How Often Should You Groom Your Dog?

Whether you’re thinking about adding a new companion to the family or you have already done so, you’re probably wondering what it takes to keep your dog groomed and what that actually means. Grooming your dog can be a hefty expense, I won’t sugar coat that, but it is worth it to keep your dog healthy and happy!

So what exactly does grooming mean, how much does it cost, and how often does it need to be done?

Well…that depends.

What Does Grooming Consist Of?

Grooming is often misunderstood for simply meaning brushing your dog when in fact the term grooming houses a lot of different needs. Grooming consists of bathing your dog, brushing its fur, trimming your dog’s nails, and even brushing your dog’s teeth (yup, dental hygiene is important for dogs too).

All of those aspects of grooming are crucial for your dog’s health, and they all have their own specifications based on the type of dog you have.

How Much Does Grooming Cost?

There are several factors that determine the price of a grooming session for your dog. The first-factor will, of course, will be if you are doing the grooming by yourself or taking your pet to a local grooming salon. The cost for taking your dog to a salon often ranges from $30-$90 depending on the size of your dog, the length of its fur and what it is you want to be done. This means that the smaller the dog and the shorter the coat, the cheaper grooming will cost vs. a large dog with a long coat.

Bathing and brushing your dog at home will definitely save you a few dollars, and can actually be quite enjoyable. However, vets recommend that you do not cut your dog’s fur on your own, nor should you clip your dog’s nails at home because you are not properly trained.

Paying to have your dog’s teeth cleaned will cost extra at a salon because it is not included in a general grooming package.

How Often Should Your Dog Be Groomed?

On average, most dogs need the full grooming package every eight weeks, but this can vary based on the type of dog, the size of the dog, and length of the dog’s fur. Shown below are the basic parts of a grooming package and how often they should be performed on your dog.

Bathing

The recommended length of time between baths is 2-4 months depending on your type of dog. Small dogs with short fur can be bathed less frequently than large dogs with long fur. So unless your dog takes a mud bath at some point, you should be able to wait a while before taking him or her back to the groomers.

If you are planning on bathing your dog at home, make sure you are using a shampoo/conditioner that is made specifically for your type of dog. Human hair products will strip the dog’s coat of its oils and likely result in tangling and mats.

For more information on bathing your dog visit cesarsway.com

Brushing

How often your dog should be brushed depends on the length of fur. On average, your dog should be brushed a couple of times/week, more or less. If your dog has short fur, like that of a beagle or a Chihuahua, then brushing once/week should be just fine. If your dog has longer hair, then you should be brushing the fur several times (3-4x) per week, especially during shedding seasons.

Brushing should be done at home in between visits to the salon and require specific brushes for the best results. There are combs and brushes for a wide variety of dogs, so it is important that you visit your local pet store to find the right tool(s) for your dog’s fur. Long haired dogs often require a matting comb since their fur is more prone to getting knotted.

Regardless of your dog’s length of fur, you should always work from the top of the head down the back and then move on to your dog’s legs and belly. Going slowly to avoid pulling, which will just make your dog run from the brush.

For more information on dog brushing visit slickerbrush.com

Nails

Trimming your dog’s nails has no specifics based on breed or size of the dog. Nail clipping is usually best done every six weeks or so since a dog’s nails grow much faster than their fur. You can do this yourself at home, but it is recommended that you spend those few dollars at a grooming salon since groomers are properly trained.
Six weeks is just the average, you really just have to keep an ear open and when you hear your dog’s nails hitting the hard floor loudly, check them and see if they’re getting long. If you aren’t sure if it’s time for a trim, just stop by the vet or groomers, and they can let you know!

For more information on trimming dog nails visit vetmed.wsu.edu

Feet

Most people tend to forget to tend to their dog’s feet. If you looked at the bottom of your dog’s feet, you’d see that their fur tends to grow out from in between their “pads.” This is normal and healthy, to a point. Keeping that hair trimmed up tight will prevent dirt, rocks, ice, tar, etc. from getting caught, which can be very painful for your dog.

The time frame for getting your dog’s feet trimmed up varies again based on length of fur. Most groomers recommend every six weeks or so for long haired dogs, and every couple of months for short haired dogs. If you take your dog to get his/her nails trimmed, then you shouldn’t have to worry about their feet because that’s often included in the nail trimming.

For details on how to trim your dog’s feet, watch the video below:

Ears

Your dog’s ears should be cleaned out every week or so. Dogs are always rolling around in the grass and playing in the dirt, so it’s important to use a damp cloth to clean out the inside and outside of their ears regularly to prevent infection. This is also an excellent way to check for ticks and other bugs.

For more information on cleaning your dog’s ears visit lovethatpet.com

Teeth

Getting your dog’s teeth brushed at the groomers, or doing it yourself at home with doggie toothpaste, is not something to be taken lightly. If you have the option to brush your dog’s teeth at home, take advantage of that and do so a few times/week to prevent cavities and tooth decay. If you prefer to take your dog to the groomer’s for this, then just make sure to do so at least once/month.

For more information on cleaning your dog’s teeth visit pets.webmd.com

Dog Grooming Made Simple

Getting your dog groomed is an essential part of your dog’s care. I recommend visiting your local groomers or vet to discuss your dog’s (or your potential dog’s) specific grooming needs because it really is so versatile depending on the type of dog you own. Don’t let all of the grooming defer you from making that investment, though, owning a dog is a big responsibility, but that companionship and fun memories are well worth it!

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