Grooming is just as important for senior dogs as it is for younger dogs and puppies. You may worry about hurting or stressing out your older dog, but issues caused by a lack of grooming can result in more pain and stress for them. Matted hair and skin infections, which senior dogs are more prone to, can be kept at bay with regular grooming.
Grooming includes bathing, hair brushing, hair cutting, nail trimming, eye and ear cleaning, and teeth brushing. Senior dogs need all these elements of grooming to stay clean, comfortable, and healthy.
Here are some tips for grooming senior dogs.
Grooming senior dogs is safe, but you need to be gentle. Older dogs are more likely to have physical and mental health conditions, so they are more delicate. You want to avoid injuring or upsetting them.
During grooming, make sure your senior dog has something with a grip to stand on so they don’t slide around. Slipping and sliding can aggravate an older dog’s arthritis or joint issues.
You should also opt for soft brushes and gentle grooming tools that won’t pull on your dog’s fur or skin. Older dogs have thinner skin and are more likely to have skin growths that can be cut or hurt by sharp brushes and combs.
It is best to do most senior dog grooming by hand. Shavers and hair dryers can upset older dogs. Even dogs that are accustomed to these devices can become afraid of them as they age. Dogs who develop dementia or sight or hearing loss can become anxious or more easily spooked.
Make It Quick
Senior dogs tire more easily, both physically and mentally. They may not have good balance and cannot stand up for a long grooming session.
You should keep grooming sessions short, and dogs with health conditions do better with shorter, more frequent groomings. Doing two to three short grooming sessions per month is better than having one long one.
Take Their Health Into Consideration
As previously mentioned, senior dogs are likely to have more physical and mental conditions than they used to have. Some common conditions are arthritis, joint issues, skin conditions, vision loss, hearing loss, dementia, and related anxiety.
You need to take into account your dog’s health conditions during grooming. For example, if your dog has urinary issues, you may need to schedule a potty break during the grooming session. If your dog has joint issues, they may need to lie down during grooming.
Many older dogs need medicated shampoos for skin conditions. You also want to pay attention to your dog’s eyes and ears. Use warm water and a soft cloth to gently wipe away any gunk that has collected around your dog’s eyes. Make sure there is no discharge or odor coming from your dog’s ears, as these signs can indicate a viral or yeast infection.
Get an Experienced Groomer
You can do most of your dog’s grooming routine at home, which can help make senior dogs feel comfortable. But your dog can also benefit from professional grooming performed by an experienced groomer. Groomers who are experienced in dealing with elderly dogs and/or dogs with health conditions are the best choice for senior dogs.
Older dogs often get dirty more frequently than younger dogs since they can’t clean themselves as well as they used to. They may be incontinent or have difficulty eating and make a mess. To prevent infection and irritation, senior dogs need to be bathed regularly. They also need to be brushed and have their coats trimmed to avoid matting and overheating.
Additionally, older dogs need their nails trimmed more often. They don’t walk as much as they used to, and overgrown nails can exacerbate arthritis and joint problems. If you hear your dog’s nails clicking when they walk, they’re too long. If you see your dog sliding around on the floor, they may need their paw fur trimmed. This will improve traction and reduce pain.
A trained senior dog groomer can help you manage this routine. During the grooming process, groomers can detect abnormal coat-loss patterns, bumps, lumps, sores, warts, and other conditions that might require a vet visit.
Mobile grooming for senior dogs is a highly convenient option. Mobile groomers will pull up to your home and groom your dog in their van so your dog doesn’t have to travel.
Simplify Senior Dog Grooming With CleanTools
Grooming your senior dog is a huge part of keeping them happy and healthy. With the right tools and help, old dog grooming can be quick and easy. Dog groomers for older dogs can take your dog’s health into consideration to keep them comfortable during grooming and keep an eye on any skin conditions. You can do your part by bathing and brushing them regularly, especially since older dogs get dirty more easily. The process still needs to be quick and gentle, and if your dog is spooked by hair dryers, a soft, absorbent towel can speed up bath time. Gently dry your dog in no time and prevent shivers with The Dog Lover’s Towel.