Should be clear and bright. If there is any discharge or redness, this can indicate a problem, so should be checked out by a vet. Trim hair that grows over the eyes to prevent irritation and to make sure your pooch can see where they're going.
Check your dog's ears regularly, especially if your dog has long droopy ears. But a dog's ears are very sensitive, so be gentle. If their ears seem fine, then leave them be.
Check your dog's teeth and gums each week. Provide them with chew toys and dental chews to help keep their teeth healthy.
Speak to a vet if your dog has persistent bad breath, as it can be a sign of tooth decay. Make sure your pet insurance
covers dental treatment.
Brushing should be a pleasant experience for your dog, so get them used to their brushes and combs from a young age.
Different breeds will need different types of brushes depending on their coat. Short-coated breeds naturally need less brushing than long-coated breeds.
If you come across any tangles, tease them out with your fingers. With matted fur, it may be best to trim away the knot rather than brush it out.
Most dogs with a healthy coat won't need bathing unless they're particularly muddy or have rolled in something unpleasant. Bathing your dog too often can dry out its skin and cause problems.
When you bathe your dog use a special dog shampoo. A vet will be able to recommend one. Before you get started make sure your dog isn't over excited or afraid. Try to introduce them to bathing slowly and make it a positive experience.
Check footpads to make sure there are no cuts or infection. Gently remove any grass seeds and burrs that get stuck between footpads.
Regular exercise should naturally wear down nails, but if nails are getting too long, they will need to be trimmed. Speak to a vet about how to do this, or take your dog to a reputable dog groomer.
Choosing a dog groomer
If you prefer to leave the dog grooming to an expert, here are our top tips for choosing a dog groomer:
- Ask for recommendations from your vet or other dog owners
- Visit the groomer without your dog first
- Check references and that they have the right insurance
- Find out how they keep your dog safe during its stay
- Make sure they ask for proof of vaccination before they take your dog
- Ask if they use positive, reward-based methods to settle your dog
- Check how much time they allow for each grooming