Keeping a pet at home comes with its own set of responsibilities. Along with time-to-time visits to the veterinarian and a good diet, grooming too has an important part to play. Of the different kinds of house pets that people prefer, it is perhaps a dog that is favored by the majority. Regular grooming sessions are important to maintain the health and happiness of your dog. As per your convenience, you can either groom your dog at home or get him groomed professionally. There are many professional grooming centres offering a wide range of services at fairly competitive rates. In addition to grooming centres just around the block or across the street, there are many mobile grooming centres as well. If you do decide to get your dog professionally groomed, always check if they have the required certification before entrusting your precious dog to them.
Time Taken for Professional Grooming
If you get it done professionally, the time taken for grooming varies as per the breed and the services opted for. On an average, the time that you can expect your pet to be at the groomers is around 4 hours, from the time of dropping off to the picking up. A professional groomer usually takes up a certain number of dogs for a particular time slot. The various dogs are then groomed simultaneously, with usually one trained staff brushing them down, and the other one involved in bathing. Generally, this is done on a rotational basis – so each dog has to, in fact, await his turn. From here, the groomers proceed on to other processes that are a part of grooming. Then, as per further requirements of the pet parent, haircuts and other add-on services are provided.
A majority of professional groomers do not hand over a dog just as he is done. Such handing over, while other dogs are waiting for being groomed, just results in unnecessary hassles. To keep it simple, most groomers calculate the estimated time and intimate beforehand as to the time that the grooming session will take. While the actual grooming time might hardly be an hour, the total time period that the dog is kept at the groomer might be much longer.
Grooming at Home
On the other hand, grooming at home can vary as per the convenience of the pet parent. While professional groomers usually have a set time estimate for services, a pet parent can either lengthen it or speed it up, as per individual preference. While some days your dog might be in for a leisurely long bath, there may be days when he just gets by with a quick bath.
Similarly, while grooming at home, the amount of time taken in clipping hair also varies greatly. While first-timers might take a somewhat longer time in getting used to the grooming process, pet parents who are frequent groomers might manage to do the same in comparatively lesser time.
The time taken to groom a dog depends upon the breed, size as well as the services opted for. While a simple grooming can be done within 45 minutes, an intensive grooming session can last as long as 4 hours.
Grooming a dog has many benefits. Apart from leading to greater bonding between the pet parent and the dog, grooming also helps in timely assessment of any abnormality or growth, which can lead to serious issues if left unchecked. While many professional grooming centers are operational today, care must be taken to ensure that your pet is sent to a trusted place.
While professional grooming services do have an edge over home grooming, all the pros and cons ought to be considered before you decide what is best for you. If money is not an issue and time is a constraint, professional services might be better for you. If, however, you want something that is lighter on the pocket as well as a bonding exercise between your pet and you, home grooming is best.
Home grooming, though might sound daunting, is nothing to be afraid of. Today, there are many types of shampoos, brushes, combs and other grooming essentials that can be safely purchased online and delivered right at your doorstep.
How to groom your dogs
When it comes to grooming a dog, slow and steady is the approach to adopt. The initial step ought to be to make the dog comfortable enough to willingly cooperate for the grooming session. With this end in view, giving treats early on might be required. However, as the dog is more at ease, treats can be reduced and the duration of the session increased. Patience is of the essence. If ever an occasion arises where the pet’s owner gets exasperated, it is best to take a brief break and resume the session later on.
There are many things that make up a grooming session:
- Bathing. Unless required for any skin issues or if the dog gets dirty a lot, bathing your dog once every three months is enough. Too frequent bathing can strip the dog’s coat of its natural oils and put the dog’s skin at risk for contracting skin diseases.
- Brushing. The manner and frequency of brushing depends upon the dog breed. While a short, smooth coat of a Chihuahua might require just a weekly brushing; long, silky coats of Pooches have to be brushed daily and detangled. The different types of brushes that can be used, depending upon the specific breed, are rubber brushes, slicker brushes and bristle brushes.
- Shedding. A natural phenomenon, shedding often occurs in spring time. While shedding cannot be prevented, the amount of hair shed indoors can be contained with the help of regular brushing.
- Teeth. Proper dental hygiene is important for dogs. To prepare the dog to get his teeth cleaned, massaging the lips up to 1 minute for a couple of days is quite useful. The toothbrush and the toothpaste used should be dog-specific. If you do not wish to use toothpaste, or if your dog does not like the taste of toothpaste, baking soda or even plain water can be used instead.
- Paws and Nails. Clipping of nails is important. Similarly, trimming the hair around paws should be regularly done.
- Your dog’s eyes should be checked regularly for any tearing, bulging or eyelids sticking together.
- The ears of the dog should be checked regularly, as the ears are common nesting places for fleas and mites.
Regular grooming of a dog is very essential. In addition to ensuring emotional well being of your pet, grooming also helps to check and prevent diseases at the initial phase.