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How Often Do You Groom Your Dog?

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I’m going to go with the easy answer on this one: How Often Do You Groom Your Dog? It depends. That’s probably not the answer you were looking for and I can only offer you information based on what I’ve seen and done which is very limited in this area.

Why did this question arise? Well, I’d always heard that you shouldn’t wash your dog much more than once a month because a dog does not produce natural oils and you’ll ultimately dry out his skin leading to skin conditions. Recently Stetson has had a skin condition and our veterinarian recommend that I try and bathe him about every other week to keep his coat and skin clean. Of course, like a good parent I questioned my vet who told me that Stetson would be perfectly fine bathing every other week.

The boys waiting patiently for their dog grooming session.

That brings to question my entire dog grooming routine. So, after this revelation I wouldn’t to let you know what I do with my dogs and find out exactly how often do you groom your dog?

My Dog Grooming Routine

First of all I wanted to mention that my three dogs all have slightly different fur, but for the most part it’s a short coat. Stetson’s coat is more coarse and he’s a pure-bred Labrador Retriever. Stetson sheds pretty much year round and like most dogs sheds more heavily during the summer months. Linus is a mixed breed (we think mostly Australian Shepherd) and he’s got very soft sligthly longer fur. He’s a seasonal shedder and fur falls off by the bushel about twice a year. Derby is a pure-bred Labrador Retriever and still a puppy. His coat is much shorter than Stetson’s and he’s been lightly shedding most of the summer.

I know every dogs coat will be different and require more or less grooming then my three dogs.

Anyways, on to my dog grooming routine for Linus, Stetson, and Derby:

  • Brush My Dogs Teeth – I try to do this twice a week. We’ve had vet assistants and doggy dental professionals come to our meetings and recommend anywhere from once a day to once a week. I think the majority of people don’t brush their dogs teeth at all.
  • Brush My Dogs Coat – I try to do this twice a week also. This will vary greatly depending on your dogs coat. A long coat requires much more attention and can often require daily brushing if not more….unless you like the dreadlock look. Some dogs may require professional grooming and cuts as well. We have several dog brushes, but prefer the FURminator deShedding Tool
  • Trimming My Dogs Coat – I have never trimmed my dogs coat either myself or professionally. None of my three dogs have a coat that requires trimming. Or family dogs (Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Cairn Terrier) have all required somewhat regular trimmings, but lucky for me my three dogs do just fine without a regular hair cut.
  • Clip My Dogs Nails – I try to do this a minimum of once a week. I don’t think I’m cutting the dog nails often enough. The real problem is I just don’t cut them short enough because I’m afraid of cutting the quick. I’m going to look into using a Dremel to grind the nail rather then the clippers to cut. We like the scissor style nail clippers and find them more effective then the guillotine clippers. We use the Bamboo Dog Nail Clipper with Styptic and File
  • Ear Cleaning – Once a week. If you have a floppy eared dog then you need to keep a close eye on his ears. Stetson has had four ear infections in about 1 1/2 years. Derby has had one. Luckily (knock on wood), Linus hasn’t had one in almost 4 years. The ear cleaning product we currently use was prescribed by our vet.
  • Doggy Baths – The controversial topic…how often should I bathe my dog? This is probable the topic I’ve heard most varying opinions. Once a week, once a month, once a year. I’m going with the safe answer again…it depends. Long coats and short coats will require more or less bathing. Dog lifestyles like camping and hunting dogs who often trot through the mud versus the toy dog breeds who never step foot outside a purse. As I mentioned earlier my vet has recommended bathing Stetson every other week or twice a month. I’m going to do the same for Derby and Linus.

That’s the dog grooming routine. Am I missing anything. Is there something extra you do for your dog on a regular basis. How does my dog grooming routine compare to yours?

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  1. @Chris thanks for your comment. We haven’t over washed our dogs yet, but we have heard the same story that over washing will dry out your dogs skin. Thanks for confirming. By the way, we’ve recently been told by our veterinarian to give Dublin a bath once a week for 4 weeks with a medicated shampoo. We’re wondering if it will try out his skin…I guess we’ll see.

  2. I wash my pit mix (Hunny) every two to three weeks. I agree it’s definitely important not to over wash. Especially short hair dogs like my pup. I have over washed in the past and it dried her skin out and made her very itchy. 🙁

  3. I groom my Shih Tzu dog Jasper everyday and he goes to a groomer who also washes him about every 9 to 10 weeks. I also bath him about every 2 weeks. He doesn’t like his teeth cleaned so i use a special spray which keeps him teeth healthy and breathe fresh. I have to groom him regularly as if i don’t his coat becomes very stuck together and is hard to groom. Tzu Shih’s have a very thick coat and i have to use a special brush to get right underneath the fur tp keep the coat tangle free.

  4. @Emily and the Labradors, I think Derby(my yellow lab) is going to end up the biggest of the three. He’s already the tallest, but very lean. Stetson is short and stocky and Linus is…well he’s not a lab…he’s actually an Australian Shepherd mix and has a different coat, body shape, and a curly tail.

  5. That is too funny! Your pack does look just like mine! Only my yellow one is the middle aged one… but working on being the smallest!

  6. Oh no…don’t worry, we don’ t wash George’s ears with soap or water…we use this solution that the Vet gave us for dogs and he gets it when his bath is over. Yah, we definately avoid getting his ears wet when he is taking a bath. Sorry for the confusion.

  7. @Rissa, be careful when cleaning George’s ears during his bath. You need to make sure you thoroughly dry his ears and I’ve heard that it’s a good idea not to get water down the ear canal. The solution I currently have is used to flush Stetson’s ears and our vet said not to use it more than once a week as it will irritate his ears.

    I’ll probably do a little more reading on this subject because ear infections can become a real issue with three floppy eared dogs. I’ll let you know what I find out.

    @emi, I agree, the FURminator sometimes pulls out too much fur. Be careful not to over brush your dog or cat with the FURminator.

  8. The best “Furminator” is the one with 2 different ends. One end for really deshedding the fur and the other takes out the loose ones. On my cats the smaller end sometimes pulls too hard so I use the larger end on my cats with long fur.

  9. We clean George’s ears once a month with his monthly bath. He hates it but his ears get real dirty from laying his head on the dirt.

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