Grooming Man’s Best friend Proper grooming for your dog does not only have aesthetic purposes but also adds to your pet’s holistic growth – physical and psychological. Since dog hair can interlace due to dirt and grime in the coat forming mats and tangles, they would need to be groomed to keep proper hygiene. Plus grooming generates more bonding time with your pet, creating a stronger relationship. It is best to train your dog to be groomed at an early age. But, an untrained dog can still be taught to accept all the attention. Train your pet to get used to his body parts being handled and brushed. You need not go to a professional groomer, but if you don’t have the time or the interest to groom your dog, be sure to select a groomer that handles the animals gently. Things to Remember in Grooming your Dog Make a daily examination of your pet’s body parts. Look out for bumps, hot spots, inflammation, irritation, vegetative matter, and parasites like fleas and ticks in his coat. Get rid of fleas by using a fine- toothed comb while ticks can be tweezed off. Ears should be checked – droop ears are inclined to infection which can lead to permanent hearing loss. Examine your companion’s pads – dirt, grime, pebbles, chemicals can get caught that can infect his paws. Brushing doesn’t only remove mats, it also takes away dead hair, thus eliminating animal odor. Tangles can also be very painful for your dog that may lead to skin inflammation. Grooming during shedding encourages growth of new coat, so brush especially after physical exercise. Nails should be trimmed every month, especially if your dog has a hard time walking. Dental hygiene is maintained by using dog toothpaste and toothbrush with soft bristles twice a week. A damp cotton cloth is used to remove mucus from your dog’s eyes and a coarse rag is appropriate in cleaning your pet’s face. When bathing your pet, make sure that you brush away dead hairs first to clear all the mats in his coat. Soak your pet in warm water. Apply a pet shampoo in small amounts. Target areas are the eyes, ears, rectum, toes and under the chin. Avoid getting soapy water in his eyes and ears. You also have an option to apply coat conditioner after bathing. Different breeds require varying bath frequency; consult the local pet grooming shop if you’re not sure how many times you should bath your dog. It is recommended that a dog owner has his own home grooming kit. A good kit includes a grooming brush, clippers for dog toenails, combs with varying teeth (fine, medium coarse), dog shampoo, coat conditioner, and a coarse rag.