Grooming is very important for your dog's health. There are certain grooming rituals that all dogs benefit from regardless of how long their hair is or if they have skin or nail issues. Training your puppy to become accustomed to grooming habits should start as soon as possible. If you wait too long to get your get used to basic grooming rituals such as brushing, ear cleaning and nail trimming, they may not tolerate these rituals later on. While long haired and short haired dogs will have varying degrees of grooming needs, all dogs must be trained to tolerate a few basic grooming practices.

Brushing should be a part of your daily grooming ritual with your dog. Regular brushing maintains the oils in a dog's coat, removes dead hair and skin, and helps keep the dog clean. Having a brushing routine also allows you to check your dog for skin problems, bugs, nail problems, teeth problems, and infection. Daily grooming is also very relaxing for dogs and most of them really grow to love brushing.

Nail Trimming is something that can be done by our veterinary office, by a pet salon, or even at home by you! If your dog's nails get too long they will have trouble walking and can strain their muscles and hurt their backs. Ingrown nails can also become easily infected and can be very painful for dogs. If you can hear your dog's nails clacking against your wood or tile floors, they are too long. A dog's nails should not touch the ground while standing. If you need assistance in learning how to trim nails without hurting your pet (if cut too short, the nails will bleed) call our office.

Bathing is recommended once a month for most dogs. Dogs do a pretty great job of keeping themselves clean, but a monthly bath keeps them smelling good and having a soft, shiny, coat. Dogs that spend most of their time indoors may be able to be bathed less frequently, while dogs that love a good roll in the mud on a rainy day may need to be hosed down more often. Make sure to use a shampoo that is made for dogs or a baby shampoo. Adult shampoos can irritate a dog's hair follicles.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears is another common grooming habit that all dogs should have done. Dog ears are sensitive and can get infections easily. It is important to check your dog's ears regularly for dirt, redness, and other irregularities. Clean them out with a cotton ball and an ear wash that contains no antibiotics, alcohol, or toxic materials.

These grooming rituals can be done at home or at our hospital. Whether you choose to do these rituals at home or let the professionals handle it, the best way to stay on top of your dog’s grooming is to schedule monthly appointments.