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  • Puppy Grooming 101

    1 posts, 1 voices, 2814 views, started Sep 17, 2008

    Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 by Petstylist007


    • Amethyst

      Puppies and Grooming 101  

      Have you recently acquired a new puppy?
      What a joy to bring a new canine friend home. But with that little fuzz ball comes a lot of responsibility.
      Even if your new pup doesn't have a long flowing coat you still need to groom your dog monthly.  

      Puppies need to be introduced to grooming as early as possible. As a responsible pet owner you need to do some home grooming until your pup has had all it's puppy shots and is safe to be around other dogs. { Some groomers will take pups with only two puppy shots and book them either at the beginning of their day or the end of their day when their shop is quiet.}  

      SUPPLIES: Shampoo, conditioner, small nail clipper, nail file, slicker brush, fine tooth comb, styptic powder or corn starch, cotton balls, hair dryer, ear cleaner or hydrogen peroxide, toothbrush, toothpaste.  

      Home grooming:
      You will need to bathe your puppy in a very gentle shampoo. There are many brands of puppy shampoo and conditioners on the market. Look for oatmeal or non soap based products. The more natural the product the better it is for your pup. Tearless products are always a better option since puppies are wiggly little guys and can get soap easily into their eyes.
      Start by pre-brushing your pup prior to the bath. Just comb and brush through their coat to remove all tangles. Be patient with your new pup, but do not allow them to bite or chew on the brush and combs. Some pups will put up quite a fight when it comes to combing and brushing. You have to remain calm but assertive in your manner with them, otherwise you will wind up with a dog that is always a challenge to groom. Many puppies will scream and yelp and act like you are doing them great harm by brushing their coats, especially if they are a full coated breed. Hang tough, and brush the coat all the way through. Then take a finer toothed comb and comb through to be sure all knots and tangles are removed. DO NOT WASH AND DRY A KNOTTED PUPPY! You will only make the knots turn into matted fur and cause your pet more pain and anguish in the long run.
      Once you have gotten your puppy brushed thoroughly, it is time to trim their nails. Dogs nails can be tricky especially if they have black nails or a mixture of black and white nails. Only take the very tips off the nail first. For white nails, trim just below where you see the pink begin. Leaving a little white on the tip of the nail. For black nails trim slowly and keep checking for a little black dot in the center of the nail. That is the quick (a small blood vessel in the nail), it is your indicator to stop cutting. Should you accidentally make the nail bleed, don't have a huge fit and freak out. Your energy of fear and panic will transfer to your puppy and they will always fear having their nails trimmed. Keep a little corn starch near by and put it on the bleeding nail. You can also purchase Styptic powder from any pet supply store to help stop the bleeding. Your puppy will not bleed to death, from a nail cut too short. File the edges of the nails with a regular nail file so that your pups nails are not sharp. Many puppies do not like their feet touched. This is a very vulnerable area for dogs. So it is imperative that you constantly touch and play with their feet so that they get used to the sensation. Never allow your puppy to snap, bite or growl when your are handling their feet or any other part of their body. You have to be the one in charge or else you will wind up with a dog that has no boundaries as to who is the leader in your relationship.

      Handling: Your puppy as cute as it is, as wonderful as it may be, as much as you want it to be your little baby is NOT HUMAN. I know that really stinks, and we want our dogs to be our little human counterparts, but they aren't and that is an official fact. Dogs aren't human. Dogs can understand commands and have word recognition but they can't carry on a verbal conversation with us. When we give a puppy a command it has to be a one word command. You want your pup to learn word recognition, but along with that comes the body language and tone of your voice that they also must learn. So when your pup bites and the brush or your hand, you must give a deep stern toned "NO", only once. You may have to say it over again, but only say it one time and then continue on what you are doing. If you say "Now baby that isn't nice to bite the brush, mommy or daddy doesn't like when you bite our fingers. This is good for you and we love you and want to make you look pretty. Don't you want to be pretty, clean, fancy or handsome?" All while petting and giving your pup affection. Your puppy hears your voice in a baby talk high tone, with an excited energy and thinks....hey that means happy, excited so I get happy affection when I act like this. And the lesson is lost on the puppy. They don't understand a word you said. It is like the old Charlie Brown cartoons on TV, the teacher would talk and it would sound like WaWaWa, WaWaWa. That's what our conversations sound like to our dogs. They listen for certain words they recognize and read our energy and our body language.

      Bathing: Always place a cotton ball into the ear canal so you don't get water into their ears. First adjust your water to a tepid or cooler setting. Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, do not use hot water. If using a cup, slowly pour the water over your dogs body. If using a sprayer, use a low setting to spray your puppy. Once your puppy is wet slowly massage the shampoo on to your pup. Do not scrub vigorously as you can damage long hairs and remove the good oils from the pets coat. If you have a short coated breed, you can use a rubber curry brush (available at many pet supply stores). Work up a good lather, be sure and get in-between the toes and clean the face well. Rinse your puppy well, until you don't see or feel any shampoo left in the coat. Use caution not to get water into their nose. Flush their eyes well to rinse away any shampoo that may have run into their eyes. Apply your conditioner sparingly. Do not saturate your puppy in conditioner. It will make their coat flat and oily. Work enough conditioner into the coat to cover the dogs body. You can take a comb or brush to help lift the coat and work through to the skin. Once again gentle easy care as to not break the coat or damage the skin. Gently remove any crusties from the corners of the eyes, conditioner helps break them loose. You can get them out with your fingers or use a small fine tooth comb to remove them. Count to 60 and then rinse again well. Have a nice fluffy towel to absorb the water from the fur. Do not rub the towel hard into the coat, you will make tangles. With a gentle squeezing motion remove the excess water.

      Drying: Using a human hair dryer, on it's lowest heat setting, begin to blow dry your puppy. Do not let the pup bite at the air or the dryer. This little game may seem funny and fun for the pup, but it isn't when you send your pup to be professionally groomed and they are biting and jumping around while the groomer is trying to groom your pet. Go slowly and hold the dryer above the pup, never place the dryer close to the skin. You can cause injury and burn your pups coat and skin. This will take some time to dry the pup. Stop and brush the coat as it begins to dry. For long coated pups, don't whip the dryer back and forth over their coat, this will make whip knots, where the hair is whipped into other hairs and form a long knot. Go slowly and blow the coat backwards and then down with the tract, or the way the hair naturally grows. Once your pup is totally dry, run the brush and comb over the coat again to be sure there are no knots.

      Ears: Keeping your dogs ears clean is essential to good health. If you have a dog with drop ears (Long hanging ears), cleaning them once or twice a week is a must! You can purchase ear cleaner at your pet supply store, or you can use hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball. Take the cotton out of the pups ears and throw them away. Get two clean cotton balls and wet them with the ear cleaner or peroxide. Lift the ear and swab the inside of the ear. Do not jam the cotton down into the canal, the cleaner or peroxide will drip down into the ear canal. NEVER USE Q-TIPS inside of the ear canal. You can easily damage the delicate inner ear. Use as many cotton balls with peroxide as needed to clean the ear. {Check the ears the next day as wax and dirt buildup will come up to the surface and need to be cleaned.}

      Teeth: Along with handling the feet, it is imperative to handle your puppies face. Tooth brushing is a good way for your pup to learn to let you put your fingers into their mouth. Purchase a pet toothbrush, or a soft child size toothbrush. Only use Pet Toothpaste. Human toothpaste has chemicals in it that are harmful to pets. When brushing your pups teeth, you are trying to brush at the gum line. You are breaking up tartar that will continue to grow and cover the teeth, causing all sorts of nasty health issues. Go slow, and be gentle. Lift the lip on your pup and place the toothbrush into their mouth. You may have to pull their mouth open, be firm but NEVER ROUGH. Gently brush the teeth from the back of the mouth to the front. If your pup gags, you are going to far back. This takes practice and patience, but persistence is the key. You should brush your pets teeth at least two times a week. Once you brush the bottoms then do the top row. Your pet doesn't need to rinse, but you can take a little peroxide on a gauze pad and wipe off the teeth to ease any irritation caused by brushing.  

      That's it, easy huh....Or you can enlist the help of a professional groomer to keep your puppy, neat, clean and looking great.
      Grooming is essential to the overall health of your pet. Dogs that are groomed either by a professional groomer or at home are less likely to develop skin conditions, temperament issues, or fleas and ticks.


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