If this is your first time owning a dog, your dog is not going to be able to take care of all of its needs on its own. Here is a basic guide to grooming your dog that will help you assist your dog and ensure that it is well taken care of.
#1 Cutting Your Dog's Nails
Your dog's nails grow continuously just like your nails do and need to be cut. Most dogs only need to have their nails cut about once a month, although you should ask your vet how often you should cut your dog's nails as different breeds of dogs experience various different rates of nail growth.
Many dogs do not like having their nails cut. It is a good idea to take your dog to a grooming clinic like East Valley Animal Clinic the first few times that your dog needs to have their nails cut so that you can observe in person the best way to hold your particular dog, calm your dog down, and cut their nails all together.
#2 Give Your Dog A Bath
If you want your dog to smell good, you need to give your dog a bath. Most dogs should get a nice bath at least once a month; however, you can give your dog a bath as often as once a week. If you start giving your dog a bath when they are a puppy, they will feel much more comfortable with the process and it will be easier for you to bath them.
When you wash your dog, it often works best if you can clean your dog in your bathtub. That way, you can wash your dog off with warm, but not hot, water. Use shampoo specifically designed for dogs and be sure to give their coat a good rinse so they soap residue is not left behind. Towel dry your dog and then allow them to air dry for a few minutes as well.
#3 Brushing Your Dog's Hair
The final area of grooming that you need to attend to is brushing your dog's hair or coat. You are going to need to brush your dog's coat on a regular basis. Regularly brushing your dog's coat will help their coat look shiny and healthy. During the summer, when your dog is shedding, it can also help them more easily get rid of their winter coat. Finally, brushing your dog's hair is a great way to spend time with your dog and deepen your bond.
The frequency with which your dog needs to have their hair brushed depends on a variety of circumstances. If your dog has long hair, it can be helpful to brush your dog's hair on a daily basis. If your dog has a really short coat, you don't need to brush your dog's hair nearly as often. If your dog hangs out both outside and inside, it can be helpful to frequently brush your dog's hair to remove debris that they may have picked up in their coat.