A groomer cuts a small terrier's hair.

The Importance of Keeping Your Dog Well Groomed

Dog grooming is an important part of keeping canines happy and healthy. A dog’s teeth, nails, and hair, among other things, all need proactive maintenance to avoid the development of health issues.

When to Start Grooming Your Dog

As your new dog begins to get acclimated to their new surroundings, an important part of developing a routine and increasing your new housemate’s comfort level is to begin grooming. For dogs being brought into households with more than one person, it can be best to take turns with light grooming tasks, like brushing hair and teeth. This interaction with all members of the household increases the dog’s comfort level and gives the family more opportunities to pinpoint abnormalities on the dog’s body.

Grooming at Home

Despite the similarities in grooming necessities, dogs and humans use very different tools to get the job done. A first-time dog owner will likely need to purchase some of these different tools from their local pet store. Dog grooming for older dogs also requires the use of specific techniques and tools that cater to an aging body.

Shampoo and conditioner

“Rinse and repeat” is a classic motto for human hair washing. For dogs, a good scrub down with a special canine shampoo is the preferred method. Different compositions of hair molecules in humans and dogs require different shampoos and conditioners, so be sure to utilize an item specifically formulated for fur.


The best approach to dealing with matted dog hair is a proactive one. Taking care of your dog’s coat of fur on a frequent basis can prevent the matting of their hair, saving you a costly trip to the groomers. The types of brushes sold vary for long and short-haired dogs, and it’s always best to buy an item fit your dog’s hair length.

Dental care products

Brushing your dog’s teeth two to three times a week is a great way to avoid the development of plaque and gum disease, which can be very painful for your pup, and make their breath rather unpleasant.

Bath Time

The frequency with which you need to bathe your dog depends on their lifestyle, skin type, and hair type. If you bring your dog with you on frequent hikes, walks in the forest, or on other outdoor activities that may include rolling around in mud, you’ll likely have to give your dog a bath more often than city-dwelling counterparts.

Along with washing off any dirt or other muck that your dog might have tracked into the house, bath time also gives you an opportunity to check for any unwanted visitors, such as fleas or ticks, which can hide deep in a dog’s coat.

It’s important to remember to wash all of the soap off of your dog before drying them off, as soap left on their coat can dry out and become an irritant to their skin.

Being Proactive

Grooming your dog gives you a great opportunity to look for skin problems such as hair loss, dry skin, or red inflamed areas. As with most human skin conditions, the earlier something is detected, the earlier it can be treated.