Grooming your new puppy should begin as soon as possible. Puppies have a very distinct learning period between 8 – 16 weeks of age, familiarisation to grooming at this stage will set them up for happy grooming experiences for the rest of their life.
Often when puppies have their first grooming experience after 6 months of age they can become very anxious and frightened.
I offer an introduction service, where the goal is to introduce your puppy to the range of equipment they will encounter such as the moving table, bath, dryers, combs, brushes, clippers and nail clipping. This is done by using positive reinforcement techniques and treats so your puppy associates the grooming process as a positive experience.
This service includes a bath nail clip, tidy up of sanitary areas and trim around face and eyes. We can also discuss the best approach for establishing a grooming routine at home.
DO ALL DOGS NEED TO BE GROOMED?
Grooming is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy and happy. All dogs require some degree of grooming whether it be an occasional bath and brush to remove dead hair from short coated breeds, a full strip-out of dead hair from thick coated breeds, or regular 8 weekly grooming of long coated breeds.
If a long coat is not groomed regularly, matting will occur. When a coat becomes matted the skin is not able to breath which can lead to skin infections and severe discomfort for your pet.
If you are unsure of what grooming your pet requires, please feel free to drop in for a chat about the options for your pets coat type.
WHAT TOOLS SHOULD I USE?
Slicker brush: The slicker brush is great tool for long coated breeds. The wire bristles work by separating the hair and breaking up small knots keeping your pet’s coat silky. Slicker brushes come in different grades – hard, medium and soft. Medium and soft are usually the best option for grooming at home. Take care to not apply too much pressure as it could result in skin rash which is similar to a painful graze on your pets skin.
Comb: Once you have separated your pets hair with the slicker brush, any stubborn knots can be gentle teased out with a comb. Be sure to focus on ‘friction areas’, these are areas where your pets hair is rubbing against itself or something else such as a collar or harness. The most common places to finds knots are around the collar/harness line, behind the ears, and the legs.
KNOTS AND MATTING ?
There can be some confusion around the difference between knots and matting.
A knot is a smaller tangle of hair which can be brushed and combed out.
However when a coat has become matted the knots have become so tightly bound that the hair becomes a solid mass on your pets skin. When a dogs coat has begun to matt their skin is not able to get proper airflow, this is painful and can result in various skin irritations and infections. In this instance a groomer would be unable to brush or comb your pets coat, it will need to be shaved quite close to the skin in order to get underneath the matting. This is a very delicate process as when it is necessary to clip so close the skin, there is a much higher risk of cutting the dog and it can be quite a stressful process for your pet. The best way to avoid your pet’s coat from matting is with regular brushing and combing at home combined with a professional grooming appointment every 6 – 12 weeks.
MY DOG HAD TO BE SHAVED!
Many people dislike the look of their pet when their hair is cut very short. Shaving your pet would only be done out of necessity due to matted fur from a neglected coat. The best way to ensure your dog is never shaved is to book regular grooming appointments so a longer coat can be maintained.
GROOMING IN WINTER
Commonly owners believe that it is best not to get their dogs groomed in winter as they worry their pet will get cold. This is a myth, when your pets coat is not adequately maintained their coat can become matted which can result is various skin infection and be very uncomfortable. Avoiding this in winter is of even higher importance, as it is likely your pet will become wet from rain/puddles/beach etc at some stage. When matted fur is wet it is very difficult to dry and if your pets coat is sitting damp and tightly matted over their skin it creates the perfect warm and moist breeding ground for many harmful bacteria.
Alternatively it is best to have your pet regularly groomed to a longer length in the winter months to ensure they are comfortable and warm. If your dog is matted and needs to be shaved in the colder months it is vital that this be done. If this is the case, it would be best to purchase a jumper or coat for your pet and or have them sleep indoors.