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Grooming your puppy

Grooming your puppy is important not only for your puppy’s health and well-being, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your pet. This will also give you a chance to examine your dog for signs of fleas, ticks and cuts or growths should the pet have any. The time you have to spend grooming or brushing your pet also depends on the breed of the dog.

Brushing your puppy

Depending on the coat of your dog you will need either a brush or a comb (or both) and on dogs with long coats you may need to spend extra time. Whilst combing/brushing the dog, you will get an idea where the puppy likes to be brushed and where it is more sensitive. Also, puppies are very energetic, so the best time to groom them is when they settle down. Talk to them reassuringly whilst grooming to make them feel more comfortable and start with a short grooming session increasing the time as the puppy gets older and more used to being brushed.

It is best to comb in the direction of hair growth and take care whilst de-tangling knots and matted hair by holding the hair close to the skin and de-tangle away from the dog’s body. If you encounter a particularly persistent area that you cannot de-tangle, trim it with scissors. When brushing your puppy, start at the head and work towards the legs and the tail brushing in the direction of hair growth, however you can use a pin brush to brush against the hair growth to make your puppy’s coat nice and fluffy. Brushing in general will make your dog’s coat look shiny and healthy as it distributes the natural oils all over the coat.

Long-haired dogs may require daily grooming, but short haired dogs only twice a week.

There are a few reasons why you may decide to bathe your puppy: it rolled in something and smells unpleasant, has a ‘doggy’ smell, has dandruff or has allergies or fleas/mites/lice. Make sure that when you bathe your puppy you use the appropriate dog shampoo (for example medicated if the pet has allergies).

Clipping your puppy’s nail

It is important to get your puppy used to this early on and clip their nails about once a month or less often - as deemed necessary. Do not clip your dog’s nails to short into the quick (visible darkening of the nail with nerve and blood supply) as you will cause pain to your pet and make the nails bleed. 

Cleaning your puppy’s ears

Your dog’s ears should be checked weekly while grooming for wax, ear mites and fungus as these can cause pain to your pet if they are left untreated and lead to more serious conditions. Certain dog breeds are also more susceptible to develop ear infections so keep this in mind whilst grooming.