Tips from a Onekama groomer to keep your pet’s coat looking its best for the summer

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Maintaining a dog’s hygiene is an essential part of their well-being, but sometimes keeping our dogs clean can be easier said than done.

Regular grooming is important for every breed of dog and is necessary not only for the pet’s appearance, but also for its health and happiness, according to professional groomer Kate Lippert.

“For me the most important part is keeping your dog clean, regularly bathed and dried,” she said.

Lippert is the owner of The Groomery, a new pet salon in Onekama. She thinks it’s important to educate pet owners on proper grooming and shared some of her 10 years of experience with the News Advocate earlier this week.


BATHING

As a general rule, Lippert recommends giving the dog a bath every six to eight weeks to help maintain a shiny, tangle-free coat.

“People think once or twice a year is fine, but in reality almost all races should bathe at least every eight weeks,” she said.

A routine bath with animal-approved shampoos helps keep the coat healthy and may help reduce your pet’s time in groomers.

In particular, Lippert said double-coated or under-coated dog breeds will require even more frequent attention.

The ASPCA recommends the following steps for bathing a dog:

1. First, brush the animal well to remove all dead hair and carpets, then place it in a tub or sink filled with about three to four inches of lukewarm water.

2. Then use a spray hose, large plastic pitcher, or shatterproof cup to thoroughly wet the animal.

3. Be careful not to spray or pour water directly into the ears, eyes or nose.

4. Gently massage in shampoo from head to tail, rinse and repeat as needed.

5. Dry them thoroughly by rubbing the animal well with a large towel.

Dogs with loose skin or wrinkles, such as shar-peis and pugs, will also need special attention. To prevent dirt and bacteria from causing irritation and infection, clean the folds with damp cotton. Always dry the areas between the pleats thoroughly.

BRUSHING

Frequent grooming with a brush or comb will help keep the pet’s hair and skin in good condition by removing dirt, tangles and mats. Plus, brushing can help spread natural oils into the animals’ coats, according to the ASPCA website.

Some breeds, such as poodles and poodle mixes, may require daily brushing, according to Lippert.

“A lot of times what seems to happen is (people) get a puppy just based on how they look, and they don’t realize how much work that takes. It is a daily job for doodle owners to brush, comb all over the ears, mouth, under the ears, neck, legs, ankles. You have to brush and comb your dog every day if you want to have a long coat, ”she said.

The way you brush your pet depends on the type of coat the animal has. The ASPCA website gives the following tips for brushing coats of different lengths and densities:

• Short, Smooth Coat If a dog has a short, smooth coat, you may only need to brush it once a week. Use a rubber brush to loosen dead skin and dirt and follow with a bristle brush to remove dead hair.

• Short, dense fur If the dog has short, dense fur that tends to get tangled, like that of a retriever, brushing once a week is fine. Use a smooth brush to remove knots and grab dead hairs with a bristle brush.

• Long, silky coat If a dog has a long, luxurious coat, like that of a Yorkshire terrier, he will need daily attention. Every day you will need to untangle the knots with a smoother brush. Then brush the coat with a bristle brush. If you have a long-haired dog with a coat like that of a Collie or Afghan Hound, follow the steps above, but also be sure to comb the fur and trim the hair around the feet.

• Frequently Matted Long Hair A daily grooming routine is essential for dogs with long hair to remove tangles and avoid matting. Gently untangle the knots with a smoother brush, then brush the animal with a bristle brush. If the braids are particularly dense, you can try to cut the hair, taking care not to come close to the skin.

Brushing an animal will also give pet owners a good time to check their pets’ eyes, teeth, and ears for signs of potential health issues. Things like inflammation, unusually bad odors, and irritation could be a cause for seeing your vet.

It may take some work to get a dog used to a regular grooming schedule. Many dogs will need encouragement – and patience – to adjust to their new routine. But good grooming practices such as periodic baths and regular brushing will help keep your dogs clean and healthy.


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