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Grooming a dog isn't just about creating fancy cuts or elaborate styling for dog shows. Grooming your dog on a regular schedule keeps a dog clean and is important for his health.
Dog grooming isn't always an easy job depending on the breed and the individual dog. There are many aspects to grooming that a responsible dog owner should be aware of to provide the best care for your pet.
Some breeds are just "wash and wear" and can do fine with an occasional bath or wipe down and a brushing. Others require regular grooming that includes stripping, trimming, clipping and bathing with specific products. If you are thinking about getting a specific breed like a Poodle, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier or Cairn Terrier, it's smart to learn about what their needs are so you'll be ready to the grooming yourself or find a grooming professional you trust.
If you want to groom your dog yourself, you'll need to learn how to give a dog a proper bath that keeps him clean without drying out his skin from too much soap residue or using the wrong products. If you have a white dog, you'll also want to know how to remove tear stains which is a common issue. There also may be times when you need to know the right "formula" for special bathing issues, such as a puppy covered with urine or the dreaded skunk smell.
Every dog owner should know how to trim nails with clippers or a nail grinder. Certain breeds will also require that you keep up with monitoring and cleaning their anal glands so that you avoid infections. You should also learn how to brush your dog's teeth as canine periodontal disease is a serious and very common health concern.
Using the right supplies for your dog is a basic first step when grooming your dog. Based on your dog's skin and fur, you'll need to make sure you are using an appropriate shampoo, and the right brush for the job. If you have a small dog, having your own grooming table at home can make the job easier if you don't have a large enough counter space.
If you love dogs and enjoy all aspects of grooming, you might want to consider a career as a professional dog groomer. There are grooming schools you can attend or you can consider apprenticing to learn your craft.
Knowing what your dog's grooming needs are, whether you decide to do them yourself or hire a professional, is a critical part of a dog's overall health care. Learn all you can about your chosen breed and how to keep them clean, happy and looking stylish all at once.