Cavalier King Charles spaniels are happy, intelligent little dogs with absolutely gorgeous coats. These friendly, gentle and extremely lovable dogs need a regular grooming regime to keep their coats looking beautiful. It is recommended that you engage in a daily brushing routine; general grooming once a week and a full grooming every six weeks.
This article will provide you with tips on basic grooming that you can perform at home. The trick is to start the grooming process very early in the puppy’s life. In this way your little guy or gal will soon get used to the grooming process. Dogs differ from one another in what they like or dislike about grooming – patience and flexibility are the watchwords here.
Grooming puppy Cavaliers will not be a very tedious task as the coat is quite short at this stage. Puppies do not like sitting still for long periods of time so focus on short grooming sessions to get the puppy used to the concept and don’t forget to reward good behaviour.
Basic Cavalier King Charles grooming accessories
You will need a soft brush, comb, shedding tool, nail clippers, scissors and thinning shears. Bathing your Cavalier is done once every 6 weeks or so, but regular grooming is a must. You need to groom the dog before bathing it to get rid of tangles and matted hair. The decision to clip the fur is entirely yours as opinions vary from owner to owner. Show dogs should not have their coats clipped as the fur can grow back thick and coarse. The Cavalier’s beauty lies in its beautiful coat that grows out naturally.
You may have to trim excessive fur growth on the undersides of the footpads with a pair of grooming scissors. Clipping a dog’s nails is a tricky operation and it is best to start out by getting your pet accustomed to having his nails clipped from the puppy stage. You can do mock clipping sessions where you hold the paw and pretend to clip the nails. Work on getting your Cavalier King Charles to sit still while clipping nails or have someone hold the dog. Only the white part of the nails should be clipped – don’t get in too close or you will end up nicking blood vessels.
Pay extra attention to the ears!
Cavaliers have long, floppy ears that make them prone to ear infections. Gentle ear cleaning solutions are available at pet stores or you can check with your vet. Spray some on a cotton ball and gently wipe away dirt. Do not use Q-tips or go too deep into the ears in your zeal to give the dog ultra-clean ears.
As the dog grows older, professional dental cleaning will be required. You can however, give the dog chews that help keep the teeth clean and tartar free. Toothbrushes and pet toothpastes are available. Start by training the puppy to open its mouth and to allow you to rub your finger around the teeth and gums. Slowly progress to brushing gently and don’t forget to reward your good dog.
Next time we will look at bathing your Cavalier King Charles. Till then, bye from George ‘woof’.
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