Many dogs like myself require a visit to a professional groomer, this is not just to keep us smart, handsome or pretty but also to provide several health benefits. Benefits which can be achieved by professional grooming or grooming your dog at home. 
Washing your dog encourages healthy skin and coat but be aware over washing can remove the natural oils causing the skin to become dry and can also affect external worming and flea treatments. Obviously if your furry friend has enjoyed a muddy puddle, a bath is essential! When bathing your pooch, take care to pick a shampoo and conditioner that will suit their skin type especially if they have a skin condition and when using a new one test on a small area first to ensure they do not have reaction to it. 
Brushing your dog will also help keep their skin and coat healthy and is a great way to bond. Brushing your pup from an early age will help them to get use to the routine, staring with their chest and back before moving on to the head, legs and feet. Other reasons to brush your dog regularly include: 
• Early detection of new lumps or bumps — if these go unnoticed it could turn serious 
• Early detection of skin issues, wounds, fleas and ticks 
• Prevention of excess shedding 
• Reduction of fur matting 
There are a number of brushes available, picking the right one generally comes down to hair type. I have quiet long, fluffy hair so my Mum uses a brush with long bristles however if your pup has shorter hair that shreds more frequently, a shorter full bristle brush would be more suitable. It is recommended that you should brush your dog once a week. 
Regular nail trims not only help keep the nails short but helps reinforce healthy foot structure and posture and reduces the risk of infection. If your dog does not enjoy getting their nails done (I certainly don’t) or like myself have dark nails making it hard to see the kwik then your vet or professional groomer will be happy to assist. 
Dogs suffer plaque build up just like humans therefore to assist with this one option would be to give your dog a dental chew, something I enjoy every evening at 9pm and I remind Mum and Dad so they never forget. Another option is to brush your dogs’ teeth which can be done along side dental chews or on its own as part of your dogs grooming routine. Not only would you be helping reduce any issues with you pooches teeth but also add to the bond between the two of you. 
Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly can help to prevent ear infections. If your dog has excess ear hair or floppy ears, they are at a higher risk of infection due to a tendency for the ears to trap dirt, moisture, and excess wax build-up. To clean the ears, soak a cotton ball in ear cleaner and gentle clean the inner ears and folds. If you are unsure ask your vet or professional groomer for advice or they would be happy to do this for you if you prefer. Like with many other grooming techniques cleaning your dogs’ ears builds a good bond and encourages patience. 
As you can see regularly grooming is very beneficial for your dog and although Mum and Dad bath me occasionally, I very much enjoy my time at the groomers who not only make me look smart and handsome but also treat me to lots of cuddles and with the greatest of care. Do you groom your dog yourself or do you take your dog to a professional groomer? 
Until the next adventure..... 
Love Titch 
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