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Trimming the Coat

When you trim the coat after the bath, focus on the fur on the hind end, the fur under the stomach, the feathers on the legs, and the fur on the top side of the paws. Don’t cut too much, just trim so the groomer has something to work with when your favorite dog salon opens up again.

Whatever instrument you choose to use to trim your dog, you must be very careful. “Scissors need to be made for dogs.  If scissors are too dull, you work too hard to cut hair and are more likely to accidently cut the dog,” advised Linda. “ALWAYS hold the hair you want to cut between your fingers and be sure you can feel where the skin is, then cut above your fingers… this way there is no chance of cutting the dog.”

Linda also recommends buying clippers made for dogs as small clippers are not strong enough to move thorough dog hair. “Don’t use the blade that comes on the clipper to shave your dog… it is TOO short.  Use an attachment to keep the blade off the dog’s body.  Clipping dogs short reduces their defense system and can affect their immune responses,” stated Linda. “If you want to buy clippers, talk to your local groomer for sources or try a groomer supply website.”

Don’t try to cut your dog’s nails unless you have done it before. If you cut the quick that runs through each nail, the dog will bleed. You can try to use a nail file instead.

Cleaning the Ears

You want to periodically check the insides of your dog’s ears, especially if you have a dog with floppy ears like a Cocker Spaniel, to make sure that they don’t get infected. Signs of an infection that you should watch out for include a bad smell and if you see your pet is scratching repeatedly at his ears and shaking his head.

To clean the ears, you need an ear cleaner solution for dogs plus gauze pads or cotton balls. Never use Q-tips because if you push these in too far you can damage the ear drum. Put some cleaner on a pad and wipe the inside surface of the ear flap. Then pour cleaner into the ear and rub the base of the ear. Take a moistened pad and push it gently into the ear, as close as possible to the canal, and wipe. If you get lots of dirt on your pad, do it again. If that persists, your dog needs to see a veterinarians as he may have an ear infection and needs medication to clear it up.

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