You love hugging with your dog, particularly when her coat is soft and clean. But what do you arrange if your pup is starting to look a lot more like a Tramp and not at all similar to a Lady and you can’t get her to the groomer? You will Try grooming your dog at home with these DIY best tips and advice from the pros.
Getting Started and the Benefits of Dog Grooming
Though many pet owners successfully groom their dogs at home, this will take a bit of time and energy to get your dog comfortable with a habit of at-home grooming, which can assist in reducing shedding in addition to further developing your relationship with your pup.
“Your dog trusts you fully with all the big decisions in her life. But, on the light things, she sure can have approaches, and those need to be addressed properly,” stated Dr. Neil Marrinan of Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital in Old Lyme, CT. By this, he means forming a strong foundation of trust before trying to groom your dog at home.
Your dog must be able to count on the safety of your behavior, which means following a home grooming routine regularly and incrementally (making her used to being touched in the sensitive spots, for example) and giving positive rewards (some treats and attention) as you go, Marrinan said. Stick to a predictable practice that follows a set of steps, allowing you and your dog to stretch a position of comfort and trust. “90 percent of the work will be happening before, and away from, the real 10 percent of grooming,” he said.
Remember also, your dog will tell if you are nervous, which will, in turn, make her worried and can lead to her trying to leave or becoming very aggressive, said Carol Benesch, proprietor of Norwichtown Pet Resort and Spa in Norwich, CT. If your dog is nervous with being brushed, don’t force her and try different time again. You may also need to check with a veterinarian to make sure that you’re using a suitable tool for her coat.
How to Brush and Bathe Your Dog
To start, try brushing your dog a few events a week for a few minutes(well, even seconds) at a time in order to create a routine, said Ray Trusting, a master groomer with Connecticut Veterinary Center located in West Hartford, CT. In fact, Truting believes that frequent brushing alone can achieve a great deal in the way of proper dog grooming.
“Brushing is the key to maintaining [a dog] clean. I don’t endorse much bathing,” he said. “If you’re going to bathe your dog, brush her first to get the heavy dirt out.” Placing your dog in a bath before brushing just advances for dirty bath water and an even nastier dog, Truting said.
Truting recommends using a slick, metal pin brush (particularly for dogs with longer hair), which goes through hair smoothly and pulls out a good amount of dirt, grass, and burrs. A shedding blade similarly works well on shorthaired dogs (such as Labradors), taking much of the fine hair off quickly. The essential thing, he notes, is to get your dog accustomed to frequent brushing and to brush her while she is still standing, as the groomer will, as opposed to lying down.
When bathing your pup, use a higher-quality shampoo, as cheap versions can have harsh components, said Linda Easton, the head of International Professional Groomers, Inc. She further recommends diluting the shampoo, so it is simpler to rinse out entirely.
How to Cut a Dog’s Hair
Now that your dog is well washed and brushed, maybe you want to attempt giving her a trim. If so, be extremely careful with the scissors, Easton said, and ensure to use the right equipment. Easton recommends using expert shears or clippers (and recommends using a No. 10 clipping blade) and buying a grooming table that your dog can be comfortable and secure during her routine haircut.
Unlike people, who get haircuts done with wet hair, always begin with a dry, clean dog, Benesch said, and just use the tips of sharp shears to clip your dog’s feet, face and tail, which will limit you from cutting your dog if she flicks. When trimming the dog’s ears, “always have your other hand on the ends of the ears, so you know where you are only trimming the hair,” Benesch said.
If your dog’s coat is matted, never attempt to cut it with scissors and use some good clippers instead.
Read also; How to train a puppy at home
How to Safely Shave a Dog
Again, begin with a dry, clean dog and find a peaceful spot free of distractions. Using a razor-sharp blade, Benesch suggests starting around your dog’s neck and working your shave down her body, keeping the blade flat at all-time against the skin. Be cautious around thin skin, underarms, hocks (thigh and hip) and the parts where the dog’s stifle (the joint above the dog hock in the hind leg) meets the belly. Do not allow these sensitive areas to enter between the spaces on the blade. She advises on the use of a No. 10 blade for the dog’s face, private areas and underarms and recommends checking the blades regularly for heat, as they can burn the skin.
If you feel doubtful about shaving your dog at home, simply consider leaving this step in the grooming process to the specialists. “I wouldn’t recommend shaving except when trained by a doctor or a groomer,” Truting said.
How to Trim a Dog’s Nails
Truting also thinks a pro best does nail trimming, but some pet owners might feel confident enough to try. Before using a nail grinder or clippers on your dog’s grooming process, Benesch recommends getting your dog accustomed to the noise of the tool then afterward, if your dog has white nails, clip till you see the pink (the quick), and when your dog has black nails, just clip a little at a time till you see a solid black dot on the tip. Always close the clippers quickly; cutting slowly and using old, dull clippers can cause cracking and splitting, she said, supplementing that if you decide to use a nail grinder, stop before you reach the quick. If you do clip the prompt, use a styptic powder such as Kwik Stop to stanch any bleeding.
Before trying to do any grooming, be sure you are equipped with the following dog grooming tools:
List of Dog Grooming Tools
- A brush, comb, or shedding blade (depends on your dog’s coat)
- A grooming table that has a grooming arm to secure your dog to (never leave her neglected on the table)
- Grooming clippers (a No. 10 blade to avoid cutting the skin)
- Clipper and blade coolant
- Grooming shears
- Nail clippers or a grinder
- Styptic powder (for nail bleed)
Top Tips on Grooming a dog at home-professional dog grooming tips
Start while Young
Socializing your puppy indicates he encounters everything the world has to offer. The more he is presented to something, the more he discovers it’s nothing to be dreaded and potentially, that when some things happen, good things happen too!
When I stroll past the neighbor’s yappy dog and then ignore him, I get a treat, for instance. Grooming should be a band of this process. As a puppy, start touching him, touching all the parts of his body, his tummy, his paws, his tail, and his ears. Reward him (e.g., with treats) and praise him as you go. You want him to see that being handled is nothing really to be troubled about. Start in short, steady sessions, a couple of minutes here and there. Gradually increase the time spent handling him. You might find that giving him chew to occupy him will help or putting a blob of peanut butter on the kitchen cabinet helps encourage him to stand while you handle him.
Introduce The Dog Grooming Tools
Once you are convinced he can tolerate being touched, now you need to introduce the tools of your business. These will range depending on the breed of dog you have. For the double coated breeds, a rake and metal comb will be your ultimate life saver. For tight, curly coated dog breeds metal comb and a slicker brush should be the top of your grooming tool list!
How to Groom a dog with Matts and Knots
For any breeds who suffer with matts or knots, so again those curly coated dog breeds, you may want to spend in a de-matting knife. Not as brutal as it seems, it just cuts through knots and matts to make it as pain-free for the dog as possible to remove them. For soft, sleek-coated dog breeds you may want to spend in a rubber paddle brush. This hold rubber nobbles which grips the loose hair, removing it as you brush.
Get Into A Routine
It’s straightforward to let life get in the way, you are running late home from work, or when family issues have taken over your time. But if you get into the habit of grooming, you are less likely to forget. Perhaps you will groom your faithful companion before work, maybe just before you go to bed. Dog’s like routine schedules too, they will quickly get into the swing of things if you are looking consistent.
Grooming Isn’t Just Brushing
Whilst the dog grooming tools we have mentioned only really seem at brushing your pooch, when we say dog grooming, we mean the complete caboodle. Fido needs his eyes and ears checked regularly and properly cleaned. You can clean their eyes by just dampening some soft cotton pads and cleaning around the area. You may find a special dog safe ear cleaner keeps their ears dirt free. Pay attention when your dog is a poodle or a poodle cross. They continuously need their ears plucking due to the bushy hair that grows inside their ear canal. Failure to remain on top of this often ends in ear infections!
Brush Their Teeth Too
Just like in humans, dogs get tartar build up and plaque. The best way to counter this is to brush their teeth. Again, start it as early as possible. Begin by just letting them smell and explore the toothbrush and toothpaste. Add short sessions, it may only be 20-30 seconds for the first attempt Praise throughout the session and reward when you have completed. You want Fido to see that tooth brushing isn’t that bad, particularly if there’s a treat at the end of each session! Studies have shown that brushing your pup’s teeth only once a week reveals no improvement in tartar build up and plaque, so several sessions throughout the week are important to keep those pearly whites extra strong and healthy! Not only that, but the bacteria growth in the mouth has been identified to move around the body, creating other health issues too.
Grooming a dog at home is a huge part of being a pet owner, by starting at a young you age stand the best chance of making the process as stress-free as possible, for both of you. Pick the right tools for the job and constantly praise and reward throughout sessions. Getting into a regular schedule gives you the best opportunity of staying on top of it but inquire the advice of a qualified pet groomer if there is ever a time you are unsure of grooming your faithful friend!