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Dog Care Tips for Grooming Your Dog

Aug 24, 2008
The best way is start grooming your puppy is when he first comes home with you, but if you have an adult dog who balks at grooming here are a few dog care tips.

The first time you bring out the nail clippers hold the clippers in your hand next to the dog's paw and give him a treat with praise. The next time hold the dog's paw and place his nail in the nail clipper but don't cut. Again praise him and reward with treats. When the dog calmly accepts you holding his paw and bringing the clipper to his nail, and placing the nail in the clipper, then cut the nail quickly and confidently. Don't be nervous because your dog will pick up on that emotion. Praise your dog and give him a treat.

Do this with the other dog grooming tools as well. The dog will associate being groomed with praise and treats. Keep your first grooming sessions short. Right before his dinner is a good time. Your dog will be alert and hungry which means he'll be more motivated. He'll start to associate grooming with dinner as well as treats.

Don't lose your temper. Keep a smile on your face and the sessions as pleasant as possible.

Most dogs don't mind having their teeth brushed and actually like it. If your dog struggles, use the same method with the toothbrush as you did with the nail clippers. Your first session, hold a treat in one hand and the toothbrush with a bit of dog toothpaste by his mouth. Give him the treat and lots of praise. Then gently lift his lip, again reward with a treat and praise. Finally lift his lip and gently scrub his side teeth. The dog should get a taste of the toothpaste and your struggles will be over. Don't overdo the toothpaste, a little is enough.

Veterinarians say that the most common pet health care problem is their teeth. If your dog has tarter it could turn into a serious problem resulting in infection, loss of teeth, and at the very least, very bad breath. Tarter is that yellowish soon to turn brownish hard build up next to the gum line. Prevention by brushing is much easier than getting rid of tarter. Most of the time that means a professional cleaning and it's expensive. Dogs don't sit still to have their teeth cleaned like people do, so they have to be under a general anesthetic and that's costly.

One method that seems to work with some dogs to get rid of a mild case of tarter is gently swapping their teeth with a piece of gauze soaked in medicinal strength (not hair bleach strength) hydrogen peroxide every day.

When brushing your dog's coat, hold the hair with one hand on the skin side of a tangle and use the brush with your other hand to brush out the tangle. That way your dog won't feel the pull of the brush as much. Use a people hair detangling spray to make the brushing even easier.

Use these dog care tips for grooming your dog and the sessions should be fun for both of you.
About the Author
Find more about dog grooming tools. Dee Power is the author of several nonfiction books and the novel "Over Time." She is the proud companion of Rose, the Irish Setter, and Kate the English Springer Spaniel. Read Rose and Kate's blog.
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