5 Common Grooming Mistakes Made by Dog Owners
1. Clipping the quick when cutting nails.
Don't be in a hurry to finish his nails even though your dog
wants you to finish quickly. Take baby clips using a SHARP nail
clipper (my preference is spring style or cat clippers for small
Don't use a Dremel or other electronic/motorized tool unless
you've had some training in using it. It's too easy to
If your dog has white nails, the quick should look pink. STOP
clipping before you get there.
If your dog has dark nails, you should see a black circle in
the clipped part of the nail. STOP clipping before you get
If you do draw blood, apply pressure and styptic powder. A
product called QuikStop can be purchased at most pet stores. If
you can't control the bleeding, get to a veterinarian or animal
2. Getting shampoo in his eyes during baths.
Dogs love to shake their wet heads and it's easy for shampoo
to sting his eyes.
Buy some sterile ophthalmic ointment (at pet store or
www.1800PetMeds.com) and dab in each eye before bathing.
If shampoo gets in his eyes, rinse with cool water or saline
eyewash. Do NOT put more ointment in his eyes. If his eyes remain
red or he's squinting long after he's dry, he needs a vet's
3. Causing electric clipper burn.
It looks like a rash and results from using overheated clipper
blades or damaged blades.
Inspect your clippers before each use and replace missing or
dull blades and blades with broken teeth.
If your dog is affected, he'll try to scratch or lick the
areas, which only worsens the irritation.
It's a good idea to keep an Elizabethan collar on hand (or
make one) for such problems as they prevent the dog from reaching
irritated areas. Keep the area clean and use an antibiotic
ointment on the skin until it heals.
4. Unintentionally encouraging allergic reactions.
Allergies seem to be on the rise and some dogs are more
sensitive than others. If your dog is very itchy after a bath or
his skin is red and irritated, it may be an allergic reaction.
Try products with oatmeal or use all natural products. And always
rinse thoroughly to prevent residue build-up.
If your dog develops a serious reaction such as hives,
diarrhea or pinpoint-sized pupils, he needs immediate medical
attention. If he's just itchy, try different mild products until
you find one that he likes.
You can work with a vet to pinpoint allergens but this a
time-consuming and expensive process. I'd try various products
5. Leaving him unrestrained or unattended.
Dogs, especially those who hate being groomed, can try to make
escapes by jumping off a table or off a lap. Serious injuries can
result to small dogs.
Never leave a dog unattended. Groom him on the floor or
restrain him if he's on a table or in a sink. Create a barrier
around him so he has no place to jumping off spot.
You can have a second person hold the dog while you wash him
if you're using an area too large to fence him in.
Be patient, stay calm and offer lots of praise as you groom
and you'll avoid most problems.
Louise Louis is a long-time dog person and creator of
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