Brushing does much more than make your precious pup look fetching.
It’s also a chance for you and your pooch to bond, you know, over a little fur massage, a little pet-talk, a little celebrity gossip, perhaps. Grooming time will also help him learn to trust you and feel comfortable with your handling. Even if you’re Team Jolie and he’s Team Aniston.
Brushing is also the trick to a puppy’s healthy skin and coat. Not only does it remove those too-annoying tangles, but it also stimulates the oil glands in Rover’s skin. This allows oil to spread into his coat, making each fuzzy strand paw-fectly glossy. Besides that, brushing allows you to zoom in on pesky parasites like fleas, or other skin problems.
Exactly what type of grooming your puppy needs will depend on his breed and type of coat. Dog brushes are chew-oice for any type of fur, while longhaired, hippie-type pups may do better with a comb to tackle those knots. (He’ll call them ‘dreadlocks’, but we know the truth.) Some breeds may also need to have their coat clipped – call it a ‘haircut’, it’ll sound better to Princess. This is easily done by a professional groomer.
Bathtime! Bathtime! BATHTIME?!!
If puppies are anything like our two-legged little ones, they’re feelings about baths could go either way. The good news is, how often you bathe him is completely up to you. If he’s out making mud pies with the boys most days, maybe you’ll do it more frequently. But if he’s indoors more often than not, you may want his scent to match the the freshly-laundered sofa cushions. In this case, a good rub-a-dub-dub every few weeks should do the trick.
Some tub-time tips:
- Use a good dog shampoo. Canines have sensitive skin, and our human shampoos and soaps can cause irritation.
- If you are bathing Spot more than once every two weeks, it’s best to use a doggy conditioner afterward.
- Always rinse well after you have washed your puppy. Residual shampoo left on the skin can cause the itchy-scratchies.
- Some puppies do have skin problems, so if you find your pup has red or itchy skin, sores, or a strong ‘dog’ smell even after bathtime, check with your vet.
Now your puppy’s ready to bathe – yip, yip!
Nail clipping for good boys and grrls.
Sure, puppies don’t seem the primping type – although some would ruuuuve a catwalk – regardless, they may need their nails clipped before going out. You may even have to give him on-going puppy-cures for his nails, particularly if most of his exercise is on soft surfaces, like carpet. Unsure? Just ask your vet. He or she can let you know if Fluffy needs a good clipping, and even show you how to do it. A grrreat idea for your puppy’s first time.
First, you’ll want to get some purrr-oper nail clippers – that is, for dogs, not cats! Grab a pal to hold your best friend (the little, furry one). Starting slowly, gently hold your terrier’s toe with one hand. If the nail is clear, you’ll be able to see the pink tissue or ‘quick’, which you’ll want to avoid as you cut. If the nail is black, however, you may have to judge where the pink tissue is. Take off a small amount from just one or two nails, always stopping before your client – er, Collie – struggles. When you finish, reward your brave boy or grrrl with verbal praise and a puppy treat.
Now that Puppy’s lookin’, feelin’ and smellin’ good, let the playtime begin. Woof!