Get a Dog. Check. Vaccinate the dog. Check. Walk the dog. Check. Feed the dog. Check. Groom the dog. Oh, no. Sounds familiar? In the excitement of finally owning a dog one tends to ignore the crucial aspect of grooming. Agreed walking, feeding and vaccinating are just as important. Walking ensures regular exercise combined with regular bowel movements. Vaccination keeps the dog’s heath and infections in check in the longer run as well. And feeding is important for proper nutrition. But regular grooming is essential as it ensures the dog continues to remain healthy and happy. Grooming is not only about regular bathing. It also constitutes a large number of elements for overall well being.
Bathing the dog regularly is vital to keep the dog’s body clean and the fur supple. The frequency of bathing depends on the breed of the dog, the climate of the city and the season. Certain dogs that have more fur need to be bathed more frequently as dust, etc tends to settle into their fur. Similarly, frequency of bathing increases with the rise in temperature. This ensures the dog remains cool even in the hot summers. In colder climates one can afford to space the bath times wider than usual, and also it prevents the dog from falling sick.
Regular trips to the veterinary doctor form an integral part of the grooming process. The doctor keeps you updated on the dog’s health. He can advise you on necessary precautions to be taken best suited to your needs and the current scenario. He will keep you updated on the advancements is grooming requirements and methods. Also, regular checkups can inform you about any allergies and infections that need special care and consequently one can decide on the best suited products you can use for taking proper care of your dog. It is also an effective measure to ensure that there is no odor.
Most dog owners, especially ones with dogs that have more fur, usually complain about finding hair all around the house. This is caused by shedding. It is akin to how humans shed dead cells, but we can’t see it. The most effective way to control the shedding is by daily brushing. Everyday preferably after the morning walk, one must diligently brush your dog’s coat for a stipulated amount of time. The brushing should be done all over the body in a fixed direction, over and over, until there is no further loss of hair. This not only ensures a cleaner house, but also keeps the dog’s coat soft and shiny, a trait especially valuable in show dogs.
Along with brushing of the coat, it should also be regularly trimmed, as deemed necessary. In certain cases long hair around the eyes causes discomfort in sight. Also longer hair around the paws could cause frequent tripping. And the longer the further, higher are the chances of fleas and ticks. In some cases the dog’s tail is also clipped, that is entirely the owner’s prerogative, but if done it should be done painlessly and with utmost care and precaution.
A dog’s paws are one of its most important assets. It uses them for walking, running, digging, playing and other activities. Because, they are constantly in contact with the ground, they tend to accumulate higher amounts of impurities, than the rest of the body. But for the same reason they tend to be ignored while bathing, as the paws are in contact with the ground, so their condition is not easily visible. It is absolutely essential to ensure the dog’s paws are always clean, neat and tidy. Proper care should be taken to remove all dirt stuck to the base of the paws, and in the nails.
At the same time, regular clipping of the dog’s outgrown nails is equally important, not only for hygiene purposes, but also for comfort. Overgrown nails act as obstacles in the dog’s ability to walk and run with ease. Especially on tiled flooring, the dogs find it especially uncomfortable, if its nails are not groomed well. Not only that, overgrown nails can easily hurt the owners and other people that pet or play with the dog. The dog does not intentionally hurt them, but the injury could lead to verbal or physical abuse at times, through no fault of its own.
In a large number of cases, the owner tends to ignore the importance of cleaning the dog’s eyes and ears regularly. The ignorance is not voluntary, but due to lack of knowledge and awareness. It is of significant hygienic importance. It also ensures the dog’s vision and hearing ability are not compromised. Also, it is an important criterion when a dog is being judged on dog shows.
Similarly, dental hygiene is of equal importance. Ideally a dog’s teeth should be manually brushed twice a day, just as in the case of humans. Regular brushing and cleaning of the mouth, means minimum odor and possibility of plaque and cavities is significantly reduced.
Proper grooming in all aspects ensures a healthier and happier dog, while at the same time it allows the owner to have a cleaner home and reduces the load of probable future trouble.