Brushing your dog's coat helps to stimulate and distribute natural protective oils, which keeps your furry friend's skin clean and healthy. Many dogs also need their coats regularly trimmed to avoid matting.
Your pooch's haircut can be almost as pricey as your own style cut these days, so taking your dog to a professional groomer every other month isn't always achievable. That's why we've rounded up a few tricks of the trade, to ensure your pet is looking and feeling at the top of their game.
Dogs with smooth coats don't need a lot of grooming, but that doesn't mean you're off the hook. They should still be brushed once a week as this helps to remove dead skin cells and shed hair.
Get a soft brush
Use a brush with soft bristles and introduce a daily or weekly brushing routine of 5-10 minutes. Brush your dog at the same time each day or week so it becomes part of their routine.
Comb through matted hair
When brushing a dog with long hair, use a wide-toothed comb to untangle matted hairs. Dogs with a very long coat will often need to be brushed daily or every second day.
Start at the ends
Just like humans, dogs with long hair need gentle brushing often to keep their hair tangle-free. If your dog has long hair, start brushing at the ends of the hair and work up towards the skin.
Put down the scissors
Avoid cutting out matted knots if possible, and instead, insert the end tooth of your dog comb into the mat and try working it loose. If that doesn't work, cut the mat out as close to the knot as possible.
Wash them properly
When bathing your dog, use a mild dog shampoo. Start by washing your dog's body and legs and clean their head last, by covering their eyes with your hand while you push their head down.
Don't use human shampoo
Never use shampooing products intended for humans on your pet, as your dog's skin is much more sensitive than yours, so it can irritate and dry their skin.
Clip very carefully
Your dog's nails will need regular clipping — precisely how often, though, will depend on how much exercise they get and how frequently their nails are worn down on concrete paths, etc. On average, you should aim to clip their nails every month or two.