Should You Groom Your Own Dog?

by on 17/03/11 at 10:38 am

Caring for a dog, naturally, means more than making sure he is well fed and gets outside often to do his business. Cleanliness and appearance are important as both contribute to your dog’s overall well-being, yet you might wonder how often your pet should receive grooming treatment, and if you should do it all yourself. Unfortunately, there is no set answer to frequency in grooming, but you can make a decision for your dog’s care that will benefit all parties involved.

The question of whether or not you should take on grooming responsibilities can be answered by looking at what needs to be done and when. You will assuredly hear advice from veterinarians, other dog owners, and professional groomers with regards to how often you must bathe your dog, and brush his teeth and trim his nails. Frequently typically depends on your dog’s breed, length of fur, and the amount of shedding. Because a dog’s coat is his protection, you don’t want to do anything that leaves him exposed to the elements, like cut too short, or wash away the oils that keep the fur strong and shiny.

It is good, too, to make sure your dog has no allergies or skin conditions, though a check-up can help determine a grooming schedule. Some dogs may require a monthly or twice-monthly bath for relief from various conditions. If you find this is something you don’t mind doing on your own, bathing your dog is not an expensive proposition, and a veterinarian can recommend a shampoo and other accessories.

When it comes to actually cutting hair and nails, however, you may feel less comfortable. This is understandable – you love your dog and don’t want to risk injury. Professional groomers specialize in trimming nails and styling fur so that you dog looks great but is well protected. If you feel better having somebody with experience handle this grooming, research a good dog groomer in your area or ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

The frequency of physical care for your dog will depend on a number of factors: age, breed, and health. If you have it in your budget to use a professional, research recommended groomers so that your dog always looks his best.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on pet supplies and dog supplies.

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