What You'll Need
Grooming your dog at home needn't be a traumatic experience for you or them. It's important to remember that you probably won't do as good a job as your usual pet groomer or mobile parlour would, but that's okay. Make the at-home grooming experience a good one by remaining calm and having fun. This could prove to be a great bonding experience for you and your dog, as you spoil them with extra love and attention. Here's a list of the essential items you will need to give your dog a good scrub and trim:
- Pet shampoo and conditioner (for long-haired dogs)
- Tick and flea dip (if you notice your dog excessively scratching)
- An old washcloth and towel
- Nail clippers
- Detangling brush
- Pet toothbrush and toothpaste
- Cotton swabs (to wipe down eyes and ears)
- Hair scissors or clippers
- Treats or their favourite toy
The way you groom your dog will be totally dependent on their breed and temperament. If you are uncertain about how to groom your breed of dog, contact your usual groomers or a vet. Dogs should also only be bathed once in a while to avoid stripping their coats of natural oils. Unless your dog has a bad habit of rolling around in mud or getting stuck in the rubbish, bath them about once a month.
However, if you have a long-haired pup like a Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu or Afghan Hound, you may need to groom your dog more regularly. These kinds of pooches require weekly brushing to prevent matted fur. Similarly, if you have a dog that sheds excessively, such as a Labrador Retriever, Pug or Beagle, regular brushing helps avoid malting. Ask your vet to recommend the best brush for your dog's type of fur before tugging away at them.
Bathing your dog shouldn't be too difficult, unless yours is vehemently against getting their feet wet. Make sure that the water isn't too hot and gently place your doggie into the tub. Wet them down from head to toe, avoiding their eyes and nose. If your dog is fairly clean, shampoo them once and rinse. Otherwise, give them at least two good washes and finish with a dog-friendly conditioner.
Use an old washcloth to rinse their eyes and clean their face. When you're done, wrap your dog in an old towel and help dry them off. It's best not to use a hairdryer to dry your dog. Rather let them shake off excess damp and pat them dry with a clean towel.
Cutting your dog's nails can be intimidating, as they will bleed if cut too short. However, if you use a good quality nail clipper and have lots of patience, you should do just fine. Be sure to only cut the tip of your dog's nail, avoiding the blood vessels. If you are unsure about how to clip your dog's nails, take him or her to the vet for a quick 'pedicure'.
Brushing your pet's teeth at least once a day can prevent gum disease and bad breath. But it may take some time for your precious pooch to warm up to the idea. Make sure to use a vet approved toothbrush and toothpaste, brushing for only 30 seconds on each side of the mouth. You can also incorporate dental chews and toys into their play time to keep your dog's teeth in top condition.
Most short-haired dogs don't need much grooming besides brushing. But if your dog's hairdo is as fancy as yours, you may want to brush up on your layering technique. Again, it's perfectly alright if your dog's mane is a little side swept to cover up any mistakes you might make. What's most important is to clear excess fur away from the eyes, ears and feet. Still not sure how to give your dog the perfect hairstyle? Check out this instructional video below:
Good luck, fur parents!