Maryland Pet

Dog Grooming Q & A – Part 1

A Beagle, a short-haired Chihuahua, a Labrador Retriever – these dogs do not need to be groomed, right? Wrong!

All dogs require some grooming to ensure their health and happiness. Take a closer look at your dog and find out if some of the following questions and answers apply to him.

My dog loves to be brushed. I hold him on my lap, sitting in front of the television while I brush him. I can’t seem to get all the tangles out even though I brush him everyday. What do I do?

First of all, get your dog out of your lap and on a grooming table, or any table, to brush him! You cannot possibly get into all of the joints and angles when he’s scrunched up in your lap. Make sure he has good footing on the table so he won’t be scared. Make him stand up while you brush the hindquarters and sit, not lie, down while you brush the rest.

My Poodle is developing warts and other unwanted growths on his face. Should they be removed?

Your vet should be the one to decide that for you. From the groomer’s point of view, it is very difficult to avoid injuring growths. In the shaved areas the clipper can nick one, and the brush can scratch one located in the long hair. Remember to tell your groomer about these facial growths each time.

My Miniature Schnauzer bites me when I try to brush him. I don’t want to give up, but what should I do?

If he bites you only when you pull a tangle, the solution is to brush him so often that he never gets a tangle again. If he objects to grooming generally, frequency of handling will help there, too. However, if he is simply being difficult, tie the dog’s nose with a length of a nylon stocking.

My groomer told me that my dog has worms. How could she tell?

When a dog has a severe case of worms, they can be seen in the stools. Sometimes, single worms pass out of the anus. Often a groomer will observe one or all of these things.

I’m confused by all the different types of grooming brushes for dogs. Which kind should I use?

The answer to this would vary according to the type of hair your dog has and whether he is a show dog or a house pet.

Brushing a show dog, so as not to break or split the hairs, would require a gentle touch. In that case, it’s best to consult with people involved in showing your breed of dog. With a house dog, the main consideration is to do a good job effortlessly and speedily.

I believe a slicker-type brush is best for all but the shortest, thinnest-coated dogs. It has many close-set tiny wire claws. For the really shorthaired breeds, a bristle brush is probably the best. Any brush is worth absolutely nothing, though, unless it is used on a regular basis.

I can’t afford to have my shaggy dog clipped. Would it be okay to cut off his matts with scissors?

If the matts are on the ends of long strands of hair then it might be all right, but not if the matts are tight against the skin. Many dogs have been seriously cut by their owners who couldn’t tell where the matts ended and the skin began.

Sometimes, it is better to invest your money into a professional groomer to ensure that the job is done right. Also, if you have him clipped short all over once or twice a year and brushed regularly in between, he would feel much better.

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