A cavalier is one of the popular toy dogs with thick wavy coats that need proper maintenance. It sheds minimally throughout the year compared to other double-coated dog breeds. But the right de-shedding tool for cavalier king Charles combined with other grooming equipment is key to having a clean and healthy dog around the house.
The good news is that this breed loves the gentle attention of being groomed regularly. In this article, you will learn how to groom a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with some basic de-shedding tools.
Things You Will Need
You will need some basic tools for your grooming sessions. These include;
- Clippers: Have some nail clippers to trim the feet
- Slicker brush: A slicker brush with medium bristles works fine on cavalier fur.
- Shampoo: Ensure you are using a pet-friendly shampoo meant for dogs.
- Bath mat: An anti-slip bath mat to keep it steady from slipping out the bathtub or sink.
- Blades: The best blades to use are either the 7F or the 10 Oster.
- Comb: A comb helps in brushing and detangling the knots on the fur.
- A pair of scissors: Get bull-nosed scissors or thinning scissors for grooming.
- Towel: You will need a towel to dry up your dog after bathing. Instead of a towel, you can also use a pet hairdryer.
It is normal for a dog to shed and remove the loose coat from its fur. Since you do not have to trim or cut the fur, an appropriate de-shedding tool can help deal with the shedding. There are de-shedding tools for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that you can easily find locally or online to help with shedding.
Let it sit on a comfortable surface before starting the grooming process. Prepare your dog for every new tool used in the grooming session. Give it a chance to smell and become familiar with it before using it on him/her. Doing this rules out any fear experienced especially to small puppies that are not used to grooming.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs clipping on the feet. It is recommended to only clip a dog after every six weeks. The coat does not need to be clipped. What you need to clip is its feet only. Generally, a dog’s nails will wear out on their own depending on the surfaces they are walking on – whether hard or soft.
A well-groomed dog will have clean and short nails that make it healthy-looking and also make him comfortable. You can have it sit on your lap as you trim its nails. Do the trimming one bit at a time to avoid over-trimming. Have corn starch by your side in case the nails experience some bleeding. The corn starch helps in stopping the bleeding when you place it on the affected area.
This is a way to keep the fur of your dog from tangling. The pup needs daily brushing to keep its fur soft. Use a slicker brush with medium bristles. Slicker brushes are also good for de-shedding.
When brushing, start with the areas with a high concentration of fur. The cavalier has much fur on its tail, the back of the ears, and on the forehead. Remove any knots by brushing gently. Brushing should always be done before bathing the dog. If you skip this process, you will find it hard to untangle the fur once it gets wet.
Sometimes, you don’t have to brush a cavalier only when a bath is necessary. You can routinely brush its small coat to keep it looking presentable. Brushing also helps to remove any mats and dirt as well. You also get to bond with your dog while brushing its fur. You get to check for any skin conditions caused by irritations or allergies and also check for any bites present.
Your cavalier dog needs a bath whenever it gets dirty. It is not like other breeds of dogs that need to get washed frequently. You can bathe a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel once after every six weeks. Most time you do not necessarily need to take him to a professional as you can do it by yourself.
Gather everything you need for the washing process: shampoo, towels, and some treats to make him stay still during bath time. Keep him/her relaxed for bathing as most dogs are always afraid of bathing. If the cavalier is still a puppy and is not used to bathing, first, ensure you prepare it to avoid scaring it with the water.
Where to Bathe a Cavalier
Due to their small size, a cavalier King Charles spaniel can easily fit in the kitchen sink. You do not need to worry about the perfect spot to wash it. Another option would be to bathe it in the bathtub if your kitchen seems a little bit small for him/her.
Dogs can wiggle around and may accidentally slip out of the tub or sink. To avoid this issue, place a rubber mat on the sink at the bottom or lay a small towel to work as an anti-slip mat. Doing this is not only helpful to your dog but also to yourself. You can bathe the dog at ease without getting worried.
Bathing the Dog
Dogs have very sensitive skin. It is important to stick to a pet’s shampoo other than using human shampoo. Get the right shampoo that goes well with the skin of the dog. If your Cavalier King has some skin conditions, get some help from a vet in choosing the right shampoo for its skin conditions.
Place cotton balls in its ears to avoid getting them wet. The other place you want water to get on while bathing is its eyes. Ensure as you wash it, no water gets to the eyes and the ears. Use a clean piece of clothing with warm water to wipe off the face instead.
Use shampoo on the rest of the body and rub it gently to remove dirt. When you are satisfied that it is clean, rinse him with water to remove all the shampoo from his body. Dry him up with some clean towels until the coat gets dry. If you are in a hurry, you can let it air dry although it takes much time.
Another option is to use a blow-dryer. A low setting of heat is important for the dog’s skin. Protect its skin by having the blow-dryer on low heat to avoid chances of accidentally burning it. After bathing, don’t forget to reward the dog with some treats.
Cleaning the Ears
The ears are important parts that most people tend to forget when grooming their cavaliers. Dirty ears will make the cavalier vigorously shake its head or scratch on it due to a build-up of dirt and wax. Always use a small flashlight to check the condition of the ears. Are they dirty? Do they need some cleaning?
Due to the shape of their ears, they tend to trap a lot of dirt from the environment and can get dirty if forgotten. There is an ear wash for pets that you can find in your local pet store or online. It should be alcohol-free with no irritation to the pet.
When cleaning the ears, pull them back to easily insert the ear wash. Place the tip of the ear wash bottle into its ear canal and squeeze enough solution into the ear canal. Give the ear a little massage from the base of the ear. Doing this helps in dislodging any ear wax and dirt present.
After a few minutes, wipe away the dirt and the excess solution with clean and wet cotton balls. The cotton balls will come out very dirty the first time. Repeat the wiping process with new clean cotton balls until you notice they do not carry any dirt when you remove them from the ears.
Cleaning the Teeth
When grooming, check for gum diseases or plaque on the teeth which may, in turn, cause bad breath. Find toothpaste suitable for pets. There are dental chews that help clean the teeth as well. Place some toothpaste on your fingers and rub it gently along its gum line. Use one hand to clean the dog and the other hand to support its head.
To protect your fingers, you can also get a finger brush, slip it over your fingers and use it to brush its teeth. You can also use a baby toothbrush with soft bristles. Brush through the entire teeth starting with the front ones and finishing off with the entire mouth.
When grooming a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, safety should come first. Your grooming routine will depend on its age and how familiar it is with the tools you intend to use. If it’s a puppy, you will need to do some orientation by familiarizing it with the grooming process.
Shaving is not the proper way to reduce shedding in dogs. Regular brushing with tools like a slicker brush and other de-shedding tools keeps the coat free from tangles and removes any loose furs. All these methods give your Cavalier a chance to be clean and look healthy.
Dr. Elly has always loved animals, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. After studying hard in veterinary school, she practiced in several different countries before moving to North Carolina with her husband and young family. She currently works part time as a veterinarian while caring for her 4 busy children and writing this blog. Dr. Elly genuinely cares about the welfare of her patients. She currently has three dogs, two cats, 5 chickens and 2 rabbits (yes a bit of a zoo!)