Choosing the right hair cut for your dog is an important part of their wellbeing. Many dog owners think that dog grooming is just for pedigrees or for more pampered pooches but this isn’t the case. Caring for your dog’s coat, teeth and nails is as important as feeding and exercising them.
You wouldn’t give yourself a poor haircut or wear something that doesn’t suit your body shape or fit properly therefore why would you do the same for your dog. Grooming them isn’t just about bathing and cutting your dog’s coat either it is also about ensuring it is a pleasant and safe experience for both dog and owner.
Introduce when young
Where possible dog grooming should be introduced in puppyhood; that way dogs can learn to become accustomed to being bathed and brushed and blow dried from a young age. If your dog comes to you later on in its life then introduce grooming gradually and enlist the help of a professional to take care of cutting and clipping in the early weeks and months of ownership. As you build a relationship with your dog they will begin to trust you more and more. This is particularly true of dogs that have come from rescue centers or an environment where they were previously abused.
For dogs like poodles who can be groomed into a particular shape or style there is a whole host of options of cuts available, some more high maintenance than others. Just as any other dog though poodles and breeds like them that don’t shed their coat, come in all different shapes and sizes and this should be taken into account when choosing the right cut. For example a dog with short legs and a larger body won’t necessarily be able to carry off a long haired cut as it will accentuate their shortcomings in height.
Talk to a professional
If you aren’t experienced in dog grooming yourself then it is a good idea to talk to a recommended grooming parlour about the different cuts available. There are a number of possibilities but it is also largely dependent on your lifestyle and the activities you do with your dog. There is little point in having a very involved cut if you intend to work your dog hard and live in the deep countryside where grass and bushes can easily get caught in their coat when they are running around. Likewise if you live in a generally cold area having a short cut all over would not be very fair as they feel the cold just the same as humans do.
When talking to your dog groomer it is a good idea to have done some research first about what you have in mind. If you have a pedigree breed then get to know the cuts that are suited to that breed. There are plenty of pictures and ideas available on the internet and if possible it is even a good idea to take along a picture to the groomers – just as you might to your own hairdresser.
Dog’s wellbeing is paramount
The most important thing about dog grooming is that your dog feels comfortable. Whilst modern grooming can be seen as being about winning shows and making your dog look good it is actually a lot more to do with your dog’s health and wellbeing than many give it credit for. Healthy dogs have healthy coats but it isn’t a happy coincidence and owners have a responsibility to care for their dogs aesthetically speaking as well as in every other respect.
As any vet will tell you insuring your hound is a good idea in order to keep costs of pet health care under control. It is also important so that when leaving your dog with a third party like a dog groomers you have peace of mind that they are covered should anything happen. Equally important is that your dog is up to date with their vaccinations.
Choosing the right equipment
Despite trips to the groomers there will always be elements of grooming that you can do yourself in between. There is a variety of tools and products out there to help you but starting with the basics you need a good quality dog shampoo like Warren London’s 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner.
Imogen Reed - Guest Blogger For Warren London