Dog Grooming Tips That Will Save You Money
It is very important that you keep your dog well groomed so that they are comfortable, healthy and clean. Professional dog groomers, such as Happy Tails Bathing and Grooming in Branford, Connecticut can do a great job and make your dog look great, but they can be expensive. In this article you will be told exactly what you need to do to achieve great grooming for your dog at home.
Things You Will Require For Home Dog Grooming
The first thing to say is that it depends on which type of dog you own, as to exactly what things you will need for a great grooming job. Most items are common to long and short haired dogs, but the brushes will be different. So let’s start with the common items:
Shampoo for dogs
Nail clippers for dogs
Toothbrush for dogs
If you have a short haired dog then choose a curry brush or glove. If your dog is long haired then you will need an undercoat rake, a slicker or a pin brush.
Give Your Dog A Comb Out First
It is good practice to establish a routine for combing out, and every two days is recommended. If your dog is prone to his hair getting matted, then just brushing him will not be sufficient. You need to do a very thorough combing job, as if you leave mats in his hair they will be an even bigger problem once you have bathed your dog.
Start brushing at the head and move downwards. When you get to the belly you need to show extra care as this area is very sensitive. Remember to comb out your entire dog including his tail. If you come across any matted hair, then carefully try to sort this out with your dog brush. Always use a brush that will remove all of the loose hair and ensure distribution of the necessary oils for your dog’s entire coat.
When you are brushing your dog give him praise and treats if he behaves well. Be prepared to take short breaks, so that your dog does not get too fed up with the brushing. This is most important for puppies and older dogs that are not used to grooming.
Sometimes you will come across matting that you simply can’t brush out. If this matting is not removed it can become really uncomfortable for your dog, so you will need to cut it out either by using scissors or shaving it off. This depends on how near to the skin the matt is.
Clean Your Dog’s Eyes And Ears
You may have to check and clean your dog’s eyes a lot if they are a particular breed. Dog breeds such as pugs and Pekingese will need a lot of attention in this area, and other white haired dog breeds too.
All you need to do here is to remove debris from your dog’s eyes, particularly in the corners, which can be achieved by either wiping or pulling the gunk away. If you have a long haired dog, then you need to ensure that the debris is completely clear of their coat.
Next you can move on to your dog’s ears. If there is wax in your dog’s ears this is no reason to be alarmed, as it is quite normal to have wax in an otherwise clean ear. Use a cotton round and apply special dog ear cleaning solution to it. Be gentle and remove all of the wax and other debris from the inner ear.
Only go as far as you can see. You should definitely not be pushing the cotton round hard into your dog’s ear. After you have finished, use a dry cotton round to dry out the ear. Give your dog some praise here, as their ears are sensitive and they will probably not have been too thrilled by the experience. If you suspect any eye or ear problems then take your dog to the vet.
Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean
This is often viewed as unnecessary by a lot of dog owners, but it is really important to take care of your dog’s teeth. A daily routine of brushing with a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste is suggested, to ensure his teeth and gums are healthy.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is not the easiest thing to do, and if you believe that he could end up biting you then don’t attempt it. Break the activity up into small chunks, so that your dog does not get too stressed. Place a small bit of dog toothpaste on your finger first, and spread across his teeth for a few seconds. Give him a treat for letting you do this.
Gradually build up the time with your finger, and then use a finger toothbrush for dogs. After a while of gradually building up the time with this, you will be able to use a full dog toothbrush. You must take your time and be patient here as your dog will probably not take well to this in the beginning.
Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Do not just let your dog’s nails grow, as they can curl into the paw pads and cause a lot of pain. Regular clipping of your dog’s nails is a must, and you will need to monitor how quickly the nails grow to get into a routine for this. Don’t wait until his nails are touching the floor when he walks.
When you are trimming the nails, be very careful not to cut too much and cause bleeding. Start off by trimming a very small amount of nail with dog nail clippers. With clear nails you will be able to see the hard part of the nail that needs trimming. With dark nails you will have to be very careful.
Bathing Your Dog
Make sure that the bath has a non slip mat in the bottom first. Then fill the bath with water that is luke-warm. Do not make the water too hot as this can harm your dog, and do not put your dog in the bath first and then run the water.
Place your dog into the luke-warm bath. If your dog does not like being in the water, then you can get a special leash and collar from the pet store to keep him in there. Use the shower attachment to gently make your dog’s entire coat wet before any shampoo is used. Do not use this on your dog’s head.
Apply shampoo from the neck downwards by using your fingers to work it into the skin. For your dog’s head you can use a wet cloth or towel to clean it. Once the shampoo has been applied successfully, it will be time to rinse it off.
Use the shower attachment again to gently rinse off the shampoo. Keep looking for soap bubbles or dirt particles in each area, and only stop rinsing when the water runs clear. Once the rinsing is done, you can dry your dog by forcing the water from his coat with your hand. Put your towel over him and rub him down. You can let him shake himself dry once the towel is in place.
For some dogs, using a towel to dry them will be enough but for others it won’t be. You can use a blow dryer here on a cool setting to finish the job. It is possible that he will not like the sound of the dryer, so you may need to use it in short bursts. Remember to reward your dog with praise and treats throughout the bathing experience.
Treat Your Dog To A Comfortable Dog Bed
Once you have groomed your dog it would be nice for him to relax on his comfortable bed. Please read our review of the best dog beds.
I’ve always been very apprehensive about grooming my dog at home. I might have to try a few of these tips – like starting to wash and brush my dog. He’s fairly big and it can get very expensive taking him to get groomed frequently. Thanks for the great tips!
Thank you very much for the insightful tips. Indeed, it is important to ensure that you groom your dog to enhance her appearance and health.
I’m concerned about trimming my dogs nails. I know I need to but I’m always afraid I’m going to hurt her. Do you have any suggestions for trimmers that won’t hurt a dog that are also easy to use?