Hello everyone,
My mammy has been busy at work today grooming her doggies. She works at Irish Guide dogs for the blind so it is part of her job to make sure that all the doggies in there are happy and healthy. This is done by performing regular grooming and health checks. So I think this is a good time to share my next D.A.W.G tips with you. You can also click on the link below to see mammy in action with my brother Bobby:

How to groom your dog video

Why groom and health check?
1. To keep coat and skin healthy
2. To monitor health and spot signs of ill health early
3. To minimise shedding
4. To minimise matts and build up of dirt in the coat
4. We love the attention and it’s a fun way to build the bond between dog and owner!

In light of the above points Mammy has compiled a list of grooming tools which she uses on both long and short haired breeds. With so many tools out there it can be very confusing to know what to choose so this should help!

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Double sided brush
This brush has two sides one is the pin brush useful for detangling and the the bristle brush which is the softer one is used on the face and legs. Is also very useful as a finishing brush to get rid of any surface hairs still on the coat after grooming. Can be used daily

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Comb
Useful for detangling long haired coats especially behind the ears. Also good for picking up loose hair off the coat and cleaning off other brushes. Not suitable for use on face and legs. Should be used regularly on long coated breeds in the direction
of the coat to reduce build up of matts.

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Matt breaker
This is a useful tool to remove matts from the coat. No matter how diligent a groomer you are matts will always crop up here and there particularly in areas that have a lot of movement such as behind the ears and elbows and where a collar sits on the neck.
The tool has blades which are hooked at the end for safety. The matt can be gently teased out using these blades but use caution not to cut yourself as they are sharp.

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Scissors
Useful for trim and tidy up of long thick coats.

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Rounded scissors
These scissors are for use on the face of long haired coats. They are rounded at the end for safety.

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Nail clippers
Used to trim over grown nails and dew claws. Please do not attempt to clip nails if you are not comfortable with doing it particularly with black nails as you cannot see where the blood supply or quik as it is known ends. Cutting nails too short can cause bleeding and discomfort in the same way cutting your own nails too short is sore. Your groomer or local vet will clip your dog’s nails if necessary. Some dogs will wear them as they grow but some will need to have them clipped regularly. All dogs need to have their dew claws( claws which are situated on the lower front legs but sometimes the back too) clipped as they do not come into contact with the ground so do not wear down.

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The Furminator
As the name suggests this is a deshedding tool. Useful for shedding breeds like me a JRT so you aren’t following me around with the hoover all day! It is costly but is worth its weight in gold and generic ones can be bought for half the price! Used two to three times a week depending on shedding in the direction of the coat. Not suitable for use on face or legs.
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The Zoom Groom
This tool is useful for all coat types. It removes dead hair on the coat and gives us a nice massage too! It is used in a circular motion against the lie of the coat to loosen dead hair. It can also be used in the bath to build up a good lather!! On the same note over bathing is not good for our coats and should be limited to when necessary or when we get really stinky because we have rolled in something dead or poop! This brush can be used daily

 After mammy has groomed the dog she will perform a health check like this:
1. Run your fingers through the dogs coat feeling for any lumps, bumps, heat, swelling or anything abnormal
2. Check the ears for dirt, debris, odour, heat and swelling
3. Check the mouth for broken or damaged teeth, abnormal odour, lumps, bumps or anything else abnormal. Check the gums are a nice pink colour. (In the case of dogs with dark gums gently pulling the lower lid of the eye down will expose the membrane which should be a healthy pink colour)
4. Check there is no discharge coming from the eyes and that both eyes are fully open
5. Check all four limbs and feet by running your hands over them. Check for heat, swelling, injuries, lumps and bumps and broken nails.
6. Check the anus and genitals for discharge and odour.Health checks should be performed weekly after one of your grooming sessions. The important thing is that you know what is normal for your own dog!! Mammy hopes to get some demonstration videos up here tomorrow on grooming and health checks so stay tuned.Benjy
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