Some simple, natural & basic dog grooming at home on a regular basis goes a long way:
Brushing your dog's coat
Recommended daily, especially during the summers.
Keeps the coat, tangle free and shiny.
Removes loose fur.
Ensures a thorough inspection for ticks or fleas.
I especially love using the flea brush 2-3 times a week on one of my heavy shedders since it actually helps keep the fur intact and not fly around during shedding season.
Consider using a dematting brush for a double coated breed like a German shepherd, golden retriever, Saint Bernard, it really helps take off a lot more of the loose fur that a wide toothed dog comb. The dematting brush referred to here is the curved, metal brush that looks like a hair thinner but is blunt and does not hurt your dog while grooming.
Brushing their teeth with a dog toothpaste, keeps their breath fresh and reduces deposits or tartar buildup.
However, we have started giving neem leaf powder mixed with one meal a day as a supplement which miraculously works wonders on there dental hygiene as well. The next natural herb we intend to try is the neem bark powder, which is even better for a dog's oral hygiene. If your puppy loves to chew on anything, you could also offer a fresh neem bark, every once a week and you can replace the whole teeth brushing all together.
Recommended once a week.
Cleaning the insides of the dog's ear once a week helps remove wax, debris.
It provides a good check to ensure there are no foul smell or signs of infection in the ear.
A basic ear cleaning with cotton pads and ear cleaning solution to rub the insides and give a gentle massage itself helps.
Since we have started our dogs on neem leaf powder as a supplement, the amount of ear wax has reduced.
Recommended after a walk outside; depending on the surface they walk on.
A dry wipe is enough at most times, however, if you do feel the need to clean their paws thoroughly, you could fill up a spray bottle with water, soap nut solution (optional) and spray directly on the paws to get all the dirt out and of course wipe the paws dry.
You can always hand over this part of their grooming to a professional, however, if you do choose to clip your dog's nails, here are a few tips to ease this process for both the pet owner and the pet. It is a good idea to get yourself also accustomed to nail clipping and for the first few times, I was scrared I was going to hurt my dog. So I started with two paws at a time every week as part of the grooming day. This ensured I clipped a little length at a time and ensured my dog was in the habit of getting his nails clipped. Now I do it once in 2-3 months and I clip a longer length since I am more confident of my skills of handling the clipper and my dog's response or should I say undue response, and when it is valid or fake.
In between baths
For a large dog breed, giving a bath every once in 3 weeks also can be a challenge. And I have my soap nut solution mixed with water and vinegar, to my rescue for my pooch who somehow gets herself dirty pretty quickly.
I spray this mix all over her and gently massage the mix into the coat and skin. After which a wet/ damp towel is used to wipe off this solution. You can rinse the towel and repeat if you feel a bit of soapiness. I like using soap nut for this because, even if there is a little residue, it does not harm the coat and soap nut is also a tick repellent for dogs.
Most of a dog's basic grooming is a matter of getting the pooch and yourself into the routine. And you'll start noticing any small changes which could impact their health; it's a small home health check for your canine companion.