Apart from maintaining good hygiene, grooming your pet comes with ample benefits. One of the benefits is that it creates bonding moments between you and your furry friend. It takes you one step closer to understanding your pet and building trust. In fact, It also helps to reduce the amount of hair it sheds.
Regular grooming also has a great impact on the health of your dog. Most dogs would experience flea or tick infestation at least once in their life; grooming your pet regularly would help to prevent this as it affords you the opportunity to examine its body regularly.
The most visible benefit of grooming is the effect it has on the hair and skin of your pet. A regularly groomed pet would have a shiny and healthy-looking coat. It also helps to eliminate odor and ensure that your pet always smells good.
Shampoos and Conditioners
Shampoos are probably the most essential product in your dog grooming set. They are most important to keep the coat of your dog clean and neat, and they also help to nourish the hair and skin of your pet which would enhance its appearance.
Types of Shampoos
There are several types of shampoos designed for various purposes.
- Brightening Shampoos. These are used to enhance the brightness and shine of the dog’s coat. They are especially important for dogs with white or brightly colored furs.
- Puppy/Tear-free Shampoos. While bathing your puppy, some of the lather will definitely get into its eyes. Puppy shampoos ensure that its eyes are protected.
- Itching Shampoos. Often times, dogs suffer from itching skin due to flea/tick infestation or dry skin. If dry skin is the problem, this would help to resolve it while soothing the itch. Examples of this are Oatmeal and Aloe-based Shampoos.
- Deodorizing Shampoos. These are used to eliminate bad odor and provide lasting fragrance for your pet. Sometimes, this fragrance can last from 1 to 2 weeks.
- Conditioning Shampoos. These are suitable for dogs with dry, itchy skin. They help to soothe the itching and treat the skin by restoring its natural moisture level.
- Dry Shampoos. These usually come in powder form and can be used in between regular baths when you do not have the time to go all the way, or if you just want to do take off the dirt from a particular spot.
- Medicated Shampoos. These are often prescribed by vet doctors to treat skin diseases and help dogs that suffer from skin allergies. They also help to soothe the itching while healing the skin.
- Nourishing Shampoos. Nourishing shampoos are used to enrich the coat with its added minerals, vitamins, and proteins. They are used for dogs that have dull or lackluster coats.
- Organic Shampoos. These are normal shampoos made almost exclusively with natural and chemical-free ingredients. They help to enrich the skin and coat and are more preferable because they do not contain the harsh chemical ingredients that can be found in other types of shampoo.
- Fleas/ Ticks Shampoos. When dogs get in contact with ticks and fleas, it can be very distressing for them. This specialized shampoo can be used to immobilize these parasites after which they can be combed out.
Although conditioning shampoos exist, some dog owners still prefer to use separate conditioners after shampooing. They could be leave-in conditioners that do not need to be rinsed off or regular conditioners which should be rinsed off after a few minutes. Either way, conditioners are used to further moisturize the hair, increase coat shine, and get rid of tangles in order to make combing easier and prevent shedding.
Before picking a particular shampoo product for your pet, you should take note of the following:
- Determine the actual need of your pet. Does it have a skin disease or allergy? Or do you want to improve the appearance of its coat? This would help in selecting the specific type of shampoo.
- Take note of its ingredients. This step is especially important if your dog has known allergies. Some ingredients might also be potentially harmful so you should note each of them and ensure that all are relatively safe before picking the product for your pet. Generally, you should avoid products that contain chemical ingredients; try to stick to organic products.
- Do a patch test. If you’re a new pet owner and you’re not sure what your pet is allergic to or you’re just not certain about the product, do a patch test and observe for about 24 hours before using it all over your dog’s body.
- Get other opinions. Check online stores for buyer reviews, talk to other pet owners, or speak to your vet before deciding on a product. If a product has mostly positive reviews, it’s an indication that it’s a safe product to use.
- If your pet has a skin condition, medicated shampoos would probably be best. Speak to a vet and get advice on the ingredients to look for or the best medicated-shampoos to consider.
- Note the skin type of your dog. Dogs could have oily, dry, or normal skin and some products are great for one but harmful for the others. For instance, conditioning shampoos are great for dry or normal skin but don’t do very well on oily skin. Make sure to pick a product that is best suited to your pet’s skin type.
Shampoos do a lot of work in the grooming of pets and special care must be taken to ensure that the right one is selected to avoid potential complications.
In a regular grooming process, after bathing comes combing or brushing. Brushing is very important to get rid of tangles and enhance coat shine. Different types of brushes exist for several purposes and types of hair. While grooming, you might need more than one type of brush; it depends on what your pet’s coat needs.
Types of Brushes/ Combs
- Curry Brushes/ Combs: These are used to get rid of dirt and debris from the coat especially just before brushing.
- Bristle Brushes: These are the most common and versatile grooming brushes as they can be used for different types of hair. For dogs with thick and coarse hair, you should use brushes with long and firm bristles while soft and short bristle brushes are best for dogs with fine and short hair. Some bristle brushes are double-sided with both types of bristles on either side.
- Slicker Brushes: These are used to work through mild tangles and mats in dogs with medium to long hair.
- Rake Combs: These are used to go through very severe mats and tangles. They are also known as Mat Breakers.
- Flea Combs: While these cannot be used to eliminate a flea infestation, they can be used in conjunction with other products to alleviate and even prevent it. After using a flea shampoo, this comb can be used to get rid of the fleas.
Things to note when using a grooming brush or comb for your pet:
- Make sure to use a brush that is suited to the coat type of your pet.
- Ensure that the ends of the brush are not sharp to avoid causing injury to your pet’s skin.
- Use brushes only for the purposes they are intended for, e.g. don’t use a bristle brush to work through tangled or matted hair.
- Clean your brushes and store them properly after use; this would ensure they do not become breeding grounds for germs.
Hair Removal Mitts and Rollers
For some dog breeds, hair removal should be carried out regularly while others only need hair removal once in a while. Whatever the frequency, all dogs must have their hair trimmed sometime. Furry friends like the Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and Golden Retriever grow their hair sporadically and thickly and might need a clipper to trim off their hair.
For most other dogs, hair removal mitts would do. Hair removal mitts are a genius innovation! They are also known as Grooming Gloves because they really are gloves with rounded tips spread all over it. They can also be used to give a good massage. Regularly de-shedding your pet would help to get rid of split ends, stray hair, and reduce shedding.
Hair removal rollers, more commonly known as lint rollers, are more for your benefit. As your dog moves and plays around the house, climbing sofas and beds, it would be impossible for some of its shed hair to not stick to surfaces and objects around the house. These rollers can be used to get rid of all that stray hair. You can also use them on your clothing.
Flea and Tick Control
Several times in this article, flea and tick infestations have been mentioned. What are they exactly? And how can they be prevented and controlled?
A flea is a tiny, parasitic creature that loves to live in dark, hidden places. Once they get into the fur of your pet, they begin to feed on its blood, rapidly reproducing more of its kind. If these fleas go undetected for some time, your pet might start to get weak from blood shortage.
Aside from the havoc it wreaks shortening blood, fleas also carry infectious diseases which might be contracted by the dog. An example is Typhus which could pose a serious health problem for your pet.
Ticks, on the other hand, are small arachnids that love humid and warm conditions and thrive especially during the summer months. Thus, our humid climate makes dog grooming in India very important. These ticks latch onto unsuspecting dogs using their mouthparts and remain beneath their coat, feeding and reproducing. They fall off after a while to begin a new stage of their life cycle.
They also carry infectious disease and particularly carry toxins which target the central nervous system and respiratory system of pets.
Various products have been manufactured to treat flea and tick infestations and also protect your pet from them. There are medicated shampoos formulated specially to deal with these parasites. These days, you can easily find shampoos that offer protection from both of them while soothing the irritation that comes along with their presence.
Spot-on treatments are also available for the treatment and prevention of fleas and ticks. Although they are not commonly used any more, except when prescribed by a vet doctor, medicated dips are very useful in killing fleas and other parasites. They contain very strong and irritable chemicals though, so they should not be used unless a vet says they are absolutely necessary to treat your pet.
Oral medication prescribed by a vet doctor can also be used in the treatment and prevention of fleas and ticks.
Other routines that should be included in the grooming of your dog include regular nail trimming, routine ear checks, haircuts for very furry pets, and even body massages.
Properly grooming your pet takes consistent and conscious effort but the benefits are well worth the effort. Not only does proper grooming make your pet shine and sparkle, but it also ensures that it stays healthy and protected.
However, if you find that despite your best intentions you rarely find time to properly handle your pet’s grooming, you should get help. indiamart has compiled a list of over 100 businesses that provide dog grooming services all over India. Alternatively, you may explore your nearby dog grooming services on google maps. Having said that, nothing can beat the at-home grooming provided you have the right products. Moreover, the at-home pet grooming session is pocket friendly too.
The products you use are extremely important and any mistake in the selection and use of these products could do more harm than good. Most of the products you need can be found on Amazon.in and other online stores, look through reviews and ingredients as you make your decision. Take care to pick products that are easy to use and stick to a grooming routine that works for both you and your beloved pet.