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Canine Grooming

Tanya Munshi

Giving your dog a bath can be fun for you but not necessarily for your dog. To ensure that your dog has as much fun during a bath and co-operates in the process, try these simple tips:

Before a bath

  • It is important to keep in mind your dog's
     - Age
     - Breed
     - Type of skin
     - Length of fur
     - Type of fur - thick or thin

  • Check with the vet the frequency of bath and the type of products to be used keeping in mind the above parameters. For instance, if a dog has a skin infection, its frequency of bath will vary from that of a healthy dog.
  • The size of your dog is also an important parameter. A small dog can be bathed in your bathroom, but a large dog's bath is suited better on a terrace/backyard.
  • For an indoor bath, a hand shower is the best way to bathe your pet. Keep shampoos and towels handy beforehand.
  • If it's an outdoor bath for a large dog, it's preferable that you have someone to hold your dog while you bathe it with a garden hose/pipe. Large dogs are a little more difficult to handle during bath time than smaller dogs.
    During a bath
  • Always use shampoos meant for dogs. The pH balance of a dog shampoo is different from shampoos meant for humans. Using shampoos meant for humans can cause excessive drying of your dog's fur.
  • Brush its fur forward and backward before a bath to allow the shampoo to reach the fur roots.
  • If your dog allows you, place cotton swabs in its ears to prevent water from entering its ears. Do remove them after the bath.
    After a bath
  • To prevent infections or ticks, boil a bunch of neem leaves and cool the concentrate. After the shampoo, give a last wash with the cool neem water.
  • After its bath, allow your dog to shake off as much water it can on its own; then rub your dog with a dry towel to take off the remaining water from its coat.
  • Wrap your index finger in a cloth and gently clean its ears.
  • Once its fur dries up completely, comb your dog's coat for a perfect look.

    Pet Nutritionist Dr. Devendra Verma tells you how to know to keep your pet in shape…

    Look your pet down from above its back and check for a ‘Waist’- pets at the proper weight will have a visible indentation behind their ribs. Place both the hands, palms down, lightly on your pet’s ribs. You should be able to feel the ribs. If you can’t feel the ribs, chances are your pet is overweight. Overweight pets commonly have pouches of fat in the groin area between the hind legs. If you can see the ribs, chances are your pet is underweight.

    Steps To Take When Your Pet Is Overweight…

    Obesity is the most common nutritional disease among adult pets. Research has proven that pets fed on home-prepared food are more prone to suffer from obesity compared to those fed on pre-prepared food. Excess weight creates a high risk for other medical problems. If your pet is over-weight, following tips can support a healthy and successful weight loss:
    • Divide the daily offered food allowance for your pet into two to four small meals a day.
    • Weigh your pet at the same time of day at least once a week.
    • Cut all the treats and table scraps during weight loss period.
    • Keep a weight record.
    • If you have more than one pet, feed your pet one at a time, since a dieting pet may move to the bowl of his house-mate to get more food.
    • Feed pets before you eat and keep them in another room during your meals to discourage begging.
    • Restrict your pet’s unsupervised outdoor activity so that he may not scavenge for food when outside.
    • Make sure that outdoor and indoor garbage cans have secure covers.
    • Tell your neighbours to avoid their feeding your dog.
    • Always provide plenty of clean, fresh water.
    • Exercise your dog gradually by walking and when your pet shows signs of increased fitness, increase the exercise timing by moving to games that require running.


    Check your dog’s eyes daily, cleaning away any mucus that builds up in the corners with the damp cotton wool or tissue. Lift the ears and check for wax, odour or inflammation. Never push cotton-wool bud into the ear, since it may push unseen wax or debris down towards the eardrum. If your dog has facial wrinkles or excessive lip folds, check these for odour or accumulated debris.


    • Bathing and brushing the dog more frequently during summer months ensures that all the shed hair does not litter the floor or furniture, besides of course making the dog feel more comfortable.

    • Always ensure that your dog’s collar is well updated with details like name, age and address.

    • It is advisable to protect a pet in a cage or mobile kennel while traveling, as sudden braking may be injurious for them.

    • Do not at any time secure the dog in the boot of the car, this may turn out to be fatal.

    • Do not allow the dog to stick his head out of an open window. Yes, he looks cute. Yes, heads may turn. But doing this can not only be dangerous, but also fatal.

    • Dogs, which are chained outdoors, should have ample shade and drinking water.

    • Do not leave your pet behind in a parked vehicle. This could be dangerous.


    The responsible dog owner understands the aesthetic problems, as well as the health hazards, created by dog droppings. Disease transmission is a minor health hazard. More important is the simple unpleasantness of dog mess especially in public areas in urban environments. Clean up after your dog’s deposits the mess in an appropriate receptacle.


    Brushing a little pup’s teeth can be quite an ordeal especially since the animal will not rest in one place and wiggle around. It is healthy to cultivate these habits in little puppies since they are easier to handle and the habit grows with age.

    Brush teeth with some toothpaste using a finger

    • Baby brush can also be used alternatively

    • While brushing with hand, ensure that nails are cropped

    • Finger gloves can be used to brush teeth and these are available in the market.
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