Most dogs must be groomed regularly to maintain their healthy coat and skin. However, grooming your dog at home can be a daunting task, especially for those long-haired dogs.
Professional grooming sessions in some cities can cost up to $100 per visit, so it’s no wonder that many dog parents choose to do the grooming themselves.
If you’re unfamiliar with the grooming process, your furry friend’s first grooming session at home may seem a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
In this article, we will cover the basic things dog owners need to know for regular grooming at home. Continue to read so you can learn the best tips on how to groom your dog at home like a pro.
Best 10 At Home Grooming Tips For Dogs
Good grooming consists of more than just maintaining your dog’s fur. It’s also about keeping their nails trimmed, their teeth clean, and their ears free of wax buildup.
To help make your dog grooming experience as smooth as possible, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 tips:
#1 Trim Your Dog’s Hair With Caution
You want to remove dead hair and any mats or tangles, but be careful not to hurt your dog’s skin. If you’re unsure how much hair to remove, try removing any dead hair by brushing it first. This will help you get a better idea of how much hair to trim.
Start by slowly working your way through the mats and tangles with a comb. Use scissors to snip away any remaining mats. Longhaired dogs must be brushed every other day to avoid mats and tangles.
When using the nail clippers, take your time and work your way down your dog’s body in the same direction of hair growth. Trimming the area around the dog’s eyes can prevent vision blocking and reduce the opportunity for injury.
#2 Brush Your Dog’s Coat Regularly
A healthy dog coat should be lustrous and soft to the touch. To keep your dog’s coat looking its best, brush it regularly with a wire or bristle brush.
Regular brushing will not only remove excess hair and prevent tangles, but it will also help distribute your dog’s natural oils throughout their coat. This will keep their coat looking shiny and healthy.
Brushing should be done at least once a week, but more often is better. This way, you can prevent matted hair and keep your dog’s coat healthy and looking its best. A dirty or matted coat can be painful for your dog, so it’s important to keep up with their grooming.
#3 Trim Your Dog’s Nails With Nail Trimmers
Nail trimming is an important part of dog grooming, but it can be difficult to do at home. If you’re not careful, you could end up hurting your dog’s nails.
To avoid this, invest in a good pair of dog nail trimmers, nail clippers, or even a nail grinder. Trimming nails that are too short is unpleasant and may aggravate even the most docile pup.
Overgrown nails can also be painful for your dog and may cause health problems if left untreated. Your pet’s nails should be trimmed every four to six weeks.
To prevent your dog from bleeding, you must first identify where the “quick” of your pup’s nails starts. If your dog’s nails are white, the quick will be pink. The quick appears as a black spot on dogs with dark nails.
Either if they have dark or white nails, you should try to trim them every few weeks to get your dog used to the process. Doing this will make it easier for you to trim your dog’s nails in the future and help avoid any accidents.
#4 Keep Checking Your Dog’s Skin & Sensitive Areas
Shorthaired dogs should be checked for hot spots, redness, and any other irritation. These can all be signs of underlying health problems.
Longhaired dogs are especially prone to mats and tangles. These can cause pain and irritation if not removed. Be sure to check your dog’s skin regularly for any redness, swelling, or irritation.
Sensitive areas like your dog’s head, ears, eyes, and paws should be checked even more frequently. These areas are more likely to get injured or become infected.
#5 Check Your Dog’s Ears For Any Wax Buildup
You can use a damp cloth to wipe away any wax buildup on your dog’s ears. Be sure to dry their ears thoroughly afterward to prevent any moisture from remaining inside.
Another alternative is using cotton balls and gauze to clean your dog’s ears. Soak a cotton ball in an ear-cleaning solution and then gently wipe the inside of your dog’s ear.
#6 Teach Your Dog To Enjoy Grooming
One of the challenges that you are going to face is making your dog comfortable with the grooming process. This is important because you don’t want your dog to associate grooming with something that is unpleasant.
The key is to take your time and make the experience as positive as possible. Give your dog plenty of treats and praise throughout the process. Try using a professional groomer the first few times until you feel confident enough to do it yourself.
Dogs that are groomed on a regular basis tend to be better behaved and less likely to bite or snap. Start by just doing regular brushing to prevent matting and tangles. As your dog gets used to being brushed, you can start adding in other grooming activities like nail trimming and ear cleaning.
#7 Bath Your Dog Regularly But Not Too Often
Many dogs don’t need to be bathed more than once or twice a month. Bathing too often can strip the natural oils from your dog’s coat and skin, which can lead to dryness and irritation.
When you do bathe your dog, be sure to use a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo and warm water. Avoid using human shampoo, as this can be harsh on your dog’s skin. Rinse your dog thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo.
Use a blow dryer on the lowest setting to help your dog’s coat dry quickly. But first, towel dry your dog’s hair as much as possible to avoid overheating. Use the blow dryer in the direction of your dog’s hair growth.
Make sure bath time is in a warm environment, as bathing outdoors in cold weather can cause the dog’s body temperature to drop. Your furry friend can become hypothermic very quickly in these conditions.
#8 Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean & Healthy
Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy is an important part of their overall health. Plaque and tartar can build up on your dog’s teeth and lead to gum disease.
Brushing their teeth can help eliminate harmful bacteria and also prevent bad breath. Use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth at least once a week. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask your veterinarian for a demonstration.
#9 Check for Anal Sacs & Allergies
Your pup has two anal sacs, also called glands. One is located on each side of his butt cheeks, and they produce a fluid to help with digestion as well as regulate the body temperature of your dog.
The anal gland on your dog produces an excretion with a scent that identifies him and tells other dogs such things as his health, sex, status (in good or bad), and approximate age.
If they are filled up, you will need to have them expressed by your groomer, veterinarian, or yourself. This is not a pleasant task, but if you don’t do it, your dog may end up with an infection.
Checking for allergies is also important, either if you are noticing your dog is licking or chewing his paws, has hot spots, or is scratching excessively. Your groomer may be able to help you identify why this is happening and how to prevent it.
#10 Clean & Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Your dog’s paws go through a lot on a daily basis. They are constantly exposed to dirt, grime, and harsh chemicals. It’s important to keep them clean and protected to avoid irritation and infection.
Trim the hair between the paw pads to see if there are any cuts or abrasions on the paw. This hair needs to be trimmed regularly to prevent matting and discomfort.
Use a paw balm or petroleum jelly to help protect the paw pads from harsh weather conditions. Try to use a nail trimmer that comes with a safety guard so you don’t nick the “quick” and to protect the blood vessels of your dogs nails ls. Use a styptic powder to stop any bleeding if, by any chance, you do nick the quick.
How do you groom a dog for beginners?
Either if you have long hair or short-haired dogs, you will need to groom them regularly to maintain their coat and skin healthy. For dogs with long hair, you will need to brush them every other day to prevent mats and tangles.
You will also need to trim their nails monthly and bathe them every month or two. For dogs with short hair, you will need to brush them weekly and bathe them every month or two.
Be sure to use a hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner to avoid irritation. When you are done bathing them, use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to help their coat dry quickly.
Tips For Restraining Your Dog While Grooming
Getting your dog accustomed to grooming sessions is one thing, but you also need to know how to properly restrain your dog while at home grooming. This is important for both your safety and your dog’s safety.
There are a few different ways you can restrain your dog while grooming. The most common method is to use a grooming table with a restraining grooming arm. This will allow you to secure your dog in place while still giving you access to its entire body.
Another common method is to use a grooming loop. This is a leash that goes around your dog’s neck and attaches to their collar. This will allow you to have complete control over your dog’s movement during home grooming.
You can also use a standard leash and collar to restrain your dog while you groom your dog. This is not the preferred method, as it can be difficult to keep your dog still.
Tips For Calming Your Dog For Grooming
When trying to groom your dog at home, it is important to make sure that both you and your dog are calm. This will help to prevent any accidents from happening.
Here are a few tips to help you calm your dog while grooming:
Use a calming shampoo: There are special shampoos that can help to calm your dog while you are trying to groom them. These shampoos often contain ingredients like lavender or chamomile, which have calming properties.
Play calming music: Playing calm, relaxing music while you groom your dog can help to keep them calm.
Reward them or give treats: Offering your dog treats while you groom them can help to keep their attention focused on something positive.
Stop when they are getting anxious: If you notice that your dog is starting to get anxious or stressed, take a break.
Use an appropriate environment: Make sure that the environment you use to groom your dog is calm and quiet.
Should you use a professional groomer?
Using a local groomer is better if you can afford it. They will have a lot more experience and will be able to do a better job. Plus, they have all the grooming tools you will need.
To find a good groomer, you can look into websites like Hound Therapy or the AKC marketplace for groomers. Make sure that you find someone who is gentle and patient. Ask to see before and after pictures of their work.
If you can’t afford it, then find someone who knows how to groom a dog and is willing to help you out. Use groomer for the first few times until you get the hang of it, and then start doing it yourself.
Hi! I’m Karen and a certified dog lover. As a freelance writer and blogger, I do my best to squeeze in some time with my dogs, learning more about the way they act and how I can make sure that they continue to stay well-cared for by yours truly.
My dogs have helped me through a lot, and this is my way of giving back to them! Besides animals, I also love to travel and cook, having explored my country’s restaurants and unique places. Follow me as I show you all the amazing tips and bits of information I learn along the way about our furry friends!