Regular brushing once or twice a week not only keeps your pet looking her best — it also gives you a chance to detect changes that could be signs of a serious medical condition. Only bathe your pet about once a month (more frequent cleanings can dry out her skin).
Brush first, removing any mats, and then use a pet-safe shampoo, as well as a conditioning rinse, if you have a long- or wire-haired breed. (We like Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo and Conditioner; $17 and $19, amazon.com.) Some long-haired dogs may need trims between groomings, too — around the eyes (for visibility), the chin and jaw (to keep food from getting stuck), or the paws (to prevent dirt from collecting). A vet or groomer can show you how to do this safely at home.
Now that your dog is squeaky-clean, watch how to clean their pet bed: