8 Common Dog Grooming Errors and How to Avoid Them
Did you know that grooming your dog isn’t just about making them look and smell better? Regular grooming can also prevent skin issues and other health problems, making it a crucial part of dog ownership.
For new dog owners, dog grooming can come with a bit of a learning curve. Without the proper dog grooming equipment, techniques, and even dog training methods, you can find yourself facing trouble.
Today, we’re going to talk about dog grooming errors that new owners tend to make and how to avoid them.
Read on for eight mistakes to avoid making when grooming your dog so that you can optimize bath day.
1. Using the Wrong Shampoo
When you’re giving your dog a bath at home, don’t reach for the shampoo you use on your own head. While you may love your shampoo and it may use ingredients commonly used in dog shampoos, like oatmeal, it may also contain ingredients that are harmful to your dog. Dog shampoo is a must to avoid skin irritation, preserve hydration of the skin and coat, and prevent baths from stripping away important natural oils.
2. Skipping Regular Brushing Sessions
Yes, it’s true that a dog’s coat can contribute to their natural ability to regulate their body temperature. However, shedding loose hair ensures that their skin gets proper air circulation, which can prevent a variety of skin disorders. Plus, brushing your dog at least once a week can reduce the shedding that happens in your home and keep their coat from becoming a tangled, matted mess.
3. Not Brushing Their Teeth
Even dog owners that practice a regular dog bathing routine have a tendency to overlook an important step in dog grooming: brushing their teeth.
While you don’t have to brush your dog’s teeth daily, brushing with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs a few times a year can prevent plaque buildup. This can reduce bad breath and protect your dog from developing gum problems that can lead to tooth decay and loss down the road.
4. Cleaning Their Ears the Wrong Way
Dogs have sensitive ears that require proper cleaning methods. Rather than spraying down their ears in the tub and washing them with shampoo, you’ll want to use a gentle cleanser with cotton balls or a clean rag to clean those inner folds.
Submerging a dog’s ears in water can lead to ear infections, so stick with a gentle cleanser. When cleaning a dog’s ears, remove excess ear wax and debris (which can also cause ear infections when left unchecked) and avoid creating pressure in the inner ear.
5. Ignoring Signs of Discomfort
Grooming can be overwhelming for your dog, especially if you’re hoping to get through every step in a single day. Some dogs become agitated or afraid when they’re in unfamiliar or overwhelming environments, and that can include the bathtub in your home. This can lead to aggressive behaviors or the development of an irrational fear if you don’t intervene early.
If your dog is getting overwhelmed by grooming, consider taking breaks between steps. Use treats, soothing tones, and soothing physical touch to lower their fight or flight response. Between grooming sessions, you can also practice touching their paws, ears, and mouth to lower their sensitivity to grooming steps they may not enjoy.
6. Cutting Their Nails Too Short
Cutting a dog’s nails is important, even if they take regular walks on concrete, which can create a mild grinding effect. If a dog’s nails become too long, they can cause bruising and pain around the paws and can break off under pressure.
However, there is also the issue of cutting a dog’s nails too short. Each nail grows from “the quick,” which is full of veins and nerve endings. Use a nail cutter with a safety guard to avoid cutting the quick, which can cause bleeding and pain.
7. Skipping Professional Dog Grooming
It’s useful to have the right supplies and tools to tackle regular grooming at home. That includes dog shampoo, dog conditioner, and a brush designed for your dog’s coat. However, you may find that you want to leave certain steps to the pros.
Finding the right dog grooming salon franchise can make a huge difference to your dog’s cleanliness. Not only can you access top-of-the-line supplies, but professional groomers can give your dog the “deep clean” they need a few times a year.
8. Ignoring Signs of Skin Problems
One benefit of regular grooming, whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, is that it gives you an opportunity to inspect your dog’s skin. If you notice things like scaly, rough, or inflamed patches, don’t ignore them. The same goes if your dog is scratching or self-grooming the same spot(s) over and over again.
The right grooming routine can help to maintain healthy skin, but it isn’t a replacement for veterinary care. If you or your groomer notice troublesome spots, it’s time to book an appointment with your vet and find out if the skin problem requires medical treatment.
Avoid These Dog Grooming Errors and Keep Your Dog Clean and Healthy
To avoid common dog grooming errors, all you need is a little know-how and the right dog grooming products. Use this guide to make the best choices for your dog, whether you’re giving them a bath, brushing their teeth, or choosing a dog groomer to take care of grooming for you.
Looking for more tips and tricks to become the best dog owner you can be? Take a look at our pet content for pet facts, useful information, product reviews, and more.