Grooming is an important aspect of caring for any animal, and your Australian Shepherd is no different. Aussies are a fun-loving, energetic breed, and you can expect them to pick up at least their fair share of dirt, if not more. But when properly cared for, Aussies are a gorgeous breed with multi-colored coats that will help you pick them out of any crowd. Take a look at some basic grooming tips that will help you with your Aussie's grooming routine.
Your Australian Shepherd has a combination coat, which means that it's long in some places and short in others. Dogs with these types of coats should be bathed at least seasonally, though it's fine to bathe them more often if they get dirty. However, if you find that you're bathing your Aussie very frequently, ask your veterinarian if you need a special shampoo or a conditioner that will keep your pet's skin from drying out.
It's a common misconception that heavy shedders like Aussies don't need to be brushed as often as other dogs. However, Aussies are prone to mats and tangles, and their coats are moderate to high-maintenance. A pin brush is the best type of brush to use with an Aussie's fur, and you should also have a combination comb to help you remove any tangles. When brushing your Aussie, pay special attention to the hind legs and the fur under the neck. The fur in these areas is thicker and vulnerable to matting.
Ear and Eye Care
To trim the fur on your dog's ears, brush upward and then trim the excess hair with thinning shears until the hair blends with the rest of the hair on your Aussie's head. You should clean out your dog's ears after swimming or bathing, in addition to routine ear cleaning. Use a canine ear cleaning solution on a cotton ball to gently wipe out the insides of your dog's ears.
Make sure to trim any excess hair that's blocking your dog's vision or getting too close to their eyes. Some Aussies develop tear stains around the eyes. If you see these, you can clean them with a soft cloth or cotton ball.
Teeth and Nails
Aussies need regular dental care to prevent tartar buildup on their teeth. Australian Shepherds rarely develop cavities, but excess tartar buildup can lead to gum disease. Use a toothpaste formulated for dogs and a canine toothbrush. Tartar control treats can be a helpful supplement to keep your pet's teeth cleaned, but should not be substituted for regular brushing.
Aussies are high-spirited dogs who may not easily sit still for nail clippings, but it needs to be done to protect both the dog's skin and your furniture. Take your time when trimming your Aussie's nails, pausing between each nail to give a treat and some positive attention. Aussies love attention, and the positive reinforcement will help keep your dog sitting still while you finish. Be careful not to cut too far. You can tell you're getting close to the quick of the nail when you feel the nail begin to get softer.
Regular grooming will help your Australian Shepherd look and feel great. If you need help, consider bringing your Aussie to a local groomer, like Kayla's Posh Pets Grooming & Boutique, for expert guidance.