May 6, 2014

7 Tips on How to Groom Your Dog at Home

If you are on a tight budget and you need to groom your dog, don’t worry, there are a few tips you can follow to groom your pup and save money. We all (I mean pet owners) have been there and it’s not the end of the world. Since many groomers can charge over $40 only for a cut, I think it’s worth learning how to groom your precious pet at home, especially if you have several dogs and they all need a regular trim. With a few easy tips, you can do a great job and leave your dog feeling fresher and cleaner in no time.

1. Brush

Start with brushing your dog. Remove all debris and tangles from the hair, and find all hair knots that must be cut out. Brushing will help you see which parts of your dog’s coat need the most attention. For example, a long-haired dog tends to carry more hair through their belly area and tail, than their head and legs, while a short-haired dog has the same amount of hair all over the body, with a little more on the belly. Many dogs have more hair around the ears. It’s important to choose the right brush. If your dog has a very thick, difficult to manage coat, buy a special detangling brush. This brush is typically thin and slick and it helps to remove tangles better. Just make sure you brush your dog carefully, without hurting your pet. If your dog has a soft, oily hair, choose a bigger bristle brush, which will help to remove excess oil and debris.

2. Talk to your dog gently

Although the next step after brushing should be bathing, talking to your dog gently before bathing them is extremely important. Many dogs find bath time unpleasant and they can run, hide, or howl when they realize it’s time for their bath. Talk to your pet and assure them that you aren’t mad at them. It can help keep your pup more manageable.

3. Bathe

Now, it’s time to bathe your dog. It’s better to wash them in a sink with a spray attachment. Your pet will be more comfortable when you spray them clean instead of using the faucet. Remember that the water must be lukewarm so you don’t make your pet shiver, or burn their skin. For bathing, choose a baby shampoo or a special skin condition shampoo. If your dog has fleas, buy a special flea shampoo. When bathing, lather your pet up and cut the water off because the running water can make your pet even more nervous. Be careful not to get water and shampoo in the mouth, eyes, ears, legs, paws, and bottom. After washing the body, clean your pet’s eyes and inside their ears using a warm cloth. If you see fleas, just pick them off of your dog. Cleanse the shampoo away using lukewarm water and dry your dog with a large towel, getting as much water off your pet as possible. If you see any knots, be sure to work them out.

4. Use a pair of special grooming scissors

If you are not experienced, you should never use regular scissors on your pet. You can buy a pair of special grooming scissors online or at any pet store. They are cheap and they will make grooming your dog much easier. If you can’t buy grooming scissors, opt for a sharp scissors with long blades but make sure you cut at a blunt angle. Be careful around their face, especially eyes, belly, bottom, toes and other tender areas.

5. Clean up

If you don’t want the hair to fly everywhere when you dry your pet, clean up all the hair after grooming. This may sound obvious, but many of us often forget about this step and end up finding the dog’s hair all over the house.

6. Dry your dog

Dogs as well as cats hate a hair dryer, and it perhaps the most scary part of grooming for them, but a hair dryer will help get your pet’s hair completely dry. Plus, it will help to get rid of the wet dog smell and fluff up the hair. Continue to brush your dog when drying them, because it will help fluff the coat better and will make it more beautiful.

7. Reward

Every professional groomer knows that a small reward is a must after grooming. Rewarding your dog will help them love bath time and associate it with a good reward. You can give your dog a hug and kiss, their favorite treat, or just pat your dog and tell them they did an excellent job.

Although grooming a dog at home takes time and practice, it’s a sure way to save money and help your pet love bath time. After all, it’s always better when you are doing it, not a stranger. Do you have any tips for grooming a dog at home?