Having a dog is a wonderful experience as they are guaranteed to provide you with years of loyal companionship. However to ensure that they remain fit and healthy it’s important to groom them regularly to prevent excess shedding and matted hair, which can lead to skin irritation for your furry friend. Excessive hair can also lead to a condition known as Myiasis, which is where fly eggs are laid within dirty dog hair and open wounds, which leads to maggot infestation. This can be extremely uncomfortable and distressing for dogs and should be prevented at all costs.
The first thing you need to do is purchase some quiet rechargeable dog clippers. This will make it easier to trim the hard to reach places, especially if your dog tends to move around a lot. Choosing quiet clippers may help to reduce fidgeting as well, as the loud buzzing of lesser grooming utensils may stress them out, especially when trimming near the ears and face.
Having your own pair of clippers can also save you lots of money on dog grooming bills, and will allow you to treat any patches of matted hair quickly without the need to make appointments and drive to and from the grooming parlor. It’s a great time saver and leaves you with more time for long walks and games of fetch in the park.
Before you trim your dog consider whether it needs a bath and a comb to untangle any knotted hair. It can be painful for the dog if the clippers catch, in the same way that brushing matted hair for humans can cause great discomfort. Just be sure to dry them after their bath so the clippers don’t get too wet and clog up. You want the blades to be sharp so that they cut through the fur quickly and easily which is also safer for you.
If you’re working with a particular fidgety dog you may wish to invest in a dog grooming harness. It’ll help to keep them relatively still which frees up both of your hands making the whole process quicker and easier. (See this piece I wrote for more info on dog harnesses)
Just like when you shave your beard or legs it’s best to shave in the direction of the hair growth to minimise skin irritation and prevent snagging. Try to start with sensitive areas first such as around the ears, joints, tail and stomach. Your dog may get more and more impatient as time goes on, and these areas are much harder to groom if they are moving around.
As you’re grooming just be aware of the temperature of the clippers. If they’re being used constantly it’s not uncommon for them to overheat which can burn the skin. Apply the supplied lubricant to the blades as directed in the instructions, and don’t be afraid to take a break now and again. Your dog will probably appreciate it and it may help them to relax if they can move around periodically.