If your dog is more dog-eared than dapper, don’t despair. Whether it’s a well-turned-out walk or a photoshoot, Rigby, All Four Paws’ spaniel, is on hand to offer his favourite dog grooming tips to getting those leaves right out of your hair – because let’s face it, they will keep on appearing!
If, like Rigby, your dog’s personal pampering programme involves regular ‘mud baths’, ‘leaf wraps’ and ‘sticky bud exfoliation’, then help him move from grubby to groomed with these simple steps.
Every perfectly-turned-out pooch needs their own kit. For short-haired breeds, you’ll need a slicker brush (for removing dead hair) or medium bristle brush, and a fine tooth comb. For long-haired breeds, fine tooth combs just don’t hit the spot. Instead, invest in a slicker brush and a wide tooth comb for keeping those feathers looking fabulous.
Grooming, believe it or not, should be relaxing for both you and your dog (rather than a wrestling match involving the whole family!), so it’s best to start when your pooch is just a pup so he can get used to it. For older dogs who are grumpy about grooming, pick one part of the body such as the back or shoulder, spend a few minutes brushing this and then reward him with a treat. Practice daily, and build up the amount you do.
Breeds such as spaniels and setters with long, silky ears are prone to the odd bad ear day and keeping them foliage free will also help prevent any pesky grass seeds finding their way into the ear. Burrs can cause matting, so at the end of the walk remove them carefully by hand, and brush out the hair afterwards.
Little and often is the key. When your marauding mud-monster mutt comes home from making mayhem, dry him off completely. A towelling dog coat, such as these from Ruff & Tumble, is a good time saver and saves him transferring his ‘personality’ to the carpets! When he’s dry, comb out any long hair and use the slicker brush on areas of shorter hair like the back.
A regular bath every four weeks or so will help remove dead hair and keep that coat camera-ready. Use a specialist dog shampoo or human baby shampoo, and keep water away from your hound’s head and ears. A must-have is Animology’s Fox Poo shampoo, essential to have in the cupboard for when your pooch accidentally (well, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt!) rolls in something they really shouldn’t. This will shift that lingering smell that’s hard to get rid of with a standard shampoo.
One last tip; keeping some pet wipes at hand will help you clean up when out and about. Products such as Petkin’s Jumbo Eye Wipes will also help you keep their eye area healthy, and free from dirt or runny eye discharge.
Now you can take to the streets in style – and squeaky-clean canines will always be ready for their close-up!