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Professional Dog Grooming Tips for Show Dogs & Pet Owners

Grooming your dog is important for keeping them looking and feeling their best. It is important to start grooming your dog early on so they get used to how it feels which will make grooming easier over time. If your dog doesn’t like to be groomed, try to space everything out so it’s not an overwhelming process. Also, giving your dog treats throughout the process will help them associate positive feelings with being groomed. For more helpful tips that will make grooming your dog an easy and fun process read on!

The Basics of Dog Grooming

Bath Time

  • In general, you should give your dog a bath at least once a month. Depending on the breed you may need to wash them more or less as overwashing can lead to skin and coat problems.
  • Give your dog some traction in the bath with a mat or towel as the tub can be very slippery which can make the dog anxious.
  • Use lukewarm water and wash them back to front. Starting with the front can be overwhelming and make your dog feel defensive.
  • For dogs with a damaged coat we have a few solutions you can try:
* For coats that feel coarse you’ll need a deep conditioning treatment to restore that soft and smooth feeling.
* If your dog seems to be a walking frizz-ball then you’ll love our silk treatments that restore shine and add a lightweight luxurious feel to their coat.

  • If your dog has a white coat it can easily absorb other colors or stains.
* Does your white dog attract stains easily? Try Doggone White products for effectively cleaning and brightening your dog.

  • Rinse your dog very thoroughly. Leftover shampoo can lead to excess dander and leftover conditioner can lead to a dull coat. Once you think you’ve rinsed all the product out, rinse a little longer to ensure you’ve washed everything out.
  • After the bath rinse your dog’s eyes out with a little saline solution to remove any lingering shampoo that can irritate their eyes.
  • If you use a hair dryer, use the cool setting to prevent your dog from overheating.
  • When towel drying, pat don’t rub. Rubbing can lead to tangling the dog’s coat.

Brushing Your Dog

  • Invest in the right brushes for your dog. Metal brushes are generally a good option for most breeds. The following are recommendations based on your dog’s coat:
* Extra short hair: rubber curry brush or bristle brush
* Short shedding hair: rubber curry brush and shedding brush
* Short, thick, shedding hair: undercoat rake or slicker brush and shedding brush
* Medium hair: slicker brush and undercoat rake
* Straight hair: pin brush and dematting brush
* Curly hair: metal comb and dematting brush

  • Brush out knots or matted areas before washing your dog. Tangled areas can worsen when they get wet so you can avoid this by making sure your dog is tangle free before-hand.
  • If you have a dog that is prone to shedding or tangles, you’ll want to brush them once a week at the very least. The more often you brush your dog the easier it will be to get rid of knots or matting and this will also reduce their shedding.
  • For dogs with short coats that may not shed as often you can brush them once a week to once every other week. This will help to distribute their natural oils throughout their coat for a shiny and healthy appearance.

Nail Care for Dogs

Nail care is incredibly important because long nails can cause your dog great discomfort. Dog nails grow in a curve so when they get too long they will start to curve into their paw which is very painful. Many owners may feel nervous to cut their own dog’s nails but with the right technique and tools it can be an easy, quick, and painless operation.

Before you start be aware that dogs have a vein that runs through their nails called the “quick”. Cutting too close to the quick can cause bleeding and pain. When cutting your dog’s nails it is best to go slow and trim a little at a time for the best result.

  • When your dog is a puppy, touch their paws, get in between the pads, and touch their nails often. This will help them get used to someone touching that area and will make them less nervous when it is time to start cutting their nails.
  • Trim nails at least once a month. Some breeds will require it more often and others less, if you hear tapping when your dog walks that’s usually a good sign that it’s time for a nail trim.
  • Use nail clippers or better yet a nail grinder which makes it easy to trim the nails slowly and with control.
  • You can see the quick in dogs with white nails but for dogs with dark nails trim a little at a time and once you see a white dot in the middle of the nail that is the quick which indicates it is probably a good time to stop.

Dental Care for Dogs

Similar to humans, maintaining good dental health in dogs is important to overall wellness. Bad breath aside dogs can develop gum disease, cracked teeth, infections or an abscess if ignored. If your dog does develop a dental problem often times they will need to be put under anesthetics to get fixed which can be expensive. Aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week.

  • Just like with nail care, get your dog used to their mouth being touched when they are a puppy. Lift their lips and rub their gums gently so they get used to the sensation.
  • Use a finger brush or toothbrush with soft rubber bristles and toothpaste specifically made for dogs.
  • In addition to brushing, give your dog chews and chew toys made for cleaning their teeth.
  • Take your dog to the vet for an annual cleaning. They will give your dog a nice deep clean and identify any dental problems you need to watch.

The Finishing Touches of Basic Grooming

Now that your dog is fresh and clean it’s time for some final touches. For large breeds that often means a stylish bandana or collar, for smaller dogs you can add a chic sweater. If your dog has longer hair you can try adding a top knot or pigtails for a seriously cute look.

For styling your dog’s hair we recommend using a grooming pillow. Grooming pillows are great because they keep your dog from squirming too much while also giving them a comfortable place to rest while you work.

Some dogs need a little extra product to finish their look and that’s okay! Our styling products are made specifically for show dogs so you know you are getting the best in the business. Whether your dog needs a little volume or just some finishing touches, we have everything you need to make your dog shine.