Owning a dog means undertaking many necessary tasks, including grooming them and making sure they always look and feel their best.

Keeping your precious pooch well-groomed is particularly important when they undertake a task such as being a therapy dog.

At the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, we support our members, both two-legged and four-legged, and aim to ensure that they give individuals a range of facilities the support and affection they need.

One factor that every facility looks for when they’re welcoming a therapy dog, whether it’s a new doggy face or one they’ve seen before, is good grooming. A badly-groomed, dirty dog could spread grime around the facility and potentially harm its inhabitants.

Also, dogs that are dirty and haven’t been groomed aren’t always as happy and healthy as dogs with a robust grooming regime. Think about it: you wouldn’t want to wander around with knots in your hair and dirt on your skin for days on end, would you?!

That’s why we always encourage our therapy dog owners and handlers to make sure that their dogs are well-groomed, clean, and tidy before they visit any establishment.

If you own a therapy dog or are in the process of training your pup to become one, then keep reading, and we’ll share some practical dog grooming tips to prepare them for your next visit.

Understand Your Dog’s Grooming Needs

As any dog owner knows, you need to understand their needs before you start grooming your pup. That means checking them over to see how dirty they are and whether they need a full scrub down or just a quick wash and brush.

It also means learning about your dog’s fur type and how this affects the grooming regime that you need to undertake with your pup.

Dogs have many different types of coats, depending on their breed. A dog’s fur changes over time, too, so as your dog ages, its fur might become thinner or more prone to tangling.

When you get a new dog, you must learn about its fur type and understand its grooming needs.

With this information, you can ensure that you know how to groom your new pup and keep them fresh and clean at all times.

If you’re unsure about your dog’s fur type and how to take care of it properly, then consult your vet or a professional dog groomer who can advise you on what’s best for your pup.

Get All The Tools You Need

Before you begin a grooming session, you need to make sure that you have everything you need close to hand. That means getting out your dog brushes, combs, and any other equipment that you might require.

Make sure that the brushes and other dog grooming gear are clean before you use them. If you use dirty brushes on your dog, then you will push old dirt and oil through their fur and will actually make it dirtier than before.

As such, before you begin grooming your dog, you should wash your dog brushes in soap and warm water. Check the cleaning instructions for your grooming equipment if you’re unsure how to clean it safely and correctly.

Once the equipment is clean, you should lay it out and make sure that you have everything. As well as dog brushes and combs, you’ll also need any products, such as dog shampoo. Again, ensure that you have enough product before you get started.

Make A Long-Term Grooming Plan

Grooming your dog isn’t as simple as just brushing their fur now and again. You need to consider many tasks, ranging from checking their nails and clipping them as required to using flea treatment to ensure that they don’t have any unwanted visitors nestling in their fur.

That means that you need to consider your dog’s long-term grooming plan if you don’t have one already. It would help if you made time throughout the year to check your dog’s coat and do a more rigorous clean. If you hire a professional groomer, they can advise you on what tasks they can undertake and which long-term grooming tasks you need to perform at home.

Whether you’re doing a quick grooming session before a therapy dog visit or you’re undertaking more significant grooming tasks, you should always check your dog over for any signs of serious issues.

If you notice something that looks or feels wrong, you should contact your vet to ensure that your dog stays in top condition and is always ready to fulfill its therapy dog duties.

Visit A Professional

If you’re not sure how to deal with a particularly dirty dog, or your pup needs a proper trim and scrub that only a professional can deliver, then visit a local dog groomer.

Professional dog groomers can offer various services, ranging from simple bathes through to full body scrub downs and hair cutting so that your dog looks and feels fresh before their next therapy dog visit.

When choosing a dog groomer, you should read online reviews and ask for recommendations from your fellow dog owners. Other dog owners, particularly those whose dogs have a similar type of fur to yours, will be able to help you to find the best groomer in your local area.

With your pooch now suitably pampered, either at home or by a professional, you can take them to their next therapy dog visit safe in the knowledge that they are healthy, happy, and raring to bring joy to everyone around them!

If your dog isn’t a therapy dog yet, and you want to learn more about our vital work, then you can check out our blog, where we share a variety of pet care tips and insight into our latest projects.

You can also contact us on the phone by calling 13074320272 or via email by messaging office@therapydogs.com to get personal insight and find out if you and your dog could be suitable therapy dog service providers.