Fix up your dog with our grooming tips

Rachel Greene-Taylor
Written by: Rachel Greene-Taylor
Posted on: 9 June 2016

Whether your dog needs trimming every couple of weeks, or it never needs cutting at all, chances are you’ve needed to give your dog a bath at least once in its life.

A sneaky roll in fox poo, a dive into a smelly lake, or just a muddy walk often end in a quick hose-down. To get the most out of bath time, follow our simple tips…

It all begins with a brush

Start by brushing your dog to remove all the loose and matted hair.

You should brush your dog regularly, some groomers recommend once a day, to keep the hair in good condition. Brushing spreads natural oils in the coat and keeps the skin clean.

Different breeds have different coats, so the way you brush your pet – and how often – can vary.

Short coat dogs

Dogs: Greyhound, Jack Russell Terrier, Pug
How often: Once a week
Brush type: Rubber brush

Medium-length coat dogs

Dogs: Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Siberian Husky
How often: Once a week
Brush type: Wire pin brush or soft to medium bristle brush

Long coat dogs

Dogs: Maltese, Shih-Tzu, Bichon Frise
How often: Every other day, or as soon as your dog starts to look matted
Brush type: Pin brush or rotating toothcomb

If your dog has a longer, softer coat, then mats can bunch up anywhere. The most common areas are under the armpits, behind the ears and on the backs of the thighs.

Be patient with mats. Use pet conditioner to separate the hair by hand, and then comb the mat out very gently. Make sure brushing remains a pleasurable experience, or the whole thing will become unnecessarily stressful for you and your dog.

Now it’s time for a bath

Bathtime should be fun, so keep these handy pointers in mind…

  • Get all the mats out of your dog’s coat – mats hold water and can irritate your pup’s skin.
  • Start by rinsing your dog from head to tail. Use a shower hose if you have one, or a cup.
  • It might be best to use a wet cloth or flannel for the face, to stop soap going into the eyes. And tilt your dog’s head up to stop water running up its nose.
  • Massage in the shampoo – make sure it’s doggy shampoo as this is pH balanced and won’t dry out your dog’s skin.
  • Repeat if your dog is especially dirty, or if you have doggy conditioner.
  • Then grab a towel and dry your dog off. A good all over rubdown is better than a human hairdryer, as these can get hot very quickly and burn your dog’s skin.

What about eye gunk?

If your dog always seems to have ‘sleep’ in its eyes then you can get rid of this with some cotton wool balls.

Just dampen the cotton wool in a bowl of lukewarm water and rub the eye gently in a downward motion.

Tip: Use different cotton wool balls for each eye – if there’s an infection in one eye, this will stop it spreading to both.

We’ve listed the basics. Things like cutting your dog’s hair, clipping its nails and cleaning out its ears are things that should probably be left to a professional groomer.

But brushing and bathing are definitely things you should do regularly for a fresh and pampered pooch.

directline logo
Do you have any  insurance policies  with Direct Line?
Close ×
directline logo
Do you have any  insurance policies  with Direct Line?

Things you need to know about Over 50s life insurance:
Premiums stop after your 90th birthday but you still enjoy cover for the rest of your life. In the first year, if you die from natural causes we will refund any premiums, or if you die as a result of an accident, we will pay your cash sum. After the first year regardless of the cause of death we will pay your cash sum. Depending on how long you live, the total sum paid in premiums may be more than the cash sum payable on death. If you stop paying your premiums before the end of your policy your cover will stop 30 days after your missed premium and you won’t get anything back. This isn’t a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made. Inflation will reduce the buying power of your cash sum in the future.

Close ×