Brushing your dog's coat helps to stimulate and distribute natural protective oils, which keeps your furry friend's skin clean and healthy. Dogs with smooth coats don't need a lot of grooming but even they should still be brushed once a week as this helps to remove dead skin cells. Many dogs also need their coats regularly trimmed to avoid matting. Always use a brush with soft bristles and introduce a daily or weekly brushing routine of 5-10 minutes.
Comb through matted hair
If that weekly routine brush doesn't keep tangled hair at bay, use a wide-toothed comb to untangle the matted area. Dogs with a very long coat will often need to be brushed daily or every other day to keep things under control.
Work from the tips to the roots
If your dog has long hair, start brushing at the hair tips and work up towards the skin. This will prevent the hair from tearing and should minimise the irritation of knots being worked through. If you don't yank at matted sections, your dog is far more likely to relax and let you brush away.
Put down the scissors
Avoid cutting out matted knots if possible. Instead insert the end tooth of your dog comb into the tangle and work it loose that way. If that doesn't work and you do have to resort to a little trim, cut the mat out as close to the knot as you safely can.
Use a mild dog shampoo to bathe your dog. Start by washing their body and legs and clean their head last. Push their head gently down and cover their eyes with your hand to prevent soap running into them.
Your dog's nails will need regular clipping — precisely how often depends on how much exercise they get and how frequently their nails are worn down on concrete paths. On average you should aim to clip their nails every month or two.