Washing and Grooming
Grooming is an important part of dog care. Depending on the breed, age, and health of your dog, grooming may even need to be a part of your dog’s daily routine.
Many breeds require less grooming than this, but regular grooming always helps to keep your dog healthy and comfortable. Some breeds don’t shed their hair effectively (eg. Poodles, Groodles etc.) and require grooming by a professional every 6-8 weeks to remain clean, comfortable and matt free.
Grooming at Home
We encourage you to also engage in regular grooming with your dog at home. There are numerous benefits of regular grooming, for example:
- Decreased chance of skin problems
- Optimal skin cleanliness and comfort for you and your dog
- Improved monitoring of health issues like cuts, lumps, grass seeds, lameness, or changes in temperament.
- Enhanced behavioural routines with obedience during grooming periods
- Closer bonding with your dog through regular contact
Regular nail clipping, or trimming, should be part of your dogs’ routine care. It is essential for elderly and indoor dogs, whereas outdoor dogs may wear their nails down naturally. The requirement for nail trimming can vary depending on breed, age, level of exercise and the environment in which your dog is kept.
Working and herding breeds of dogs are active and generally have compact feet with well arched toes that angle the toenails downwards towards the ground. If these dogs are active on hard surfaces such as gravel, rock and concrete, their nails may not need trimming until they slow down with age and exercise less, however you will still need to attend to their dew claws (the little claws on the inside of their front legs that don’t touch the ground) regularly.
Other breeds may have nails that grow more forward than downward, and therefore no matter how much exercise they get on rough ground, it is unlikely they will wear down naturally. Some dogs may benefit from having the tips of their nails taken off once every week or two, however for most it will be longer than this, and you will have to decide what is right for your dog by inspecting its nails on a regular basis. Certainly if you notice a change in the sound of your dog’s nails on hard floors this is a pretty good indication that it is time for a trim.
What happens if my dog’s nails get too long?
If a dog’s nails are allowed to grow, they can split, break or bleed, causing soreness or infection in your dog’s feet and toes. Long nails can get caught and tear, or grow so long that they can curl backwards into a spiral shape that can make walking very painful for dogs (it’s like walking in shoes that are too small).
Uncut nails may curl so far that they pierce the paw pad, leading to infection and debilitating pain. Nails should be inspected and/or trimmed on at least a monthly basis. If not, the quick tends to grow out with the nail, making it nearly impossible to cut properly. It is very important not to cut the quick of a nail as this is rich in nerve endings and very painful for the dog. If you do accidentally cut into the quick, pressing the nail into a bar of soap will effectively stop the bleeding.
We have a variety of nail clippers that suit different dogs – from the very small to the very tall. Make an appointment today to have your dog’s nails checked. We can also teach you how to do it if you would prefer to cut them yourself.