Dog Grooming Basic Needs!!!!

Dog grooming is one of your dog’s basic needs and an important part of dog ownership. Just like people, dogs need physical maintenance to look and feel their best. Fortunately, dogs do not need to bathe as often as people, but you do need to learn how much grooming your dog actually needs and keep it on a schedule. Generally, a dog’s grooming needs depend on the breed and hair type. If your dog has a skin, ear or nail condition, follow your veterinarian’s instructions regarding grooming your dog. It is also important to use the appropriate grooming tools. Here are some dog grooming basics to remember.

groomer brushing dog - Tetra images/Getty Images
Tetra images/Getty Images

1.  Hair Brushing

Most dogs enjoy being brushed, and sessions will strengthen the bond with your dog while maintaining a healthy coat. A dog’s brushing needs depend on hair type. Choose the right tools and follow these minimum guidelines:

  • Long-haired dogs usually require daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling of hair.
  • Medium-haired dogs may be prone to matting and tangles and should be brushed at least weekly.
  • Short-haired dogs can typically go a few weeks in-between brushing.

Regardless of hair type, you can brush your dog daily – especially if he enjoys it. Regular brushing will keep the coat shiny and healthy. More frequent brushing during shedding season can help prevent hair build-up and excess shedding. Consider products like the FURminator deShedding tool or theBamboo Shedding BladeDog Paw Photo - Picture of Person Holding Dog Paw - Photo © Chaban

Photo © Chaban

2.  Nail Trimming

Nail trims are often hated by dogs and owners alike. Most dogs dislike even having their paws handled and know how much it hurts when nails are cut too short.Dog owners are often uncomfortable with the process for fear of hurting their dogs.

Dogs will develop an aversion to nail trimming once they experience pain from it. The best way to avoid this is to learn how to trim nails correctly and exercise caution. Ideally, a veterinary technician, vet, or groomer should teach you how to trim your dog’s nails. Most dogs need monthly nail trims, but your dog may need more or less depending on the rate of growth.

An alternative to nail trimming is the use of a rotary tool to file down nails. Consider the Peticure Grooming Tool for this task. More »

Bath for a Dog - Photo Getty Images / Stringer
Bath for a dog. Photo Getty Images / Stringer

3.  Bathing

Bath time does not mean fun to most dogs and owners. It may bring forth an image of a wet dog running from the tub, dripping all over the house. Bathing does not have to be this way if your dog can get used to it. He may not like the bath, but he’ll be easier to manage. Learn how to bathe your dog properly and make the experience as positive as you can for you and your dog.

Most dogs only need to be bathed when they seem dirty or itchy. Many people like to bathe their dogs monthly, but bathing as often as once a week is not considered harmful. Always use a soap-free shampoo that is intended for dogs. Depending on the condition of your dog’s skin and coat, your veterinarian may recommend a specific shampoo. In this case, be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions about bathing. More »

dog ear - Photo © Sharon Montrose/Getty Images
Photo © Sharon Montrose/Getty Images

4.  Ear Care

Your dog’s ears can be a haven for bacteria and yeast if not kept clean. Some dogs can go their whole lives without ear problems, and the only routine ear cleaningneeded is during the monthly bath. Other dogs have chronic ear disease and require multiple cleanings a day.

Ear problems can often be traced back to genetics. Dogs with floppy ears or long hair tend to be predisposed to ear problems because the ear canal simply does not have as much air exposure. Many ear problems are a sign of allergies. If your dog has excess debris or foul odor in his ears, your veterinarian will likely prescribe special ear cleaners and medications. If your dog’s ears are relatively healthy, you can help keep them that way with proper ear care. More »

dog-grooming-BillHolden-Cultura-getty173806966.jpg - Bill Holden/Cultura/Getty Images
Bill Holden/Cultura/Getty Images

5.  Haircuts

Dogs with continuously growing hair, such as thePoodle or Shih Tzu, typically need their hair cut every 2-4 weeks depending on the breed of the dog and the style of the cut. This task is often best left toprofessional groomers, though many dog owners are able to learn some basic maintenance haircuts. If you are interested in learning professional dog grooming skills, consider dog grooming school.

Learn the true cost of Dog Ownership


In the first year alone, your new best friend can cost between $700 and $2,000 excluding any special needs, such as dog walking, pet insurance, and grooming, which can raise the cost by more than $7,000. In the following years, your annual expenses may decrease slightly, or they could increase significantly, depending on any medical conditions that arise, whether you purchase pet insurance, how often you travel or are away from home, the length of Fluffy’s coat, his size and how much he eats, and other factors.

The cost of first-time supplies will be different for every dog, but the estimate above takes into account a collar and a leash, a crate, and miscellaneous expenses such as a bed and food and water bowls. Training can also be a great investment, as it may help prevent your dog from engaging in destructive behavior down the road.

Small dogs: $55/year

Medium dogs: $120/year

Large dogs: $235/year

This is the most predictable cost of owning a dog. Prices vary depending on the age and size of your dog, and the brand you decide to feed it. Premium dog foods typically have better nutritional value because of higher standards in ingredients, and although they usually cost more, the higher nutritional value means Fluffy can eat less while still meeting his health needs. Check with your vet to determine the best diet for your dog.

Small dogs: $40/year

Medium dogs: $55/year

Large dogs: $75/year

The cost of playtime is different for each dog. Some breeds are more prone to chewing and may go through their toys more quickly, leading to higher replacement costs.

Small dogs: $210/year

Medium dogs: $235/year

Large dogs: $260/year

The ASPCA cites preventive veterinary care as the number-one way to cut pet care costs. Murray recommends taking your dog in for a yearly exam, which usually includes a thorough physical from tooth to tail, as well as heartworm preventive treatment, vaccinations if needed, and flea and tick control. The cost of veterinary care will usually be higher in a big city than in a small town, and prices also tend to increase for bigger dogs because they need larger