“Every morning is a beautiful morning with a Cocker Spaniel.”
They wake you up with slobbery kisses, go on walks, and spend the rest of their time unwaveringly loyal to you. Nothing beats the experience of cuddling with your little bear, however sometimes this very thing can be a bit smelly.
Just like us, canines are also prone to getting dirty. Thus, whereas there are lots of articles telling you about the proper way of grooming a Cocker Spaniel, we will be telling you about the seven major grooming mistakes you need to avoid. So, let’s start.
7 Grooming Mistakes to avoid with Cocker Spaniels
These include- Failing to introduce grooming processes, forgetting before and after brushing, using too much soap, bathing them too often, being inconsistent in grooming, cutting nails too short, ignoring the essentials.
Failing to introduce grooming processes
A step that is often left out by novice pet parents, not introducing the grooming processes to your Spaniel may cause a situation. While they are naturally loyal, a pup may not be at ease being touched everywhere or by other members in your family. Therefore, before starting with their grooming, it is crucial to habitualise them with your touch.
Start with frequent touches and don’t forget to reward your dog every time he/she lets you touch. You can also slowly introduce them to grooming tools, by letting them sniff on it first and following the interactions with positive reinforcement training methods. This will help them keep calm later, thereby making the process much more seamless.
Forgetting before and after brushing
The next most common grave mistake is forgetting before and after coat brushing. Given their voluminous, thick, wavy coat, Cocker Spaniels are generally prone to matting and other fur-related problems. Their bodies also produce tremendous amounts of dead skin cells which although may not seem visible to naked eye, keeps on accumulating deep down, causing dander and stuff.
So, giving them a thorough brush over before bathing aids detangle their hair and give the pup a nice, clean, pain free bath. You don’t have to tag and pull through tangled wet hair, which is an obvious painful experience for the little pooch. Similarly, brushing after the bath allows removal of any remnant loose hair, and makes their coat look shiny, smooth, and healthy.
Using too much soap
Undoubtedly, all pet parents want their Cockers to smell lovely for a longer time, but this doesn’t mean that it can only be achieved with overusing shampoo or soap solution. It is crucial to remember that every pet cleaning solution comes with a bunch load of chemicals. And while they are marketed to be entirely safe, it is far from being true.
Recent studies also state that adding too much soap solution onto the Spaniel’s coat could actually diminish their natural shine and lead to frizzy fur. Therefore, the best thing to do here is to start with a small amount of the cleansing solution, and rub it gently onto their fur. To create a good foam, you can always add a bit of water and scrub them deep down. Owners can also use after-bath dog-friendly cologne to keep their babies smell good until their next grooming.
Bathing them too often
Now a heavily misconceptualized notion is that every canine requires a bath every week. While this may be true for working Cocker Spaniels that spend most of their time on field, for resident-woofers, the above-said statement is far from the truth. Cleaning repeatedly heavily impacts their body’s natural sebum secretion process which in turn eliminates all good, nourishing oils from their coat, giving a dry, frisky feel.
Additionally, the same is also linked to gradual temperature regulation issues in many Spaniels. Bathing them in cold water induces sudden drop in their body temperature which can be fatal, in case the pooch is already suffering from certain health conditions. Therefore, vets and professional canine groomers often advise using warm water for baths and a clean, cotton towel for drying them up.
Being inconsistent in grooming
With being said too much of cleaning is never good, an inconsistent grooming schedule is also a big NO, NO!!! Apart from cleaning them, pet owners are also required to understand the coat type of their Cocker Spaniels. This breed requires daily fur brushing, teeth brushing, raking every alternate day, nail trimming, and cleaning of their ears to maintain their best of health. Without these, they could fall prey to skin or ear infections, develop bad breath or even gum related problems.
Apart from that, owners also need to make sure that their pupper is actually clean, and doesn’t only ‘seem to be clean.’ For this, it is better to look through their fur, check their nails length and monitor any signs of excessive scratching or red bumps on their skin.
Cutting nails too short
Similar to humans, dogs do have blood vessels in their nails that keeps them healthy and strong. So, while cutting their nails may seem an easy task, it is not always the same. If not done properly and carefully, you might end up chopping off their blood vessels that will not only cause severe bleeding but may also traumatise your fur baby.
This rupture in their blood vessels will require immediate veterinary attention and is upsetting for both the Cocker Spaniel as well as its owner. Thus, if you don’t know how much is safe to cut or are confused, seeking professional assistance is the best choice. You can ask your vet or other qualified and experienced groomers for suggestions, or tricks on finding the right spot for nail trimming.
Ignoring the essentials
Lastly, no grooming session is complete without the essentials. These include:
- Never rush the processes- It will only cause your pooch to be even more stressed out and hence misbehave during the whole process. Take everything slowly and let the puppy adjust to its newer surroundings.
- Never grip them by fur- Tagging and forcefully pulling them by their fur forcefully may go downways as your Spaniel may end up spooked by you or worse snap back at your hand.
- Use a towel underneath- If your pup is afraid of the tub or slips constantly on the floor when bathing, you can use a towel underneath them. This will keep their little paws from slipping and hence give you both a seamless grooming experience.
- Use a towel to dry- As mentioned above, towel dry works best rather than blowing them with a blow dryer. They are highly receptive to sounds and this may also cause them to overheat.
- Prefer mild-shampoos only- Using strong-scented shampoos can make them go haywire and also have a deteriorating effect on their beautiful coats. So, stay away from these products and rather go for unscented cleaning solutions.
- Stay away from nail clippers with guard- Although marketed to be safe for nail trimming, a nail clipper with guard will only obstruct your view. This further increases the risk of cutting the nails too short. Hence, it’s better to use your fingers for marking the sensitive area.
- Understand the function of each grooming tool- With loads of grooming tools out there, you will need to learn the difference between their working. A responsible pet parent knows the benefit of choosing a slicker brush for long wet fur than going for the regular hard bristled ones.
- Clean the grooming tools after every session- Now just like giving your Spaniel a complete grooming, it is also highly essential to care for the grooming tools. After every session, the tool should be dipped in hot water for at least 10 minutes, before thoroughly drying them. Similarly, toenail clipper blades should be monitored for dullness every few years, as a dull blade can cause pain and irrelevant tugging at the pooch’s nail.
Tending to grooming needs of a Cocker Spaniel isn’t rocket science. However, if you are unsure or don’t have the right tools, getting them professionally groomed is the best option.
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