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What Are My Options: Grooming

When you take your dog to the groomer, your pet usually comes out looking spiffy. However, grooming isn’t just about looks. Dog haircuts help ensure that your dog stays clean and comfortable throughout the year. Most groomers recommend that you perform dog grooming every 6 to 8 weeks, however, this could depend on the breed of dog, time of year, and desired dog hair style. Knowing your options ahead of time can help you communicate with the groomer and set up a productive grooming schedule.

What Does Grooming Entail?

Grooming is a general expression that may refer to a variety of procedures. This guide to grooming explains that grooming can include bathing, shampooing, blow drying, haircuts, trimming the nails, or expressing the anal glands. You can groom your dog yourself or bring the dog to a professional. Many pet owners feel comfortable washing their dogs or trimming their nails, however, they may not be as proficient at styling their dog’s fur, this is where a good groomer will come into the picture. Sure, you could simply buzz the dog with trimmers but some dogs are extremely sensitive or don’t like the noise. Additionally, you might not know how short or long to make the cut and working around some of the more sensitive areas such as the paws, tail and face can be difficult. Grooming a dog requires special tools and a lot of practice, but with the right knowledge you can become a home grooming pro.

Typical Dog Haircut Styles

When you go to the groomer, you may just want to lop off some fur to keep your dog cooler in the summer. If you have a particular result in mind, you should know how to use the right “groomer-speak.” When speaking with your groomer always be sure to specify the length as well as the areas that you want the groomer to trim even if you’re using one of the terms below.

Teddy Bear Trim

According to Pet Helpful, the teddy bear cut is also known as the puppy cut. The length is usually uniform all over the body and is supposed to resemble the length of your dog’s fur when it was a puppy. Typically, the fur is usually left about ½-inch to 1-inch long. The style of the cut around the face may differ. Some groomers leave the hair on the legs longer when they do a teddy bear trim. The hair around the face is often left untouched with this type of style.

Lamb Trim

A lamb trim is similar to a teddy bear cut but with this style the fur on the legs may be cut shorter. The fur around the face may also be trimmed as opposed to left untouched as it would be with the teddy bear style.

Summer Cut

In the summer, you can keep your long-haired dog cool by shearing its fur. A summer cut is usually an all-over short style with some preferring to leave the ear and tail hair longer.

Kennel Cut

Kennel cuts are traditionally very short. Some groomers consider a kennel cut to be the same as a puppy trim so make sure that you know what you’re getting by thoroughly discussing your wants and needs with your groomer prior to starting the appointment.

The philosophy behind a kennel cut is that you would only keep your hunting or show dog’s fur short during the offseason. Hunting dogs may need to keep their long coats to protect them from the elements when they’re outdoors and show dogs are meticulously styled during the show season. Longer coats require more upkeep than shorter coats, and some owners prefer to take a break from that maintenance whenever they can.

Breed Cut

Each breed has a traditional cut. Some require more maintenance than others. Breeds that have especially distinct styles are schnauzers, spaniels, and poodles. Our breed profiles can offer a look at what each breed cut is traditionally meant to look like.

Top Knot

Many owners of small dogs prefer to keep the hair on the head pulled into a top knot. This can prevent the hair from getting in the eyes, top knots are often times accented with bows for added style and fun.

Tips for Deciding on Dog Hair Styles

Should you keep your dog groomed with a long or short cut? One thing to consider is your dog’s comfort. Does your dog’s fur get tangled frequently? Does dirt or poop get stuck in the fur? Does your dog’s fur get wet when it urinates? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, tell your groomer. A professional will be able to cut certain areas to an appropriate length to prevent these issues.

Another factor is the amount of time that you’re willing to spend maintaining the style on a daily basis. Longer fur may require about 10 minutes of brushing each day. However, it could prevent air from getting to the dog’s skin. This could be a problem if your dog has dandruff, hot spots, or other skin condition.c

Why Should You Groom Your Dog Regularly?

The Kentucky Humane Society explains that there are many reasons besides style to groom your dog regularly. Bathing with products designed for your dog’s skin and fur can remove debris and oils. preventing some skin problems from developing. Another common canine issue is crusty eye. Crusty eyes can be uncomfortable and can even turn into sores and become smelly. A groomer will help you style the fur so that it stays out of the eyes and will assist you in learning how to clean the area properly.

Some areas that are commonly missed while performing at home grooming include the inner ear, the area between the toes, and the undercoat. It’s important to trim the fur deep inside the ears to prevent infection. The fur between the toes can pick up dirt, burrs, debris, ice and mud that can be uncomfortable for the dog, it can also make the dog slip on slick surfaces.

Be Done With Bad Hair Days

What should you do if your dog gets a bad haircut? If the cut is too short, your dog’s sunburn risk could increase. Keep your dog indoors as much as possible until the hair grows out. Remember that the fur will always grow back, your dog’s hairstyle isn’t permanent. Smile, tell your dog that he looks handsome, and get recommendations for a new groomer. Do you ever give your dog hacky or out of this world haircuts? Share your fun haircut adventures with us in the comments below.