KEEP YOUR DOG LOOKING FRESH WITH THESE TIPS FROM LOCAL EXPERTS.
Just like you plan regular visits to the salon, pets need some planned TLC of their own. Especially when it comes to dogs, proper grooming practices are key to ensuring a healthy, comfortable life. To learn exactly what that entails, we picked the brains of experts at local pet grooming and boarding facilities for their top tips.
Six weeks is the sweet spot for regular haircuts, but don’t wait longer than eight weeks. Of course, this depends on what breed your dog is as well as the natural or desired length of their coat, but Lexis Marvin, general manager of Perk-N-Pooch in Sandy Springs, recommends keeping a consistent haircut schedule. Her rule of thumb: “The longer you have us keep their coat, the shorter time you can go in between each appointment.”
Anita Brown, CEO and founder of Pup-N-Cuts in Brookhaven, echoes similar advice, adding that “pets with undercoats or curly coats could use biweekly grooming services, such as all types of doodles, pomeranians and huskies, just to name a few.”
And when it comes to bathing and nail-trimming, regardless of coat-type or breed, Lindsay Le, owner of Brookhaven’s Central Bark Atlanta, suggests giving your pup a bath, either professionally or at home, at least once per month. The same goes for trimming your pet’s nails, except, she warns, “Don’t do this yourself unless you truly know what you’re doing!” You could potentially cause harm to your pet if you accidentally clipped their quick (the nerve ending inside the nail), so it’s best to let a pro handle that part.
While it may not seem like you’re doing anything wrong by your dog when you skip a grooming appointment or two, the consequences of infrequent visits don’t take long to appear and can cause extreme discomfort for your furbaby.
“A lot of times, what we see when it comes to poor grooming is just a lack of information or misinformation from friends, people they know and breeders. They either go too long in between grooming, don’t have the right tools at home or have unrealistic expectations for what they want for their dog and what their dog can handle,” says Marvin. These types of poor practices can lead to serious issues such as matting, which can cause skin irritation, sores and hot spots, and other problems such as ear infections.
Luckily, Le notes, if you’re unsure what type of grooming schedule your dog should be on, your groomer can provide you with a plan.
DOGS LOVE IT
A consistent and personalized grooming routine makes a world of difference in a dog’s everyday life. In addition to noticeable benefits such as a healthier coat and skin, Marvin says regular grooming also helps some dogs walk and see better when the hair is clipped out of their paws and away from their face. Not to mention, it helps keep hair from floating around the house and hardwood floors from getting scratched—a major perk for the owners.
To make the most of bathing and haircut appointments, Brown suggests brushing your dog’s coat once a day to keep it soft and healthy between trips to the groomer’s, and to avoid matting. “Proper brushing is very important,” she adds. “Starting from the skin, then work your way out to the tip of the hair strand. Use a metal comb and slicker brush.”
When it’s warm outside, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to cut your dog’s hair short. “It’s not an automatic rule for all dogs,” Le says. “For dogs that have double-coats, such as huskies, golden retrievers and Newfoundlands, their undercoat actually helps insulate them and keep them cool, so I don’t recommend going overly short on dogs like that during the warmer seasons.”
Do your due diligence to learn what’s best for your breed.
STORY: Taylor Heard
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