If you have a best friend and companion who also happens to be a dog, you should know the basics of dog grooming so that you can keep your little friend be happy, healthy, and looking good. Dog grooming consists of physically maintaining the appearance of the dog as well as those grooming tasks that prevent your pooch from developing health problems.

You should groom your dog based on his breed and hair type. If the dog is a short-hair Chihuahua, his needs are going to be different from a Lhasa Apso that grows long and silky hair. Also, if your dog has an irritating skin, nail or ear condition, you’ll need to address those concerns as well as normal grooming.

Even if you take your dog to a professional dog groomer, you’ll need some basic tools at home to maintain and care for him between grooming sessions. For example, a brush is necessary to prevent dogs with long hair from developing tangles and matting that might result in irritation to the dog.

You may not have to trim your dog’s nails if you take him regularly to a groomer, but if your dog’s nails grow rapidly or you can wait longer to take him to a grooming session, you may need nail trimmers and file. Bathing a dog can be a problem, especially if you have a big one. Little dogs can be bathed in the bathtub, whereas you may need another means to bathe a large dog. Such tubs or other tools can be purchased online or in your local pet store.

You may also be able to purchase dog shampoo at your local pet store, but check with your dog’s veterinarian to make sure you don’t need a special shampoo that will better clean and treat the dog’s skin. Your veterinarian will also instruct you if you need to use ear cleaners and medication for problems such as allergies. You might also need to use special drops for your dog’s eyes or take care to wipe excessive “tearing” from around the dog’s eyes so that eye infections don’t occur.

Dog grooming is as important as managing your dog’s diet to ensure future health and well-being. Exercise is also an important part of your dog’s grooming procedures. Making sure that your doggie is properly exercised ensures that he has a healthy immune system and that excess fat doesn’t cause serious health problems.

Keeping your best friend and companion free from tangles, clean skin from bathing on a regular basis and performing the other dog grooming tasks that keeps you pooch healthy and beautiful will help you enjoy your dog and keep him by your side for many years to come.