3 easy grooming tips for your dog

Posted at 02/26/12 1:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Dog grooming used to serve a more functional purpose mainly for hunting in the old days, but dog maintenance has evolved with the times.

“I think the demand is pretty big not only because of the show exhibitions, but also because the number of households that own dogs is increasing. Of course, a lot of them would want their dogs groomed properly,” Albert Dichaves, a director of the Philippine Canine Club Inc., said.

Dichaves, who trained in Australia, said grooming can make their dogs not only look good but also feel their best. “The groomer should know everything about the breed; how it should be groomed, and how the dog should look after being groomed, and how the coat should perform specifically in the show ring,” he said.

For common dog owners, here are some tips that can be done at home:

1. Hair care. Long and medium-haired dogs require high-maintenance to keep their hair mat and tick-free. Short-haired dogs need less attention in terms of mat prevention and removal. But regardless of hair length, dogs must be given a bath once a week to help dogs shed hair properly and for their general health.

2. Nail care. Don’t cut your dog’s nails too short; they can get hurt and develop a strong disliking to nail trimming, making it a challenging task in the future. You should cut your dog’s nails when they are already touching the floor. If you are not sure how to clip your dog’s nails, consult your local veterinarian or let your dog groomer do the work.

3. Ear care. As ears are one of the top breeding grounds for bacteria and yeast in a dog’s body, it is a must to clean your dog’s ears to prevent infections. Use prescribed ear solutions for washing, then massage the base of the ear. Be careful not to fully insert the bottle’s nozzle in the ear. Regulate the ear cleaning as too much may cause infections. If there are signs of infection, visit your local vet to get advice on medication.

A word about haircut: According to Pawnation.com, creative grooming, which involves coloring and carving the dog’s hair, is making waves in the US canine industry and reality television, where cute and adorable dogs turn into walking sculptures, from pandas to chimeras. However, some detractors consider this as acts of animal cruelty stating that dyeing a dog’s hair degrades the dog’s dignity.

For those who love animals, a career in dog grooming can be rewarding and enriching, especially because of prestigious dog shows, Dichaves said.

His advice? “First of all, a dog groomer needs to love dogs and not be afraid of it. You have to have the knowledge and skills required to be able to be a good groomer, and most especially if you aspire to be a show dog groomer.”

Here in the Philippines, dog owners and groomers will have the opportunity to show off their top purebred dogs at the 2012 Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Asia and the Pacific Section Dog Show, which is currently being held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex. It ends today, February 24 26.