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8 Tips For Grooming Your Dog, According To A Professional Groomer

The TODAY show took some pups to our sponsor Petsmart to get groomed. They were super-adorable, and this is what we learned.

This is Charlie.

Charlie is TODAY's puppy with a purpose, and besides having an adorable wet nose, he's pretty special too. Charlie is from America's VetDogs and is training to be a guide and service dog to a veteran or first responder. Go Charlie!

Even service pups in training get a little stinky, so it was time for him to head to our sponsor Petsmart for a bath. This is what we learned.

1. Start grooming your dog at an early age.

Your pups will need to be groomed their whole life. Starting the grooming process at an early age helps them get used to it so that it becomes more of a positive experience.

2. When trimming their nails, avoid the nerve.

The nerve, also known as the quick, is in the very center of their nail, so trim their nails little by little to avoid nicking it. You'll know when to stop when you're able to see the damp, dark center.

3. Wipe out their ears with a mild ear wash.

Use a gentle, pet-formulated ear wash to clean the outsides of their ears. Wet a cloth with the solution and carefully wipe the ear clean, making sure to avoid going into the ear canal.

4. Human toothpaste is for humans, not dogs.

Buy a toothpaste that is crafted specifically for dogs. These enzymatic toothpastes come in flavors dogs love like peanut butter and chicken and will help break down plaque for you as the dog licks at it.

5. Use specific tools that match your dog's fur type.

If your dog sheds a lot, use a brush that will help pull up hair from the undercoat as well as the top coat. If they have a light coat, use a light brush for their delicate fur.

6. Don't let water get in your dog's ears.

Just like humans, excess water in an ear canal can cause a lot of discomfort and issues.

7. Brush your dog daily.

It's important to maintain good hygiene with your dog. Brush them daily to help prevent matting and reduce shedding.

8. Give your dog a bath every four to six weeks.

Young pups love to play, and getting dirty again is inevitable. Bathe them every four to six weeks to help keep them looking and smelling clean.

If at-home grooming is a struggle, take your dog to visit one of the professional groomers at Petsmart!

Watch the whole TODAY segment for more grooming tips and learn about America's VetDogs, a not-for-profit organization that trains and places guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to disabled veterans and first responders.

All images courtesy of NBC’s TODAY and Petsmart