Tips for Grooming Your Dog at Home
Money-saving tricks for the savvy do-it-yourselfer
Who doesn’t feel good after a day at the hairdresser or spa? But giving your pooch a similar pampering experience can get expensive quickly. To keep your doggie diva looking like a lady instead of a tramp, but without breaking the bank, you need to learn how to do some basic grooming at home.
Get your home doggie salon set up like a pro. To do basic grooming at home you will need:
- A brush suited to your dog’s coat
- A grooming table with a grooming arm
- Grooming clippers
- Clipper and blade coolant
- Nail clippers or Nail grinder
- Styptic powder for any nail bleeding
Brush Your Dog
This simple act is one of the best ways to keep your dog clean. Start by brushing a few times a week to create a routine. Brush your dog the way the groomer does, while he is standing up, not lying down. For longer hair dogs a metal pin brush slides through the hair easily while also pulling out a lot of dirt. A shedding blade is a better choice for short hair dogs to remove hair and dirt.
Bathe Your Dog
Regular brushing should help reduce the amount you need to actually bathe your dog. Bathe your dog in a special dog bathtub, standing upright outside, or in a shower with a handheld wand. Small dogs can be bathed in a sink. Some pet shops even offer a self-serve dog wash if it’s in the neighborhood and you’d prefer not to clean up the potential mess at home.
Make sure your dog is on a leash so they can’t escape the bath. Use a high-quality shampoo suited to your dog’s coat and an ear cleaner around the ear perimeter. Use cotton balls in each ear to help prevent water from getting stuck in the ear canal, and make sure to start from the back and move forward so your dog has a chance to acclimate to the water.
Shaving and Cutting Hair
Invest in a good pair of dog clippers. The way you cut or shave your dog will depend on what breed your dog is. It is helpful to watch tutorial videos or get some training specific to your dog’s breed in order to do this well. While you can give your dog a trim or a shave at home, this is one of the more complicated grooming activities and one to splurge on having done professionally if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own at home.
Trimming your pet’s nails is another task that might land in the category of needing professional help. Your pup’s paws are super sensitive and cutting the nail too short can cause them to bleed, ultimately leading to severe discomfort. Nails can be trimmed with clippers or a nail grinder, but before using either, get your dog used to the noise each tool makes so he doesn’t flinch while you are in the middle of actually cutting his nails. For dogs with white nails, clip until you see pink, for black nails, clip until you see a solid black dot on the tip. If you are using a grinder, stop before you see pink. Never use dull clippers because that can cause splits and chips.