Posted 18th Jun 2018
Taking the time to groom your dog not only enables them to look and feel their best, but also helps to keep them in an optimal body condition. By grooming your dog regularly, you will become familiar with their body, making it much easier for you to spot any health problems quickly and keep on top of pests, such as fleas and ticks. It’s best to introduce grooming while your dog is still a puppy, as this will make them much more cooperative when it comes to grooming later in life.
To help you get started, Kellie Ceccarelli, EUKANUBA’s Veterinary Training Manager and Veterinary Nurse, has five simple steps to keep your dog’s skin and coat in tip top condition.
Ensure a healthy skin and coat
Healthy skin is important for your pet’s appearance, but it’s also their first line of defence helping to protect your canine companion against infection. To ensure a shiny coat and healthy skin, make sure your dog’s diet includes a blend of omega 6 and 3 fats.
Nourish your canine companion from the inside out
A significant proportion (25-30%) of your dog’s daily protein intake is needed just to keep their coat and skin in good condition. To keep your pet shining on the inside and out a healthy diet is essential. Feeding your dog, a diet rich in animal proteins, such as chicken and turkey, as well as vital minerals and vitamins, will contribute towards your dog’s healthy skin.
Brush your four-legged friend
Dogs tend to shed twice a year, once in Spring and again in Autumn. They often shed more in Spring due to the amount of daylight they are exposed to.
As a rule of thumb, dogs should be groomed every day, regardless of the amount they shed. If you are unsure where to start, a professional groomer will be able to advise you on the correct equipment to use for your breed.
Consider seasonal grooming needs
Dogs naturally produce oils from their skin and coat which help to protect them against infection, irritation and water. If you bathe your pet too often the efficiency of these oils starts to reduce. However, just like us, our dogs sweat with the warmer weather, and on occasion can start to become a little smelly, particularly those with shorter hair. Aim to bathe your dog once a month with a dog shampoo. Avoid bathing your pet more than once a week unless it’s been specifically recommended by your vet!
Caring for sensitive areas, including ears, eyes and nails
Some dogs can build up a natural mucus around their eyes which can cause light tear staining. This can be easily cleaned with a cleansing pad or a lightly dampened piece of cotton wool.
Just like humans, our dog’s nails also need to be cared for regularly. Walking your dog on concrete can act like a file for their nails. However, it’s best to ask your vet or groomer to cut your dog’s nails as inappropriate clipping can cause pain and bleeding.
Finally, bear in mind that different breeds have specific grooming requirements. For instance, dogs with floppy ears, such as spaniels, need more care than those with upright ears. This is due to limited air circulation which exposes them to irritation and infection.
It’s important to remember that regular grooming isn’t just about making your dog look their best, it has many health benefits too. Time spent on grooming will also help to build a strong bond between you and your four-legged companion.
Information courtesy of http://www.eukanuba.co.uk/