Regular grooming will keep your pet clean, healthy and looking beautiful. It’s best to get your dog used to regular grooming so that it doesn’t become a struggle. If your pet has sensitive skin use a shampoo especially formulated for sensitive skin and don’t overwash your dog. Once a week is more than enough so that the dogs natural oils can come out otherwise their skin may become too dry.

Follow these simple rules on how to clean and groom your dog easily.

1. Gather all your materials – brushes, shampoo and conditioner, nail clippers, towels etc. It’s best to invest in quality products.

2. Give your dog a good all over brush to begin with to get rid of any knots, matting or burrs from the garden. It is much easier to brush your dog when their fur is dry than when it is wet as it can become prone to matting. Severely matted dog fur may need to be cut out by a groomer or vet – these can become painful for your dog and can sometimes lead to infections as bacteria can grow between the matted fur and their skin. If you find your dogs fur regularly becomes matted you may be best to keep their fur shorter.

3. Check your dogs eyes and remove any ‘sleep’ from their eyes with a cotton wool ball that is damp

4. Check yoru dogs ears. If there is a lot of wax, dirt or if they’re smelly the ears should be cleaned. If this is an ongoing problem always get this checked with your vet as this could be an infection. Use specially formulated ear cleaner and pour some onto a cotton wool ball or square and gently wipe away the dirt or wax. You may prefer to wear gloves. Be careful not to wipe too deep into the ears as they are very sensitive.

5. Brush your dogs teeth – many dogs have teeth and gum disease issues. You can buy toothpaste for dogs (don’t use human toothpaste as this could make your dog sick) and many vets supply a rubber bristle brush which goes onto your finger or a bristle glove. Regular brushing will help keep your dog healthy and happy and get them used to it.

6. Clip your dogs nails – you should only need to clip away a small amount. Be sure not to clip the blood vessel which can often be seen through the nail. If you’re unsure take your pet to a dog groomers or to your vet (they will only charge a small fee) and get them to show you how to do this. Nail clippers can be purchased from pet stores.

7. Now it’s time to wash your dog! If you’re washing them in the bath you may want to buy a non slip mat to put on the bottom to help your pet stay in place. Remove your pets collar (don’t put it back on your dog until it is fully dried as this will trap moisture and can cause rashes and skin irritations.) If you’re washing your dog in the shower, thoroughly wet your dog with the shower hose, begin to shampoo or scrub your dog with dog soap. Use a comb or brush to help evenly coat the shampoo through your dogs fur. Be careful not to get soap or shampoo in your dogs eyes and do not spray water into your dogs ears as this can be painful and cause infections.

8. Thoroughly rinse your dog – this is important as soap or shampoo left in may cause skin irritations.

9. Towel dry your dog – a microfiber dog towel will help absorb water quickly. Gently dry the ears. If your dog has long hair you may want to blowdry your dog but leave their fur slightly damp so as not to dry out your dogs skin too much.

If you’ve found the whole experience too difficult or hard then perhaps look at getting your dog professionally groomed once a month but the more you groom your dog -the better you’ll get at it and your dog will eventually get used to grooming.

Remember to give your dog lots of praise after being groomed and perhaps give them a yummy treat for being so well behaved.

For further tips, pictures and info visit wikiHow.

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