The Importance of Dog Grooming
Grooming is a great bonding time. The more you do it, the faster your dog will get used to it, until it becomes a soothing, relaxing experience for you both.
Brushing your dog will help maintain a clean and healthy coat. Running a brush through the coat promotes healthy blood circulation. When a dog molts, the loose hair can become tangled, and if not brushed away regularly, causing matting. Dogs cannot tell us where it hurts, so it is important to keep on top of grooming as it allows you to give them a basic health check.
- Regularly check the coat for any possible parasites.
- Check for matting and sores between their toes where mud and grass seeds can clump and gather, which may cause discomfort.
- Check your hound’s ears regularly and clean earflaps of dirt and wax. This can be done with a soft cloth or cotton wool and warm water, or ask your vet for a proprietary ear cleanser. If your hound keeps shaking his head or rubbing his ears, take him to the vet to be checked. Ear infections can be very difficult to clear up if neglected.
- Nails should be trimmed. A good rule of thumb is if you can hear the nails clicking on the floor as your dog walks, then it is time to trim them.
- It’s also essential that you maintain your dog’s teeth, checking for tartar build-up or any signs of decay, which could lead to problems in the future.
- Bathing is also a good idea a few times a year. Always make grooming and handling a pleasant experience. Praise your dog and reward him/her with treats if necessary. Choose a time when you are both relaxed, after a walk, or when your dog is resting after exercise. It is always best to groom your dog from an early age, as this is the time when they make associations and choose what they enjoy and what they don’t.
If you decide to exhibit your hound at shows, ask your breeder for advice on show preparation.