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How to groom and wash your dog

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Regular grooming and washing is vital to your dog's health. It also helps to ensure your home environment is clean and safe. Over time, dogs become dirty and shed skin cells; they suffer from dental plaque; and in the summer months they can even attract fleas and ticks. Follow these dog grooming tips to keep your pet looking, smelling and feeling in top shape.
What you'll need: 
Curry brush
Undercoat rake or similar (for long-haired dogs)
Flea comb (in summer)
Ear cleaning lotion (on cotton wool)
Toothbrush or gauze
Dog toothpaste
Dog nail clippers
Dog grooming shampoo
Blow dryer
Collect together your dog grooming products before getting started.
Calm your pet and begin to brush its fur using either a curry brush or, for long-haired breeds, an undercoat rake (or similar). Using slow rhythmical strokes will help with keeping your dog calm. In summer you should also comb the coat with a flea comb.
Check your dog's eyes and ears, removing any normal eye discharge and applying warm ear-cleaning lotion to its inner ear, using cotton wool (don't go in too far). Dry gently with more cotton wool.
Try to clean your dog's teeth at least twice a week. If it is not amenable to a toothbrush you could try applying toothpaste to some gauze and using your finger.
Trim about 1/16 of an inch off your pet's nails using dog nail clippers. Breeds vary in how quickly their nails grow so you may have to repeat weekly or monthly.
You are now ready to wash your dog. Remove its collar and help it into the bath. Use a bath hose or shower head to thoroughly rinse your dog's coat.
Starting at the neck and moving downwards, apply dog grooming shampoo,using the curry brush as necessary. Long-haired breeds will require special attention to ensure shampoo is worked deeply into the coat.
Wash your dog's head, taking extra care around its mouth and nose and avoiding the area around its eyes and ears.
Thoroughly rinse out any trace of shampoo: leaving shampoo in your dog's coat can lead to irritating 'hot spots'.
Towel dry your pet as best you can; long-haired breeds will require a further blow dry (on low heat). Be careful not to dry your dog's skin out, although its feet must be dried thoroughly to ward off fungal infection.
Following these steps will help keep your dog healthy and happy. However, most pet shops will stock plenty of additional dog grooming products that you may want to consider, especially if you have an unusual breed.
Some dogs dislike the noise of running water. Try exposing them gradually to desensitize them.
Special bath leads and collars are available to restrain your dog in the bath.
Never give human toothpaste to your pet. It might make them ill.
Report any unusual discharges or smells to your vet.
Do not replace your dog's collar until a few hours after its bath.


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