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Grooming  your dogDeveloping a grooming routine with your dog early on is a great way to get to know your dog and check that he’s healthy at the same time.

Grooming doesn’t just mean brushing

All dogs benefit from a regular grooming session but how much your dog will require will depend on the breed and the length/ type of coat. If your dog has a really short coat, like for instance a boxer, don’t deny your dog as grooming still has hidden benefits which we will talk about later.

A word about Poos!

In the last decade there has been a huge surge in the popularity of breeds which have poodle in them… Such as Cavapoos, Cockerpoos, and Labradoodles. These breeds don’t shed their fur which is seen as a great benefit to many owners. However, their coats do grow quickly. The fur will not fall out on its own, so to keep the skin healthy and the dog comfortable, these breeds do need to be clipped regularly - approximately every 6 weeks. This is not a problem as most dogs tolerate, if not enjoy the experience, but it is an expense that new owners need to be aware of.

Medium or long coated dogs that shed need regular home grooming to keep them clean and comfortable and to stop knots forming in the fur. Again, some breeds need specialist clipping or stripping every so often - ask your vet or groomer for advice >

Mini health check

It is a great idea to build a mini health check into your grooming routine, following the pointers below:

  • Eyes and ears should be clear and clean
  • Teeth should be checked and given a brush if possible. For further advice on dental care and your dog >
  • Nails should be a comfortable length, not too sharp or overgrown
  • Check the skin for any signs of sores, rashes or cuts
  • Run your hands over your dogs body to pick up lumps and bumps >
  • Check for fleas and ticks. Ticks are a particular problem in the spring, after walks in the country or long grass and near livestock. They are little creatures which look like a small grey bean attached to the dogs skin. Ticks can be anywhere on the body and can be painful for your dog. They can also carry nasty diseases such as Lyme disease. You may find them as you run your hands over your dogs body. Seek advice from your vet on how to remove them, and you can buy a great little tool to keep in your doggy first aid box. For further advice on ticks >

Baths

Dogs only need to be bathed every few months unless they have rolled in something smelly! Too frequent bathing in detergent based shampoo, can be bad for your dogs coat as it can strip out the natural oils. Always use a mild shampoo and preferably one you are recommended by your vet or groomer. Rinse thoroughly as detergent left in the fur can be a source of irritation and make your dog itch. Towel dry your dog rather than using a hairdryer as it is easy to dry out the skin.

There are many different combs and brushes on the market for grooming dogs and what works for you and your dog is a personal choice. If you need any advice, please do pop by or call your veterinary practice - our vets and nurses will be only too happy to help!

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