If you are going to groom your dog, go online to your pet supplies and pet stores and order some basic grooming tools.

If your dog is short haired, a curry brush/comb or a curry brush is fine. Longer haired dogs need a slicker brush, a pin brush and if they are moulting, an undercoat rake. You also get de-shedding tools and blades which remove loose hair easily.

You may also need a flea comb to check whether he has picked up fleas, especially if he has been near other dogs. Your pet supply store will have all sorts of remedies for fleas.

Start brushing your dog from as early an age as possible so that he gets really used to it. If you have an older dog unused to brushing, be really gentle and sensitive to him. Let him get to know the dog grooming tools before you even touch him with them. Pet and reward him constantly.

Even if your dog is going to a doggy parlour for grooming, you should get him used to the process before he is handled by strangers.

Really short haired dogs may not need brushing more than once a month unless they go into mud or into a really dirty environment.

Longer haired dogs usually need brushing every week. If your long haired dog is inside your home a lot, you may even want to brush him daily to prevent hair loss all over your carpets.

Do just a little brushing at first each day and before you know it he will love the experience. Many dogs get all excited and jump around in anticipation when you take out their grooming tools.

You will also need cloths, paper towelling, and cotton wool for cleaning eyes, ears and anal area. You can go to YouTube or your local pet parlour to see how to express the anal glands. This must be done or it can cause blockage and discomfort and even infection.

If your dog has not developed years of plaque build up on his teeth, you can clean them yourself with a special brush and toothpaste developed for dogs, or wipes or a glove. Most dogs prefer the wipes or toothbrush-glove to having a brush forced into their mouths.

Otherwise take him to a vet to have them cleaned the first time. After this you should be able to clean them yourself. It is estimated that up to 80% of dogs have dental caries and gum disease.

A great way to help prevent this is to give your dog a special dog chew. My dogs just bury them! But if you soak them well in tasty gravy then freeze them, they will enjoy a good chew! Some people give their dogs large frozen bones, but beware, even large bones can be crunched up and cause blockages. In some countries really huge ostrich bones are available.

His nails should be kept trimmed and you need a dog nail clipper. If you take your dog for regular long walks, his nails may not need clipping. Metalled or tarred roads especially keep the nails beautifully short. If you do cut them, until you are more experienced, rather take off too little than too much.

Remember, if the dogs nails have been allowed to get really long, the quick, or live part, seems to get longer too. So just cut a little off each week until they are normal length.

If he has very matted hair you may need to cut out thick matting with blunt tipped scissors.

If you bathe your dog, use special dog shampoo and, if possible, a dog dryer. Ordinary hair dryers can cause burns, so you need to be careful if you use them. Dogs need to get gradually used to these as most dogs hate them at first. If it is warm weather, just a towel will be enough.

Beware though, dogs tend to look for the dirtiest place to go for a roll after their baths! I like to take my dog out for a long walk to dry off properly and forget about the rolling.

For all your dog grooming aids,

visit the online pet stores of

affordability and quality

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