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Primping your pup: At-home grooming basics every owner should know

by Kira Garrett | November 13, 2013

Grooming your dog is about much more than looking good – it’s also important to his health and comfort. Grooming helps protect your pet from diseases and parasites that could harm him. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid these problems by getting into a regular grooming routine. Your pooch will look and feel his best.

To get started, keep these grooming necessities in mind:

Brushing

Tools you need: For short-haired dogs, a curry comb and a medium- to soft-bristled brush; for long-haired dogs, a comb, an undercoat rake, a slicker brush and a wire-pin brush.

How often to do it: It all depends on your dog’s coat, but owners of long-haired dogs should brush their pups at least once a week. Short-haired dogs benefit from a curry brushing during shedding seasons – it helps to remove hair more efficiently. Keep your pup calm and try to incorporate brushing into a petting session, as you want make it enjoyable for him.

Nail trimming

Tools you need: A nail clipper or grinding tool.

How often to do it: If your dog’s nails naturally get worn down thanks to lots of outdoor exercise, that’s a good thing. If he’s more of an indoor dog, it’s likely you’ll need to trim more often. Remember to check your dog’s nails at least once a week to see whether they need trimming – all dogs’ nails grow at different rates. If your dog’s nails touch the ground when he’s standing, they’re too long and need to be trimmed.

Bathing

Tools you need: Shampoo and/or conditioner specifically designed for dogs, a pitcher or sprayer for rinsing. Look for all-natural brands with ingredients that will not aggravate your dog’s skin.

How often to do it: When your pet eats a natural, raw diet, his coat and skin will look great, meaning you don’t need to bath him often, or even at all, unless he gets into something messy! Bathe your dog only when he gets dirty, or when he needs freshening up. For many breeds, over-bathing can lead to dried-out coats. Consider taking your pooch for a nice long walk to expel energy before the bath, since many dogs get anxious at bath time.

Tooth care

Tools you need: Tooth-friendly treats

How often to do it: Dogs fed a diet of raw food have far less need for specialized tooth maintenance, if any at all. The enzymes found in a Sojos diet protect your pooch’s teeth and gums by avoiding unnecessary ‘filler’ ingredients that can cause bacteria growth and plaque. Give your dog a raw bone to chew on, or a natural antler. This will keep his teeth extra clean, plus it’s fun for him.

Taking your pup to the groomer can be a stressful trip for the both of you. With these tips, you can keep your grooming routine at home and keep your pet looking and feeling great.

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