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4 Steps To A Well Groomed Hunting Dog
Most hunting dog owners don’t like the term, groom. However, grooming is one of the most important parts of owning a dog. Your dog should be groomed on a regular basis especially if he is out in the field and hunting in different environments. Grooming is extremely beneficial in the training process because a dog that is better cared for and handled with affection is more willing to work with you.
Grooming your dog involves some rather simple tasks that can actually help build your relationship with your dog.
- Your dog’s coat will benefit from being brushed regularly. It not only feels good to him, it also helps to release the natural oils in his skin and can help rid him of itchy skin and hair that can mat up even on short haired dogs. Brushing his coat is also a great way to keep a check of what is going on with his body because your dog can’t tell you that he has a lump or a splinter or a tick, these are things that you have to either see or feel.
- Regular bathing is essential for maintaining your dog’s health. Unfortunately, the areas that we bring our hunting dogs can contain contaminants that can harm you and your dog. Some areas that seem completely natural can have run-off from neighborhoods, golf courses or farms and not washing the swamp or pond water off of your dog can cause lots of health problems. If your dog is initially difficult to bathe you can distract him with treats or by keeping the bath time to a minimum at the beginning. Over time your dog will learn to enjoy the relaxing bath and will benefit from the massaging of his muscles as he ages.
- Trimming your dog’s nails will depend on the terrain in which he spends most of his time. If he is on a concrete slab or takes regular walks on pavement then you probably won’t have to trim his nails as often. However, if your dog stays indoors or only spends time on grass then his nails will need to be trimmed more often, about once a month or so. Make sure to only clipp a short portion of the nail in order to keep his nails even with bottom of his paws. Having his nails too long can cause him to catch on weeds or vines while out in the field and can potentially rip off a nail which is extremely painful for your dog.
- Caring for your dog’s teeth can help prevent dental problems later on in life. Veterinarians recommend that you brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week. Do not use human toothpaste as it contains ingredients that are not formulated for a dog and can cause your dog to get a dry mouth and often human toothpaste causes a dog’s stomach to become upset. It is perfectly fine to brush your dog’s teeth with just water on a toothbrush. Although, If you prefer there are numerous brands of dog toothpaste widely available.
The benefits of grooming your dog, whether he is a hunting dog or a family pet are numerous. Grooming allows you to monitor your dog’s body and find any problems early. Grooming also allows you to create a bond with your dog that helps to develop your relationship even further.