Baths, a traditional part of grooming, should only be given about once a month. This helps keep the natural oils in the coat that the animal relies on to act as a water repellant (Woolf). When giving the dog a bath, care must be taken to use shampoo specifically designed for pets. It is less strong than shampoo that is made for humans and does less damage to the natural composition of the fur. The groomer should take care during bathing to notice any irregularities in the pets skin. After the bath, the dog should be trimmed of excess fur and brushed. However, grooming does not stop here. There are additional areas to be inspected, cleaned, and trimmed.
After the bath, a dog needs to be trimmed in the areas of matted fur, excess fur, nails, and ears. For a long haired breed such as a Golden Retriever, a firm long bristle brush helps to remove tangles and matted fur from the dog. When encountering a tangle, it is advisable to work slowly from the outside of the area a little at a time (Woolf). If the coat is excessively tangled, work in short sessions and give the dog ample amounts of praise for its patience (Woolf). Other important areas to groom include trimming the toenails and cleaning the ears. Look for the appearance of ticks, mites, or infections that could become complicated at a later date.
Grooming serves an additional purpose in that it develops a bond between the dog owner and the dog. Grooming should be continued daily with regular brushing and inspection. Long haired breeds shed routinely and need to have the loose undercoat removed with a firm bristle brush. This is a good opportunity to inspect the pet for fleas or skin irritations. This period of brushing brings the owner and the pet together and helps the owner better understand their animal. Daily brushing will create a life long bond between the pet and owner.
In conclusion, grooming starts with a monthly