Maybe you’re running short on cash, and could use a few tips for grooming your dog at home. I have been there, trust me! Many groomers can charge at least $40 where I live, just for a cut and nothing else. It can make a girl go broke pretty quickly if her dog needs a regular trim like mine does. If your little precious pup needs a haircut, and you’re not sure if you can afford it, don’t worry! You can easily groom your dog at home, and do a pretty great job, with a few simple tips. These tips for grooming your dog at home will hopefully save you money, but also leave your pet feeling fresher, and cleaner as a result.
1. Brush First
One of the key tips for grooming your dog at home is to brush them first. This removes all tangles and debris from their hair, and can help you find any possible hair knots that need to be cut out first. It’s also good to brush your dog first so you can see which parts of their coat need the most attention. For instance, long-haired dogs tend to carry more hair through their tail and belly area, than their legs and head. Short-haired dogs will usually carry about the same amount of hair all over, with just a bit more on their belly. Some dogs also carry more hair around their ears. Selecting the right brush is also important. If your dog has a thick, hard to manage coat, be sure you select a special detangling brush, which are usually thin and slick, to remove tangles. Do this carefully so you don’t hurt them though. If they have soft, oily hair, use a larger bristle brush to remove excess debris and oil. Always work out mattes with a detangling comb, first.
2. Talk to Them with Care
Most dogs hate baths, so before you bathe your dog, be sure you talk to them with care and ensure them they aren’t in trouble. A scared, wet dog is not fun to bathe, let me tell you! Many times, dogs think they are in trouble when it’s time for their bath, so assure them that you’re not mad at them, talking to them gently. This will help keep them calmer and more manageable.
3. Suds Them up
Next, it’s time to bathe them. Make sure the water has reached lukewarm temperature first so you don’t burn their skin, or make them shiver, which is very uncomfortable for them too. After that, suds them up with something mild like baby shampoo, special skin condition shampoo, or a flea shampoo if they have fleas. Always lather them up, and then cut the water off while you wash them. This can help calm them down since running water might make them nervous. Be sure to be careful not to get soap in their eyes, and get around their legs, paws, bottom and ears well. Check for ear mites at this point too. Take a warm cloth and clean their eyes and inside their ears after washing their body. If you see any fleas during washing, be sure to pick them off of your pet and wash them down the drain. Don’t worry, they won’t hurt you!
4. Rinse with Lukewarm Water
Lukewarm water is best to rinse your dog in, since it will not burn their skin, but will be warm enough to cleanse the soap away. Try to wash your dog in a sink with a spray attachment where you can spray them clean instead of using the faucet. This helps your dog be more comfortable rather than being shoved under a faucet, which might scare them.
5. Dry Them with a Towel
Next, dry your dog with a large towel and try to get as much water off them as possible. If you see any additional knots at this point, work them out as well. If you see any mattes you can’t work through, cut them out.
6. Use Special Grooming Shears
Don’t use regular scissors on your dog unless you’re experienced. You can purchase a pair of grooming shears for about $12 at any pet store, or online. If you don’t have any, use a sharp pair of scissors with long blades and cut at a blunt angle. Shears are especially made to do this for you. Cut as much off as you want to from your dog’s hair, but be sure to keep it even. Be careful around their eyes, bottom, and other tender areas like their belly, toes and face.
7. Clean up the Hair
Next, clean up all the hair so when you dry them it doesn’t fly everywhere! Trust me, this is a learning experience if you’ve ever forgotten this step! You’ll thank me later when you don’t find your precious little pet’s hair in places you never thought possible the next day!
Your dog will hate your hair dryer, but pull it out anyway. They will eventually get used to it. Use your dryer to get their hair completely dry and prevent that “wet dog” smell. It also helps fluff up their hair nicely. When you’re drying them, continue to brush them, since it can help fluff their coat better, and work through any tangles formed during washing.
9. Reward Them
Almost all groomers know this trick well. Always reward your dog after your groom them! This assures them that they haven’t done anything wrong to deserve bath time as a punishment, and it will help them associate bath time with a reward. Give them a treat, a big hug and kiss, or pat them and tell them they did a good job. They love this!
Grooming your dog at home just takes a little practice and usually only takes around 30-45 minutes unless your dog is larger with lots of long hair. Either way, it can save you money, help your dog fear bath time less since you’re doing it and not a stranger, and it gives you skills in the process! Have you ever groomed your dog at home?