Photo by J. Nichole Smith |

Keeping your pet’s skin and coat clean and healthy is an important part of pet ownership. While some dogs require more extensive grooming than others, all dogs require some level of grooming maintenance.

Bathing is the most basic foundation of grooming, and is a must for any dog regardless of its breed or size.

  • Always use a mild shampoo, such as a dog-specific shampoo or mild baby shampoo.
  • Do not bathe your dog too often, as you can irritate her skin.
  • Bathing every three months for indoor dogs is a basic guideline.

Nail Clipping
While this can be an unpleasant experience for some dogs and people, it is vital that you keep your dog’s nails trimmed to an appropriate length.

  • Be extremely careful to avoid the quick, which is a vein that runs into the nail.
  • If you accidentally cut into the quick, expect significant bleeding. Apply pressure to the nail until the bleeding subsides.
  • Make nail clipping a quick, stress-free experience for your dog. Pairing clipping time with treats and a favorite toy can help it become more enjoyable for her.

You should maintain your dog’s healthy coat with regular brushing. This will help prevent tangles in longer-haired dogs, and will improve your dog’s overall coat health.

  • Some dogs require more intensive brushing than others in order to prevent matting and tangles.
  • Do not forget to brush your dog’s sensitive ears and tail—these are some of the first areas that develop mats.

If you have a dog that requires more extensive grooming, consider hiring a reputable groomer in your area.

Should you take grooming into consideration when choosing a new dog?
Absolutely! Grooming can be tedious, time-consuming, and potentially expensive if you choose to hire a groomer.

  • Breeds with more than just a basic flat coat, (Poodles and poodle mixes, Yorkshire Terriers, and Afghan Hounds, to name a few) need regular grooming to avoid painful and uncomfortable matting and tangling.
  • Professional grooming can cost upwards of a hundred dollars for a single groom, so it is important to take that cost into consideration before choosing a dog that needs extensive grooming.
  • If you do not maintain your dog’s coat, you will have an unhappy dog and a coat that is impossible to brush or bathe without shaving it off.


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