How do I groom my senior dog?

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Senior dogs can definitely present some grooming challenges for their owners. They may be too arthritic to self groom like they did in the past, and may need additional assistance to remain clean and healthy.

Senior dogs can have thinner fur than their younger counterparts. Additionally, their skin may be dryer and flakier, resulting in dander on the coat’s surface. In both cases, frequent brushing will generally help. Too much time between brushing and the dander (skin flakes) will increase and their fur will become more matted. The last thing your senior dog needs is fur pulled out by grooming, so keeping up with a regular grooming routine is essential for an older dog.

Medicated shampoos are available for dander, and even dry brush-through shampoos are available if you have difficulty bathing your dog yourself. Always dry your pet after a bath. Not only will this keep your dog warmer, but fur that is allowed to dry on its own will curl and tangle.

Another reason to groom your senior dog at home is that professional grooming sessions need to be shorter for an older dog. Standing on a grooming table for too long is going to be uncomfortable for a senior dog with low energy levels. For this reason, seated grooming should be performed as often as possible. Also, be sure to tell your groomer not to put any grooming apparatus around your dog’s neck. This type of system will hurt a dog who is struggling to stand.

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