Grooming is love! Animals groom each other in the wild as a sign of affection and care for each other. Grooming your dog serves several different purposes that are all very important to both you and your dog.
Dogs are not like cats or other animals when it comes to grooming. While they seemingly prefer to be cleaned up they do not really have the skills or the tools to clean themselves up, they are reliant on us to do it for them.
Grooming is a special time for you and your dog. It is a way to make your big dog feel loved and cared for however big dogs do pose some special requirements when it comes to proper grooming. Little dogs can be washed in the sink without much fanfare, big dogs do not quite fit in the same vessels but with a little ingenuity your big dog grooming can be fun and easy for you both.
Getting them Ready
Some big dogs adore the water as a matter of fact their bodies are made for the water. Some big dog breeds have webbing between their toes so that they can get out in the water and paddle around. Other big dogs are just not that willing to get wet.
Of course hopefully you have the “I love water” kind of dog and not the “please do not get me wet” kind but take heart even if your furry friend is not down with getting wet there are steps you can take to help them learn to love the water.
- Start out slow! If you are sensing that your dog is not water crazy than you will have to start out slowly getting them used to the idea. This may sound odd but let them hang around with you in the bathroom when you are bathing. They will see that since the leader is not afraid it must be safe.
- Most big dogs are not actually afraid of getting wet they are afraid of the shower or the running water. If you can fill up a vessel with a small amount of water and start out one paw at a time if you have to. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to acclimating the dog to water.
- Make it fun! If your dog loves running out in the back yard, take them out there with the water hose and make a game out of bath time.
You have a couple of options where bath time is going to happen when you have a big dog. You can put them in the bath tub. You can take them outdoors to bathe or you can use your shower.
There are tools that can help to make bath time easier and more enjoyable like a handheld sprayer that has a little massage function.
On the upside of things you only have to bath your dog once a month so whether they love it or hate it you only have to deal with it monthly. Bathing is not the only thing that you have to make sure gets done.
Dogs do not have claws they have nails. Just like we have nails. Their nails grow just like ours and they need to be cut just like ours. The goal with grooming your dog’s nails is to ensure that they are comfortable and that their nails are not cut too short.
Unlike us dogs have a vein in their nails that can bleed if you cut their nails too low. This area of their nails are called the “quick”. It can be easy to detect in dogs with white nails but in dogs with black nails it can be very difficult to detect.
There are tools that can help you to keep your dog’s nails nice and trim and in good shape. The Miracle Coat Quick Finder Deluxe is an excellent option to ensure that you are not cutting the nails into the quick. It has a built in sensor that can help to prevent accidental clips that are too low.
You should only cut your dog’s nails once a month.
Depending on the length of your dog’s coat you can groom with a brush or a special comb every 1-3 days. Of course long hair dogs need brushing/combing every day to avoid mats from forming. If your dog is not a fan of being brushed it is very likely that they are afraid of the brush not the actual action of brushing or combing.
Here are some tips for helping your dog to enjoy his/her brushing session:
- Let them get used to the idea of the brush/comb. Lay the brush or the comb down on the floor where they can see it and let them sniff the brush or the comb so that they can see that it is an inanimate object that poses no threat.
- Start out slowly when you dog is resting with you. Use slow smooth strokes and brush the areas that they normally like to be scratched or rubbed.
- Use the right tool. Using the right tool will cut back on the amount of time you have to spend brushing your dog.
The right brush really can make the difference. The Brush by Dak is a great option that is ergonomic so it is easy to get a good grip on and it helps to loosen all the extra hair. With a little extra time spent showing your big dog that everything is okay and there is nothing to be afraid of, brushing will be an activity that you both look forward to.
Flea and Tick Control
Grooming is an important activity for your dog because it is not something they can do for themselves, it is a bonding ritual and it helps to keep their skin healthy. There is always the possibility of fleas and ticks getting on your big dog. Complete grooming activities can help to keep these pests away.
Choosing the right products to ensure that the ticks and fleas stay off is very important. While most people believe that ticks and fleas are just a nuisance the truth is these little parasites can cause disease, infection and literally drive your dog crazy.
Of course you also do not want them in the house. While fleas will bite humans they will not necessarily live on them but no one wants to deal with a flea infestation.
Ticks can carry Lyme disease and other diseases that can be transmitted to humans as well as dogs and make them both very sick. The right products that you apply during grooming can help you to avoid all of the aggravation for both you and your dog.
Here are some really good proven options for flea and tick control:
|Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control|
|Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea and Tick Control|
|Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar|
All three of the above products are considered the best methods to ensure that your dog is flea and tick free. A good way to ensure that your dog’s skin stays healthy and flea and tick free is to use the products above as a preventive. Every month when you bathe your dog make it a habit to add one of the products above to the regiment.
Other Products to Help With Grooming
It may be impractical to bathe your dog more than once a month, especially if you have a big dog that is shy around water. Luckily if your dog gets messy in between bathes there are wipes that are made especially for dogs to keep the odor down and to provide a quick clean up option.
Earth Bath grooming wipes are a great option. They are hypoallergenic and completely safe for your dog. A lot of people make the mistake of using human products and wipes on their big dogs.
It is a mistake to think that you can use human products on your dog. Human products can be unsafe for dogs. They can cause their skin to dry out and they can even have an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the wipes and cleansers.
To be on the safe side always use wipes that are specifically made for dogs. If your dog’s skin does become dry and itchy there are products that you can use to help them get some relief. Imagine how awful it is to have to stop and scratch every few minutes!
There are sprays, creams and even tablets that you can use for your dog that will help ease the annoyance of dry itchy skin. Synery Labs offers a spray that will help provide some relief for your dogs itchy dry skin. Vet’s Best offers a tablet that can help to provide relief from itchy skin.
You love our big dog and you want to be sure that you show him/her exactly how much you love them by grooming regularly and helping them to look and feel their best. A well-groomed dog is a healthy dog!