing a trusting bond between you and your dog, whilst becoming more familiar with their body so that you’ll notice early on if anything is wrong with them. For dogs with long coats, or ones that shed frequently, it’s especially ideal to brush and bath them regularly, but regardless of their fur type you should be aiming to give them a thorough grooming about once a month, depending on their hair.
You will need:
- Bristle brushes: these help to add shine and remove dirt, and can be used for all dog species. Choose a brush with longer bristles if your pup is long-haired.
- Wire-pin brushes: more suited for long-haired dogs, or those with curly or thick fur. Wire-pin brushes help to get tangles out.
- Slicker brushes: with thick wire pins, slicker brushes de-matt the undercoat to remove dead hair. More suited to dogs with a shorter and thicker undercoat.
- De-matting rakes: with long wire prongs, only use this rake very gently and on dogs with long coats to de-matt their undercoat.
- Shedding blades: suitable for dogs with short coats, this brush features a loop of metal teeth to grab loose hairs.
- Rubber brushes: ideal for short-hair shedders, these have a gentle massaging sensation to remove dead hair in more sensitive dogs.
Now you know which brushes to use, you can make a start with brushing your dog’s fur. Most dogs love being brushed, but if you have a young puppy it’s important that you brush them so that they get used to being handle regularly and form trust. When it comes to brushing, you can brush your dog as regularly as you like but long-haired dogs need more frequent brushing, sometimes daily. Short-haired dogs can usually be brushed once a month. When brushing, always make sure that your brushing direction is outward from the skin and roots, and never towards the roots - similar to how you brush your own hair. If your pup is prone to tangles, use a grooming spray to help the brush glide smoothly through their hair.
Like us, dogs need regular bathing but fortunately not as much as humans! Depending on the breed of your dog, hair length and what kind of environment they live and play in, bathing might be more or less frequent, but the standard frequency for bathing dogs is about once a month. Instead of using regular bath soap, you need to purchase specialised dog shampoo and/or conditioner, which you only really need to use if your dog has particularly dry hair. You can bathe your dog either indoors or outdoors; this usually depends on the dog’s size. Smaller dogs can be washed in the kitchen sink, a baby bath, a regular bath or the shower. If you have a larger dog, you may want to bathe them outdoors on a warm day where they can run around the get dry again. For a step by step guide to bathing, read our instructions below:
- Brush your pet to remove any tangles or debris from the coat.
- Get your pet wet, avoiding their head.
- Apply a regular amount of shampoo, lathering up all over.
- Massage your pet to distribute the shampoo.
- Leave on for the recommended length of time.
- Meanwhile use a face washer or sponge to wipe down the face.
- Rinse, making sure all the residue has disappeared.
- Stand well back and allow your pet to shake!
- Towel dry.
- Use a hairdryer on a low heat with a brush or take your pet for a walk in the sun to dry.
You can either take your pup to the vets to get their nails trimmed or you can do it yourself at home. If you’re opting for the DIY route, this will need to be regular, from once a week to once a month. The type of trimmer you use affects the outcome, so make sure you use sharp trimmers which are the right size for your dog. Blunt trimmers can splint the nail, causing pain and discomfort to your dog. Avoid cutting to the quick, as this can cause the nail to bleed, so keeping the nail gradually shorter helps to reduce the blood supply and therefore the risk of causing bleeding. It’s a good idea to have treats handy to ‘reward’ your dog when cutting their nails, as they will learn to be less afraid.
We asked our brand mascot and rough collie Saphi what her favourite grooming products are and she picked the Crufts Soft Grip Pin Grooming Brush - perfect for her long locks - along with the Animology True Colours Shampoo to add a shine to her auburn fur markings. For her nails, she loves the Crufts Soft Grip Nail Clippers. Pawfect!