If you’re getting a Chow Chow, be prepared for a lot of grooming. These dogs are very thick, double-coated breeds that have a signature lion-like mane and body coat. If you expect to keep your Chow looking their best, you may end up with a full kit of grooming tools including:
- Detangling combs
- Course combs
- Undercoat rakes
- Slicker brushes
- Pin brushes
- Shampoos and conditioners
- Blow dryers
- Grooming scissors
If that wasn’t enough – be prepared to use those tools two to three times per week. If you plan on showing your Chow Chow, you may even be using some of those tools on a daily basis.
Matting is a very common issue with Chow Chows, especially around the ears and along the chest and neck. You may also want to trim up the back end for hygienic reasons.
Chows are not a hypoallergenic breed, so if you suffer from pet dander allergies, you may want to consider another breed of dog for your four-legged companion. These big fluff balls are very heavy seasonal shedders and will cover your furniture in dog hair unless you stick to a grooming routine that will help remove the undercoat before it has a chance to shed on its own.
Luckily you won’t have to bathe your Chow as often as you will need to brush him. Bathing once or twice a month is plenty for the average Chow Chow. Though if your curious friend happens to find a mud puddle or decides to dig through the garbage can, an extra bath may be needed.
After the bath, be sure you thoroughly dry your Chow Chow from head to toe. A blow dryer comes in handy here. Leaving a damp undercoat can lead to skin irritation and rashes, so it’s always best to spend plenty of time ensuring your Chow is blow-dried completely.
Also, pay attention to the ears. Leaving the inside of the ears damp can lead to ear infections. After a bath, take a dry cotton ball and dab the inside of the ears to remove any excess moisture.
As with other dog breeds, keeping your Chows teeth clean is important for their long term dental health. Tartar buildup can lead to gum diseases, weakened teeth or infections.
Start teaching your puppy to tolerate tooth brushing using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Manually brushing your Chows teeth once or twice a week can go a long way in preventing any oral diseases or ailments.
Keeping an eye on the length of your Chow’s toenails may be difficult with their big fur-covered feet. If you hear a tip-tap of the nails touching the hard floor, it’s time to trim them. Trimming the toenails once a month or every 6 weeks is normally often enough to keep them maintained.
You can trim your Chow Chow’s toenails yourself with clippers or a grinder, or have a groomer or your vet do it. A dog’s toenails do contain blood vessels that can be cut into if you trim too far back. This not only causes pain for your Chow Chow as well as bleeding but can also damage his trust and make subsequent toenail trimming much more difficult when he remembers this painful experience.