How to Groom Dogs at Home. I get this question all of the time. There are many reasons people choose to groom their own dogs at home. Taking your dog to the groomer isn’t just expensive, it can be quite stressful as well. Some dogs don’t enjoy car rides or may experience anxiety during the grooming session. If you have been curious about how to groom a dog at home, we have some helpful suggestions to get you started.
How to Groom a Dog at Home
Take a look at these tips on how to groom a dog at home, and see how you can save yourself some cash and some stress when you tackle this job yourself. Here is what you need to know to get started.
Supplies needed to groom a dog at home:
- Dog safe shampoo (Burt’s Bees makes an oatmeal blend shampoo that is dog safe and can help with dry skin as well)
- Grooming brush
- Dog safe nail clippers
- Soft cloth
- Ear cleaning solution
- Dog cleaning wipes
- Clippers made for dogs
- More expensive clippers for dogs - (this is what we use)
- De-shedding brush
- Dog toothbrush/toothpaste
- Old sheets
- Non slip mat
It is important when grooming a dog you use supplies that are specifically made for dogs. You CAN’T use human nail clippers, human shampoo, etc. Grooming products that humans used are not designed for the special needs of dogs and could pose dangers. Only use grooming products purchased from a local pet shop or pet supply retailer.
How to Groom a Dog at Home:
The first thing you want to do is remove any loose fur. This will help your bath go more smoothly and help you avoid a large mess. Use a de-shedding brush to loosen and remove loose fur. Always move in the direction of the coat and never against the coat. Remove the loose fur and discard.
First and foremost your dog will need a proper bath. Using a removable sprayer/showerhead is ideal because it can help you get the entire dog clean and rinsed with less mess. Wet the dog’s body with lukewarm water (always test the water temperature before using) and apply an initial rinse.
Apply some shampoo to your hands and work it into the coat. Be sure to clean the skin and fur well avoiding the eyes and facial area. Rinse well. Be sure all of the soap is removed and any rinsing water runs clean.
Use a plush towel to thoroughly dry the dog. It is natural for dogs to want to shake out the water themselves. Be ready and stand back should this happen and water will fly! You, might be tempted to blow dry your dog, but this can lead to dry skin and burns. If your dog will tolerate a hair dryer, make sure you use a low heat or cool air setting.
Now that the dog’s body is clean you want to focus on specific areas that need cleaning. This could mean the face and around the eyes. Dog specific cleaning cloths are ideal for this because they are gentle on the face. Use the cloths to wipe around the eyes and mouth, and to gently wipe the insides of the ears.
Short hair dogs typically don’t need any kind of hair cut, but long haired dogs can benefit from a trim to keep fur healthy. You should only use dog specific clippers with the appropriate guards to ensure safety.
The hair cutting process will vary from dog to dog. YouTube can be helpful for finding a tutorial specific to the breed you are working with. Placing a sheet down prior to clipping can help you keep the fur in one place and make clean up easier.
Once the trim is complete, use your brush to smooth out hair and remove any loose hairs.
Using a dog specific toothbrush and toothpaste address the oral health of your dog. Gently wipe/brush their teeth and focus on the gums where plaque tends to build. Most dogs are not crazy about this task, so go easy and don’t push it if they get uncomfortable.
You want to take extra care when addressing your dog’s nails, because if you cut too low you can cause bleeding. The “quick” is the vein that runs through the dog’s nails and should be located prior to clipping. You want to make sure you cut above this often dark line when trimming nails.
Safety clippers should be used to cut small pieces at a time, you never want to go for one large chunk at once since splitting can occur. If you are nervous about clipping the nails you can always use a dog specific nail file tool that gently grinds down the nails instead of clipping them.
To finish off the nails, you can always apply a natural moisturizer to the paw pads and nails. Coconut oil is great for this.
When you are done with the grooming process, you can always treat your dog to a biscuit for a job well done. A decorative bandana around the neck can also help them feel clean and pretty!
Grooming your dog at home doesn’t have to be a complicated business. Just make sure you have the supplies you need ready at your disposal, use lots of positive reinforcement, and work efficiently to move the process along. When you are done, you will not only have a clean dog, but a happy and less stressed dog as well!