Grooming a dog yourself can be quite easy if they are cooperative and relaxed during grooming sessions. Some dogs get uncomfortable being pruned and prodded and are unwilling to cooperate. We’ve made that easy with a few simple tips on how to effortlessly groom a dog at home. Even if you’re learning how to groom a dog for the first time.
Most dog parents very easily find their way around the temperament of some dog breeds but discover that grooming can be more difficult and time-consuming for some other breeds. Particularly those with long fur or thick coats that require regular brushing, trimming, and even specialized dog grooming tools.
First-time dog owners are often surprised to discover that all dogs require daily hygiene and grooming. Perhaps they’ve been told that dogs fair well with just dog food and dog kenneling, but that is untrue. Regularly grooming your dog and maintaining good hygiene routines can help prevent health problems and promote their well-being. Although some short-haired breeds do require minimal brushing and bathing, however, every dog needs proper grooming.
Why is Dog Grooming Necessary?
It’s just like asking why are dog accessories important? or why people shop for luxury gifts for dogs?. Well it’s not easy carrying around all that furry cuteness now, is it?. Aside from the advice you got from your veterinarian, it is very important to groom your dogs You want to make sure your dog is healthy. Here are some of the reasons dogs need grooming.
- Mats and tangles in a dog’s fur can be very painful and can even trap dirt, moisture, and bacteria, causing skin infections. Regularly brushing and combing prevent mats and tangles in a dog’s fur.
- Regular bathing helps to keep a dog’s skin and fur healthy by removing dirt, debris, and excess oils that can often lead to skin irritation or infections.
- Dogs with floppy ears or hairy ears are more prone to ear infections. Hence, frequent cleaning and hair trimming around the ears can help prevent the accumulation of bacteria that causes ear infections.
- Brushing a dog’s teeth regularly also prevents dental issues such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.
- Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and even discomfort for dogs. Routine trimming helps to prevent nails from growing too long and also reduces discomfort.
Tips on How to Groom a Dog At Home
Depending on the type of dog, size, and fur, some dog breeds need to be groomed more than others. For example, Old English Sheepdogs, Poodles, Afghan Hounds, Bichon Frise, etc need more grooming. In most cases, they require professional dog groomers, or pet grooming services to maintain them.
Before we begin, it is very important to keep dog treats handy when you’re grooming a dog. With each of the grooming steps they complete, give that fur baby some treats. So, if you want to successfully groom a dog at home, start by following these vet-approved tips on grooming a dog at home. These tips are helpful for dog grooming for beginners at home.
Brushing and Trimming Dog Fur
Brushing is one very important way to groom a dog and learning how to trim your dog at home helps to create a bond between dogs and owners. Based on your dog’s coat, you will need some dog fur brushing supplies. Such as a bristle brush or pin brush, comb, curry brush, mat and tangle remover, scissors, shedding blade, clippers, etc.
Dogs with short to medium coats like Yorkshire Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Pomeranians, Schnauzers, and Collies need soft bristle brushes that are made with round, protective ends. These soft brushes help to remove mats and tangles and smooth away loose hairs, dirt, and debris from your dog’s coat. Although this kind of brush is great for dogs with short to medium hair, it is also ideal for dogs with long or curly hair.
It is best to always brush the hair strands in the direction the hair grows, away from the dog’s skin. When doing this, try to use minimal pressure to avoid irritating their skin and causing coat damage. Also, try to apply firm but gentle strokes that will help remove dead hairs without hurting the dog. While doing this, it is good to equally check for sores, scratches, and cuts on the dog’s skin.
Bathing Your Dog At Home
The second way to groom a dog properly at home is by bathing them. New dog parents often ask “
how many times should a dog take a bath in a week” because they feel whenever they jump into the shower, their dog should jump right after. No, healthy dogs with no skin issues don’t even require monthly baths. At the most, pet groomers say once every two to three months is ideal.
As frequent dog baths strip their furs of natural oils and cause the dog’s coat to become too dry and itchy. Whenever they’re due for a bath, here are some bathing tips to help groom a dog to perfection.
Get all your dog bathing supplies ready. Including a place for the dog to stand, dog shampoo, conditioner, shower spray, cotton balls, towels, etc. The cotton balls are for their ears to prevent water from entering inside them. After brushing your dog to remove mats and tangles, place them on a non-slippery surface like a rubber bath mat then proceed to wet their coat with warm water.
Then apply a generous amount of shampoo, rinse out, apply conditioner, and towel-dry. You can also let them dry naturally or utilize a dog blow dryer.
Nail Trimming for Dogs
Another way to groom a dog is by trimming its nails. There are some signs to look out for that will help to determine if your dog’s nails are too long or not. These include a clicking sound when they walk on hard surfaces, long, curved nails, or nails that stretch far beyond the dog’s quick. The dog’s quick is a very sensitive cuticle located inside the dog’s nails, that contains blood vessels and is connected to a bone in the dog’s paw.
Professional dog groomers recommend that you trim your dog’s nails at least once a month. However, the frequency may vary based on your dog’s activity level and environment. For instance, dogs that spend more time outdoors may not need frequent nail trimming. This is because when they walk on hard surfaces, their claws are naturally filed down by these surfaces.
Meanwhile, dogs that stay indoors, especially on soft surfaces may require more frequent trimming. The soft floors and grasses don’t provide enough friction to polish their nails naturally.
If trimming your dog’s nails seem like a scary chore, it’s best to take them to a vet. But if you can look past the whining, then go ahead and trim them. So, how do you trim a dog’s nails without hurting them?
When it comes to trimming your dog’s nails, it’s important to use a clipper designed specifically for this purpose. The reason is that most clippers come equipped with safety guards to prevent accidentally trimming the nails too short. It’s equally important to focus on trimming just the nail ends and avoiding the dog’s quick. Although the endpoint of a dog’s quick is visible on dogs with white nails, it’s difficult to spot on dogs with dark nails. Therefore, it’s best to clip only the curved portion of the nail that bends downwards to avoid any potential injuries.
Dog Ear Cleaning
Cleaning a dog’s ear is another good way to groom a dog and should be pretty much easy if they’re not injured, or infected. To clean a dog’s ears if there are no visible signs of infections, start by getting a dog ear cleaning liquid. Most people suggest at-home dog ear cleaning options like apple cider vinegar, but vet-approved dog ear cleaning liquids are the best. You’ll also need some cotton balls, wipes, and gauze.
To clean a dog’s ear, insert a piece of cotton ball or cotton gauze slightly into the canal of your dog’s ear. Try not to push the ball too far inside the opening of your dog’s ear canal, as this can be very risky.
Then proceed to carefully pour the dog ear cleaning solution into the dog’s ear canal until it’s full. Once the ear is full of the liquid, it’ll start to dissolve all the wax and debris and you can begin to massage the ear while the cotton ball or gauze is still inside your dog’s ear.
Take out the balls and let the dog shake their head to rid the ears of the dissolved wax. Then clean the liquid with some dog ear wipes.
Brushing Dog’s Teeth
Teeth brushing is also part of grooming for dogs. One thing to keep in mind before you commence is that using toothpaste designed for humans on a dog’s teeth is very harmful. This is because some of the toothpaste that humans use usually contains xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is extremely harmful to dogs. It decreases blood sugar in dogs and this can ultimately lead to severe complications such as seizures.
There are various brands of toothpaste formulated for dogs in the market. Ask your vet for some recommendations. For dog toothbrushes, there are tons of soft toothbrush kits in the market designed for dogs too. You can either utilize a normal dog toothbrush or try a fingertip toothbrush for dogs.
Get your dog comfortable by placing your hands under their chin and rubbing their teeth and gums with your finger. Once they’re comfortable with having your finger in their mouth, repeat the same for the toothbrush. Ensure to brush in a downward direction. If your dog has made it this far, reward them with a treat or dog gift.
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