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Although most people groom their dog to keep them clean, it is also a great opportunity to keep an eye on the condition of their canine companion’s skin.
While you are brushing and washing your dog, you’ll notice if they have a skin rash or any lumps and bumps, and you can get them treated straight away.
It’s a good idea to thoroughly brush your dog’s coat before you reach for the bottle of shampoo. This removes loose hair and any dust and dirt that has accumulated in his fur. There are many styles of dog brushes, and you’ll find one that’s most suitable for your dog’s coat length and condition.
When you are brushing their coat, separate the hair and check their skin closely. You are looking for any signs of reddening or flaking, or any evidence of fleas.
The next step in the grooming process is bathing your dog. It’s important to choose a shampoo that is suitable for their skin type. If they have a normal healthy skin, then a gentle, soap free shampoo is ideal. Avoid using a medicated shampoo unless it is recommended by your vet, because they can be quite harsh for normal skin.
Wet your dog’s coat thoroughly right down to the skin. Pour some shampoo into your wet hands, rub them together then lather it into the hair. While you are rubbing the shampoo into their coat, you can feel them all over for any unusual lumps on their skin that will need further investigation. Make sure you rinse the soap off very thoroughly.
There are still a few more things to do before your dog’s grooming session is over. If they have excess hair around the eyes, trim it carefully. Check both eyes for reddening or discharge.
Next, the ears: Never use a Q-tip to clean your dog’s ears, as it may damage their ear canal. Dampen a cotton ball with warm water, and wipe the inside of the ear, just as far as you can reach. As with the eyes, look for any redness or discharge that can indicate infection.
The last part of your dog’s grooming session is a manicure. Trim each toenail carefully, and avoid cutting the “quick”, or blood vessel in the nail. This is often easier said than done, as many dogs don’t enjoy their feet being handled.
In Summary – Regular grooming will not only keep your dog clean and smelling pleasant, but it may prevent any health problems becoming too serious.
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