The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : The Most Common Dog Grooming Mistakes That Pet Owners Make The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : The Most Common Dog Grooming Mistakes That Pet Owners Make

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Most Common Dog Grooming Mistakes That Pet Owners Make

These are 5 of the most common dog grooming mistakes that pet owners make when grooming their pet at home.

1. Lack of training

Grooming is simply another aspect of training -- and improper training can create unhappy grooming sessions for everyone involved.

If you have a new puppy, it’s important to get them used to brushing, bathing and having their feet, faces and ears handled from day one.

Early, grooming is especially important for breeds who will need haircuts throughout their lifetime.

For rescues or dogs acquired later in their life, it’s important to approach grooming with a calm manner and lots of praise, making every experience positive, even dogs who are predisposed to having a bad reaction to grooming can be turned around with the right encouragement.

Approach a new dog’s grooming in a calm, firm and patient manner, and include lots of positive reinforcement like praise and treats for the dog’s calm cooperative behavior.

If you aren't able to be calm and anxiety-free when teaching your pet about grooming, you should continue to use a professional groomer until you get used to it.

2. Long hair + water = mats

A common problem that groomers deal frequently is matted fur in longer-haired dogs, but the cause of the mats isn’t always obvious to owners.

Most pet owners don’t know that when a dog with long or thick fur gets wet, they have a higher likelihood of getting painfully tight tangles and mats. Brushing as much dead or tangled hair out of the coat before a bath, swim or walk in the rain or snow is recommended.

A quick brush to check for tangles before getting wet can prevent a lot of uncomfortable brushing or a shave later on.

Always do a quick brush after the dog has dried off, just to make sure any dead hair loosened up by the water comes out. If mats are discovered during a bath, use a  conditioner and a comb to loosen them as much as possible, and blow drying will help break the tangles apart.

3. Incomplete grooming

Be thorough, many owners concentrate their brushing efforts on their dog’s back, missing other areas that need grooming just as much.

It’s important not to forget about those trickier areas like faces, ears, tails, bellies, bums and legs when grooming at home. For shorter-haired dogs, it’s still important to brush all areas to promote healthy skin, oil production and fur growth.

Your groomer can tell you which at-home tools are best for your pet, as different coats need different brushes and tools.

A part of a thorough groom includes checking the inside of ears and mouths. Ask your vet or groomer what the most appropriate cleaning schedule is for your dog.

Expensive and painful dental and ear issues can be easily prevented with regular maintenance.

4. Creating bad grooming habits through improper play

It seems cute when your pet snaps frantically at the garden hose, shakes her head when you blow on her ears or plays chase with the hair dryer or vacuum, but this type of teasing can make grooming really difficult for you, or your groomer, and scary for your pet.

A professional groom involves equipment that vibrates, shakes, sprays, and blows air at the dog. You need to make sure that they’re not teaching the dog to bite or run when a groomer turns a tool on.

According to the professional groomer, “playing shake a paw, or gently grabbing their tails, jowls or ears while giving lots of praise,” makes grooming safer, as the dog won’t overreact to being touched in those areas.

5. Make grooming a year-round priority

When the weather starts to get colder, owners understandably want to make sure that their dog has enough fur to keep them warm, but neglecting grooming actually does more harm than good when it comes to protecting that insulating coat.

When grooming is neglected for cooler months, matting often occurs before the weather warms up in springtime.

The only cure for that kind of severe matting is a short shave, the exact opposite of what dogs and owners want in the middle of winter. Regular maintenance throughout cold wet, months can prevent a bald dog in February.

Regular maintenance and appropriate training seem to be the keys to grooming success.