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Puppy Grooming: Everything You Need To Know

puppy grooming featured image
6 min read

You may have a few questions about puppy grooming, so I will try to answer them as best as I can.

Getting a new puppy is exciting. The joy of introducing a new member to your home is often tiring in the most wholesome way. Because then all the questions start springing up: how can I potty train them? What kind of meal plan do they need? Is puppy grooming important?

For this article I will answer at least one of these questions.

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Is puppy grooming important?

Yes, it is. Just like you and I, animals need to be cleaned regularly. Whether they do it themselves or we help them depends on the situation.

We can cover some of the base elements such as brushing their teeth and nail trimming.



Dental Care

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What you should use to brush my dog’s teeth?

There are several methods you can use, however, we recommend using a moistened dog toothbrush with soft bristles. If you can’t find a specially designed pet toothbrush, you can alternatively use a child’s toothbrush or a finger toothbrush. For little details, you can use a cotton swab.

Should you use a special toothpaste for your dog?

puppy grooming dental care
A cute puppy flashing their teeth.

Let’s be honest: if we could get a toothpaste that tastes like our favourite food, we would have it. So, pet toothpaste is probably your best bet. They are often flavoured like poultry, malt and other dog-friendly varieties.

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Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt.

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Even though they are safe for us, cleaning agents can be very harmful to your dog or pets in general.

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Tips for brushing your puppy’s teeth at home

  • Use a specially designed dog toothbrush or a recommended alternative.
  • Never use human toothpaste, always use pet-safe toothpaste.
  • Let your dog sample the toothpaste.
  • Don’t force your dog into any position. Sit down next to them and calmy pet them. Talk to them and explain what you are going to do next ( it calms both of you down).
  • Slowly lift their lip to expose the outside surfaces of your dog’s gums and teeth.
  • Gently brush with gentle motions to clean the teeth and gums, as you would your own.
  • Clean the outside cheek-facing surfaces (many pets may be a bit touchy about their inside teeth).
  • Tartar easily builds up around the back upper molars and canines, so make sure to get them.
  • Always reward your dogs after the brushing.
  • You should use chewing toys that actually benefit your dog. Avoid metals or other abrasive elements and look for on rubber, nylon and rawhide.



Nail trimming

Now for the nail clipping part of puppy grooming. Obviously, a small puppy is not in need of a nail clipping session before they are 4 months old. Please remember to consult a veterinarian before beginning to cut your puppy’s nails so that they can ensure that everything is alright and that no harm is presented to your puppy.



When should I clip my dogs’ nails?

Well, unless your dog has the privilege of playing around on hard surfaces that help keep toenails short naturally, you have to trim or clip the nails about once a week.

Also, if it sounds like your dog is wearing high heels on a parakeet floor, it is time for a clip.

The earlier you start teaching them, the better it will be. Like that, they will be more used to it and accepting of it.

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A little warning: since most dogs don’t enjoy having their feet handled in any way (nor do I to be honest), it is safe to say that this will not become your favourite activity together.

However, this is a necessary procedure to make sure your dogs nails can grow healthy.

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How to correctly clip nails?

How to clip dog nails guide

As seen in the illustration above, a dog’s toenail is made up of two parts. The nail itself and the quick, (also referred to as quickening).

The nail itself can be transparent or black.

On the other hand, you will find that the quick is pink due to the blood flowing through it. Thanks to the quick, your pups’ nails are provided with blood.

Strongly avoid cutting it due as it can lead to quite a bit of bleeding as well as cause your canine pain. Don’t worry they won’t hold it against you for the next twenty years to come.

If like me you become worried about hurting your dog, consult a professional about it first.

If you have accidently cut the quick, I believe this article has a detailed walkthrough on how to handle the problem and fix it again.



Hair trimming

If for whatever reason your dog needs a haircut, this may help you. Remember to consult a veterinarian first before cutting your puppy’s fur. You can also learn more about it by reading this article.



Cutting dog hair

One of the most important parts of dog grooming is cutting your dogs hair.

Most people already know the basics, so I will keep myself short.

Always make sure you are going WITH the direction of the fur. It doesn’t matter if that is regarding combing or trimming.

Cut dog hair on legs very sparingly. They don’t have a lot of fur there anyway, so it is best not to cut the hair there unless necessary.

Only cut knots out once you have truly tried too get rid off it with bathing and combing first.

Never use a trimmer around your dogs eyes. Only use comb and scissors.

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A couple of things not to do while puppy grooming:

  • Don’t cut unwashed dog hair. Bathe them early on in the day so that they have enough time to dry. This allows you to cut dog hair way easier and safer.
  • Never yell at your dog or turn it into a negative experience for them. For your dog getting a haircut can be seriously stressful at first. Even though it can be maddening sometimes when they run around the house dripping wet or keeping shifting around, please don’t lose your patience. I know you can do this!
  • Never trim the head or tail. Those two places are some of the most sensitive places on their bodies. If you want to get rid of nasty knots or need to downsize their fluffiness a bit, use scissors and a comb. Using a trimmer could seriously hurt your dog, and we don’t want that to happen.



Thoughts

This was my take on puppy grooming made easy and I hope you have enjoyed it. Please remember to always talk to a veterinarian before any major change in your pets life and before deciding to do stuff on your own. Please don’t forget that puppies need a lot more patience than when you are grooming an older dog. That can be partially due to their shorter attention spans.

If you want to learn more about bathing your dog, you can read this article that I wrote. Show me a cute puppy picture in the comments, please. Read you next time.

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