Maintaining your pet’s hygiene can be a difficult task, especially for certain breeds of dogs. Whether you’re a new dog owner or have had your pup for years, you may have questions about grooming. In fact, most pet owners have the same question: How often should you groom your pet? Thankfully, this schedule lists all the most important grooming tasks, along with a schedule to help you stay on track.
The Ideal Pet Grooming Schedule
While each and every dog is different, here is a schedule to follow as a general rule of thumb for all your pet’s hygiene tasks.
Bathing: Most professionals recommend bathing your dog approximately once a month. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors or gets smelly, you can bathe as often as once a week. If it is too difficult to bathe your pet this often, consider using a dry shampoo to keep your pet clean between regular baths. When giving your dog a full bath, remember to use pet or baby shampoo. Regular shampoo or harsh detergents can irritate a dog’s skin, causing a condition like dermatitis. If your dog develops dermatitis, allergy medicine like Apoquel can help.
Trimming nails: If your dog’s nails make a “click” sound as they walk, it’s time for a trim. This will vary from one dog to the next, but the average is every month or two. If your pet spends a lot of time walking on pavement or similar surfaces, you may find that you need to trim her nails less frequently. In some cases, the pavement can help keep the nails filed down. Conversely, if your pet spend a lot of time indoors or her nails grow quickly, she may need more frequent trims.
Tooth brushing: In general, you should brush your dog’s teeth as often as you brush your own to prevent plaque and tartar buildup – at least once or twice a day, if possible. If that’s not possible, a few times a week should be considered the minimum for good oral health. You can also invest in treats that promote dental health to help keep bad breath and gum disease away.
Fur brushing: While bathing is important for your pet’s hygiene, regular brushing is the best way to remove dirt and debris from your dog’s coat. Experts recommend brushing your dog every other day to keep him clean and healthy. You can use a regular pet brush or a specialized brush to reduce shedding.
Ear cleaning: Dogs are fairly prone to ear infections, so it’s important to keep your pet’s ears clean. You should remember to clean your dog’s ears at least once a week to keep ear infections away. A quick swipe with a cotton ball and ear cleaner should do the trick.
Shaving: If you decide to have your pet shaved or groomed, the schedule really depends on your personal choice. Most groomers recommend scheduling an appointment every six to eight weeks to maintain your pet’s style. If your pet’s hair grows quickly or you prefer very short hair, you may need more frequent appointments.
Pet hygiene tasks aren’t always fun, but they are necessary for your pet’s health. Of course, regular bathing and grooming are also the best way to keep the smells and excess hair at bay. If you have any additional questions about maintaining your pet’s hygiene, your veterinarian should be able to help.