Maintaining your dog’s coat is an important part of being a pet owner, as a coat full of knots and tangles is painful. Keeping the fur around your dog’s face trimmed neatly prevents eye problems and ensures your dog can communicate with other dogs properly - an overly furry face or fur falling into the eyes can prevent this and may even lead to problems. The extent of how much and for how long you need to groom your dog depends on their coat length, type and thickness. This is also true for the type of grooming accessories you will need; a dog with a short coat may only need one certain type of brush whilst long or double-coats may need a few different types to tackle the excess fur.
Selecting the right tool for the job can be daunting but all you need to do is find out the type of coat your dog has and then select the brush or comb best suited for the task at hand.
Grooming gloves and soft pin slickers are ideal for short coats that don’t need extensive brushing. They smooth the fur and remove dead fur and skin, distributing the natural oils of the coat for a healthy shine.
Combs are best used for detangling knots and reaching through long coats to the skin, giving a thorough groom. Combs should be used gently, and if you do encounter a knot, pinch it at the base and run the comb through it as this will stop you from tugging painfully at the skin.
Deshedding brushes such as the FURminator work brilliantly on double-coated and long-haired breeds in removing large amounts of loose hair which would otherwise end up on your carpets and furniture. These brushes are not designed for tangles but merely as a way to remove the fur that dogs typically shed, the undercoat.
Depending on how experienced and confident you are in grooming your dog, there are other accessories such as scissors and stripping knives. Scissors can help to trim long fur from around the face and bottom at home, whereas thinning scissors are specifically designed to remove a small amount of fur with each cut, allowing for better precision and thinning of thick coats. Stripping knives are tools specifically for rough-coated or wire-haired breeds such as the Border Terrier. These tools have wide-set teeth to remove the dead fur, create shape and help maintain the correct texture for the breed.
Your dog’s nails need to be trimmed when they begin to touch the ground. Nails that begin to curl under the toe, or become so overgrown that your dog develops a limp, are a welfare issue as they can lead to tendon damage and deformed feet as well as infections if the nail breaks through the toe pads.
Dog nail clippers are safer than using human nail clippers as they won’t crack the nail and are sharp enough to cut through the thick nail sheath. It is important to start nail-clipping as a puppy so that your dog grows accustomed to having its feet touched. Always take your time and give a reward to make this a positive experience between you and your dog.
Dogs can’t help but stick their noses where they’re not meant to. Fortunately, at the FirstVet shop, you’ll find grooming wipes, a practical solution to removing debris from delicate areas such as the face, around the eyes and ears. These wipes are a handy way to freshen up between bathing and are great for elderly or incontinent dogs that need a little extra help keeping clean.
If you have a breed of dog that is prone to tear staining such as a Bichon Frise or has deep-set wrinkles and folds such as a Shar-Pei, CLX wipes are a durable, cleansing wipe designed to soothe skin whilst tackling bacteria and odours.