How to Get a Dog Ready for a Special Occasion
Whether your dog is the ring bearer in a wedding, participating in a dog show, or just another guest at your annual holiday party, you’ll want to make sure they are ready for the occasion. These occasions can be rewarding for both you and your dog, but getting your dog ready for such an occasion may take more time than you think. Prepare your dog by making sure they are looking and behaving their best.
Grooming Your Dog
Brush their coat.No matter what the occasion, you’ll want your dog to be clean and well-groomed. You can achieve this at home with just a few steps. First, brush out your dog’s coat, paying special attention to any places that are matted together. To brush out mats, hold your dog’s fur close to the skin and gently work out the mat with your brush starting at the end farthest from your dog’s body and working your way up. Cut out especially difficult mats with a pair of scissors.
- Choose a brush (or multiple brushes) based on your dog’s specific needs. For example, dogs with short, smooth coats, like Chihuahuas or boxers, need a rubber brush to remove dead skin and a bristle brush to get rid of dead hair. However, a Yorkshire terrier, which has a long, luxurious coat, needs a slicker brush to remove mats and a bristle brush to brush through their hair once the mats are gone.
- If you have a dog with a double-coat, like a Husky or a Pomeranian, you will also need a rake in addition to a slicker to remove loose fur from the undercoat.
Bathe your dog.Generally, dogs only need to be bathed once every few months, so plan accordingly when you know you have a special occasion coming up. When bathing your dog, begin by spraying their coat all over with lukewarm water. Add a dollop of shampoo to your hand and, starting at your dog’s head or neck, work your way down their body, gently massaging the shampoo in as you go. Rinse your dog thoroughly, making sure you get all the shampoo out of their coat.
- Only use shampoos formulated specifically for dogs. Human shampoos can cause dogs to suffer from dry, flaky, irritated skin and can leave them at risk for developing a subsequent infection.
- Remove your dog’s collar before bathing and spend extra time on their neck. It is especially important to keep the area around their collar clean.
- Take special care to keep shampoo from getting into your dog’s eyes and nose when you’re washing around their face. Placing a drop of mineral oil around each eye can help keep shampoo out. Also, place a cotton ball in each ear to keep water from getting in them.
Dry your dog with a towel or hair dryer.Allow your dog to drip dry for a few minutes after you finish rinsing them, then finish drying them with a towel. If you want them to dry faster, you can also use a hairdryer (on the cool setting) to finish drying their fur.
- You can also purchase a special dog dryer, which usually ranges in price anywhere from to 0 dollars.
Give them a haircut if necessary.After bathing your dog is a good time to cut or trim their fur. You may just need to do some routine maintenance, like cutting the hair on their belly and around their backside so it doesn’t pick up as much dirt and debris, or you may want to give them a full haircut. This is a good time to do either.
- It is easiest to cut your dog’s hair when it is about 75 percent dry.
- You can use either clippers or sharp scissors to cut their hair, depending how much you want gone and how short you want to cut it.
Cut their nails.To do this, you’ll need a guillotine-style nail clipper. Cut the tip of each nail off at a slight angle right before the point where the nail starts to curve under. Be extra careful to avoid cutting the quick, or the pink vein that runs into your dog’s nails. The quick can be hard to see under your dog’s nails, especially if they are black, so spend some time trying to figure out where it is before you begin trimming.
- While you are cutting your dog’s nails, also check for dirt and debris between their toes. In addition, check the pads of their feet for any cuts or foreign objects.
- If you do accidentally cut the quick, it will begin to bleed. Use styptic powder, available at most pet stores, to help stop the bleeding.
Choose to go to a professional groomer.You can also opt to take your pet to a professional dog groomer. While it will be more expensive than grooming your dog at home, they are already prepared with the right tools to make your dog look its best. They are also familiar with the different needs of various breeds.
- Your local pet superstore often offers dog grooming services. In addition, a quick Internet search should give you some more local options.
Dressing Them for the Occasion
Avoid costumes that contain hazards.You may want to dress your dog up for this special occasion. Dressing up your dog can be fine, but be sure you are thoughtful of what you are making them wear. Your dog’s safety should be the number one priority, not how cute they look in their birthday suit.
- For example, make sure there aren’t any small buttons they might choke on or a scarf that could become wrapped too tightly around their neck.
- Because of the dog’s heritage, an outfit that fits tightly around their midsection may make them feel like they are being dominated. This feeling can cause them to freeze up, standing still in one place until the garment is removed, or they may try to remove it themselves by shaking, pawing at it, or rolling in something foul smelling.
Consider your dog’s comfort.You should also make sure that your dog is going to be comfortable in any kind of costume you pick out for them. Ensure their outfit fits well, is not going to make them too hot, is made of comfortable material, and won’t impede their ability to go to the bathroom. Your dog should be able to do anything they would normally do—run, jump, sit, lay down, roll over—while they are wearing an outfit.
Pick an appropriate outfit.If you’ve decided to go ahead and dress your dog up, the next step is picking an outfit that is appropriate for the occasion (keeping in mind the safety and comfort issues mentioned above). Your local pet supermarket will have some options for dressing dogs up, like birthday outfits and Halloween costumes. You can also find more specialized outfits for just about any occasion online, like a bow tie or special harnesses for a wedding. You must also pick a garment that fits your dog appropriately. There are three basic measurements you’ll need to do this:
- Topline (length of your dog’s back): Measure from the highest part of the back (between the shoulders) to the base of the tail, or where the tail meets the body
- Girth (chest): Measure all the way around the biggest part of your dog’s ribcage, keeping your tape measure behind the front legs
- Neck: Measure all the way around the neck, where your dog’s collar naturally rests
Observe their behavior.Be sure to pay attention to your dog’s behavior while they are dressed up. If you notice they are acting strange or irritated, take the outfit off. It could be the outfit is rubbing them the wrong way, is too hot, or is just plain annoying. Ultimately, you know your dog’s temperament best, so use your best judgment.
- Dogs that are dressed up often receive more attention than those that aren’t. While this is usually a good thing for dogs, if your dog likes to be left alone or is not great with new people, it might not be a good idea to dress them up.
Training For Special Occasions
Practice training daily.Special occasions often include unfamiliar people and surroundings. This can be both exciting and stressful for your dog. Even the best-behaved dogs may be thrown off under these conditions. The best way to make sure your dog minds their manners during a special occasion is to train them well from day one and practice this training daily.
- Don’t assume that just because your dog knows how to “stay” in your living room at home that they will follow this command in the middle of an outdoor wedding ceremony. As soon as you get to the location of the event, practice basic commands like “stay,” “sit,” and “be quiet” with your dog.
Break bad habits before the big day.If your dog has a few bad habits, like jumping up to greet people or begging for food, do everything you can to break bad habits before the day of the event. If you’re short on time, determine which bad habits might be the most problematic depending on the occasion and work on those first.
Get professional help.Putting your dog through an obedience course is always a good idea, but especially so if you plan to have them participate in various special occasions, like holiday parties, weddings, or dog shows. Going to a professional dog trainer can help give your dog the skills they need to perform at their best and will give you the tools to help them do so.
QuestionDoes whipped cream actually clean a dog's fur coat?OkapiCommunity AnswerWhipped cream does not clean dog coats - if anything, it will make their fur sticky. Use dog shampoos to clean your best friend!Thanks!
- Start grooming your dog when they are young so it will become a natural process for them.
- If your dog is difficult to groom, try giving them treats throughout the process. This can help make it an enjoyable process for you both.
- The amount of time needed between baths varies from dog to dog. In general, most dogs need to be bathed only once every few months, but if your dog spends a lot of time outside or if they got into something smelly, they may need bathed more frequently.
- Some dogs do not like the noise from clippers. Use scissors if the noise bothers your dog.
- If your dog tends to be aggressive or nervous around strangers, small children, or people in general, be cautious about what type of special occasions you participate in. If you fear he may act out by biting someone or misbehaving severely, it might be best to reconsider participating in the event.
Video: How to Get Your Home Ready for a Dog
9 Hidden Heart Toxins and How to Avoid Them
This 90-Second Shower Trick is Going to Give You All Sorts of Energy
Want: A Varsity Jacket That’s More High Fashion’ Than HighSchool’
How to Make a Friend Jealous
Small Tips for Saving Big on Health Insurance
How to Call New Zealand from Australia
How to Burlesque Dance
Jon Hamms Ham: A Penile Retrospective
How To Use A Vibrator To Have A Mind-Blowing Orgasm Tonight
How Kendall and Gigi Turned This 20-Year-Old Living on the Beach Into a Model
Nike x A.P.C Free OG Trainers
How to Act Like a New Yorker
How to Lose Weight Without Exercising
Peer Support May Cut Costs, Boost Health of People With Diabetes and Depression