Start by massaging the dog with your hands. Picture: AP
Many pet owners want to keep their dogs looking good. We asked Valley Farm Animal Hospital’s Dave Braybrooke some questions about grooming.

How can I calm my dog’s grooming anxiety?

Start by massaging the dog with your hands. Once the dog is used to this, start brushing with a soft brush. Get the dog used to being groomed from an early age.

How can I keep my dog’s coat in good condition?

Give your dog a well-balanced, pelleted diet to promote hair growth and a healthy skin. Brush on a weekly basis. Brushes must be kept clean. Keep your dog free from ticks and fleas.

What can I do to keep my long-haired dog tangle free?

Grooming must be done on a regular basis. Tangles must be removed immediately. Get rid of the tangles before bathing. Wetting the coat first will only make them worse. Wash with a good quality de-tangling shampoo.

Is it safe to blow dry my dog’s hair?

Yes, it is. First get the dog used to the sound of the hair dryer by starting at the tail area and feet and working your way up to the rest of the body. Avoid the face area and the ears. Make use of up and down movements, ensuring you don’t burn the dog.

How do I teach my dog to let me trim her nails?

Let your dog lie down comfortably, massaging the feet. Start by introducing the clippers frequently, without cutting. Use lots of praise and treats. Hold the paw firmly but gently. Cut the nail, taking off small amounts at a time. Get good quality clippers, with a guide. Trim until you see white inside the nail, with a small dot of black.

How do I choose the right brush for my dog?

I recommend using a Universal Slicker brush, for medium-to-long coats and a rubber brush for short coats.

How do I pick the right shampoo for my dog?

Avoid using human shampoos – they are too acidic, and can burn their skin. Make sure you get a good quality dog shampoo that is a fit for your dog’s special needs.

What is the correct way of brushing my dog’s coat?

Start brushing from the feet and tail area and work your way up to the face. Brush against the grain of the hair, to ensure all the loose hairs are brushed out. Then brush with the flow.

Pretoria News/Valley Farm Animal Hospital