The dog, like many animals, washes itself if it ives in the wild, but when it lives in civilization and with humans, it has other needs.
How to groom a dog depends on its species and most importnatly the length of its hair.
Short-haired dogs If the dog lives outside, it’s recommended to wash it two times a year. But if it lives inside and sleeps on the bed, it is better to wash the dog monthly.
Long-haired dogs Some dogs must keep their hair long, so each week, you have to comb them out, with a brush and a comb.
Washing every two months if they live outside, once a month if they live inside and sleep on the bed.
Trimming about every two months.
Shampoo It’s better to use a shampoo with a neutral ph, to not take away the fat cover dogs have on their body to protect them from the cold.
Small dogs, as Yorkshires, can be washed each month, but always with a shampoo for dogs, with a neutral ph.
A shampoo that is too strong contributes to dermatosis and other skin problems.
Drying Young dogs and short-haired dog: outside if it’s not too cold.
Long-haired dogs: with a hand-held drier or brushing it with a brush in the same direction as the hair growth and in the opposite direction.
Care to ear It’s important to check the ears of your dog regularly because it’s necessary to keep them clean.
Wash them with a piece of cotton and your finger, but not a cotton swab, because it pushes dirt deeper into the ear.
It’s particularly important to clean the ears of dogs with floppy ears, because air doesn’t circulate and parasites can easily stay in.
You can also wash the ears of your dog with your little finger, milk and a good pomade with a usefull ph.
Nails It’s very important to take care of a dog’s nails, especially for old dogs, because they no longer walk using their nails, but instead on the pads of their feet, so their nails don’t get as much wear as before. So you must cut them once a month, but don’t forget to cut depending on the size of the foot pads, so cut only what is longer than the pad.
You must be very careful, because some dogs have veins, which go into the nail. If your dog’s nail is not too dark, look carefully where the vein goes before cutting.
Teeth The veterinarian can scale the teeth of your dog, especially if it is 8 or 9 years old, once a year or once every two years.
It’s good if your dog gnaws on something regularly, so it’s not necessary to scale it’s teeth, because the scale goes away by itself.
Scale problems are more frequent for small dogs, which more gnaw fewer bones than others. So, if they eat biscuits, they get less scale.
Some people use a tooth brush and special tooth-paste for dogs. There’s also some special bones, in the form of a cross which rub the teeth when dogs gnaw them, so which help remove scale.
Coat After washing, dogs don’t feel cold, because it’s not their hair which protects them, it’s their body fat, that’s true if you used a shampoo with neutral ph.
You don’t absolutely need a coat, except with an old dog, because if it’s raining or snowing, a wet dog can get rheumatisms and arthritis. In fact, a dog needs more protection against rain than against cold.
You have to be careful with snow because a dog playing in snow get ice shards stuck to its hair. So it’s recommended to use a coat and to protect its foot with fat, or vaseline, because snow, cold and salt on the soil burn the soles of their feet.
Anal gland Sometimes, but not always, and especially with old dogs, anal gland don’t empty itself. It’s necessary to empty it regularly to avoid all possibility of an abcess.
Summer protections By the sea: always rinse your dog after swimming in the sea, because salt sticks on its hairs and burns its skin, and then its tongue when it licks itself.
In the country: be careful of parasites after being walking in the fields, especially with long-haired dogs, and don’t forget to remove all the short grass caught in their hair, ears and nails.
It might be a good idea to trim the dog’s hair inside its ears, or to protect them with vaseline inside, although not in the inner ear, to prevent grass catching inside the ear.
After walking, you must always brush your dog.
A dog or another animal comes into your life for a long time, not like a kleenex you throw away quickly. So grooming but also petting, games, walks, good care, love, good food (organic, preferably) will help you to have a long life together, with complicity and respect for the happiness of all.
All of these recomendations came from the 33 years experience of Patricia Blevennec, dog groomer.