Posted by Barking Buddha on Mar 21st 2023
Dog grooming - a beginner`s guide for grooming your dog at home
You were probably thinking about grooming your dog by yourself and wondering how to do it. Maybe you wanted to save a little money or your dog is between grooming visits. Basic dog grooming is an easy project you can do at home. Another reason why you might consider this is that dog grooming is a great opportunity to bond with your dog. However, if you are a beginner, there are some things you will have to learn.
Dog grooming is a vital part of keeping your pet healthy, adorable, and happy. That is why you should groom your dog on a regular basis. You can do a good job by following a routine to make sure you are doing all the right things. Additionally, having the right equipment will help you, too. This article will provide some tips to help you as a beginner in a dog grooming home project. We will mention what are the things that are important to know and the tools that you will need to prepare.
Starting dog grooming at home
Equipment and supplies
Firstly, you will need to get basic equipment and supplies for dog grooming. That is necessary if you want to do a good job. The equipment that you need depends on your dog`s breed. For instance, a Poodle has different needs than an Alaskan Malamute and both have different needs than Shih Tzu.
However, the breed is not important when we talk about the list of basic dog grooming supplies that will help you start:
1. Brush - A slicker brush is a great all-purpose brush. However, if your dog has short hair, buy a curry brush. Therefore, a pin brush is good if your dog has a long single coat.
2. Comb - A good all-around comb is a medium-toothed comb. However, if your dog has thin hair, you will need a fine-toothed comb. If your dog`s hair is thick, a wide-toothed comb will do the trick. Additionally, get a flea comb for tangles and fleas.
3. Dog shampoo and conditioner - This is something that will make their coat and skin shiny and healthy. Additionally, keep plenty of old towels near for drying.
4. Toenail clippers for dogs and styptic powder - Be careful with the toenail clippers and keep the powder near in case you clip too close to the quick. The powder will stop the bleeding if it happens. In a pinch you can also use cornstarch.
5. Dog toothpaste and toothbrush - They can`t use human toothpaste because it can contain toxic ingredients. So buy toothpaste specially made for dogs. There are special toothbrushes for dogs, too. Choose the toothbrush
that is right for your dog’s size.
6. The antibiotic otic solution, gauze, or a damp towel - You will need these to clean your dog`s ears.
This is just starting equipment that you will need as a beginner. After some time, you will see what works best for you and your dog and change something if needed.
A working routine for your dog grooming
Secondly, after getting the right supplies and equipmen,t you will find helpful following steps for a great dog-grooming routine that you can do monthly. Maybe even more often, depending on the type of hair your dog has.
For instance, if we are talking about bathing and clipping nails, you can do them less frequently. However, brushing your dog`s teeth is something you should do every day, or at least once a week.
Steps that can help you and be a part of your grooming routine:
● Brush your dog thoroughly and remove any mats or tangles
● Bathe and rinse your dog thoroughly
● Use towels, a dog hair dryer, or a human hair dryer set to no heat to dry your dog
● Clean your dog`s ears and dry them. Especially if your dog has floppy ears.
● If there are any, clean eye tear stains
● Brush the dog`s teeth
● Trim the dog`s toenails
● Brush out one more time and apply a leave-in conditioner
Bathing and Trimming
Bathing your dog
Your pet does not need a bath every day. Some can even go weeks between baths. As you can guess, that depends on your dog`s individual needs and lifestyle. As we mentioned, before the bath, make sure to brush your dog`s fur.
Depending on the size of your furry friend, you can give them a bath in a bathtub, sink, shower, or even outside in a bucket or tub. Wherever you decide, just make sure that you are keeping your pup secure so he won`t jump out of it.
Firstly, you would need to rinse your dog`s coat thoroughly using water that is not too cold or too hot. The coat and undercoat needs to be completely wet, and during this, you can use a wet rag to remove any dirt from his face, ears, and eyes. This way you will not need to use shampoo near his face.
Secondly, massage a small amount of shampoo into the fur once your dog is fully wet. If you notice that your dog has dry or itchy skin, choose a shampoo that helps soothe the skin and coat. Also, using too much shampoo can cause buildup that can make your dog itchy. Less is always more, and it makes rinsing easier. You can always do a second round of shampoo. Further, after your dog is all clean, rinse his coat thoroughly to remove all the shampoo. Start rinsing at the highest part of the neck and then work your way down your dog`s back. If you got the shampoo off the neck and back, move to his belly and after that tail. The last part is the legs and feet because, this way, you won`t have to rinse any areas twice.
Lastly, use a towel to remove excess water from your dog`s coat. Once you towel dry your dog, you can let your dog air dry if the weather is hot, or use a hairdryer for the dog. If you decide to use a human hairdryer, use it set to no heat.
Clipping your dog`s coat
Most trimmings should be done by a professional groomer because one miscut can not only harm your dog, but it can cause damage to their coat, leading to skin problems and possible cancer causing sun.
Before you start clipping, brush your dog`s coat first. Because freshly cleaned fur will make the clipping way easier make sure your dog is completely dry before you start trimming. If the sound of clippers makes your dog nervous, introduce them to your dog when they are off. Or just go in with a small pair of scissors.
Then, help your dog get used to the noise and movement of the clippers before you use them on his coat. Talk to your dog using a calm voice and offer a treat or two to help you during the process. If you see that this doesn`t help, you can consider buying clippers that make less noise or just save the haircuts for the professionals.
Moreover, the easiest way to cut your dog`s fur is to follow the natural growth of his coat. That said, start at the neck, work down in gentle, long motions, and clip in the direction of the coat.
Keep in mind the length of the coat your dog usually has when you decide how short to clip it. You want to leave most of the length because a longer coat protects from sunburn. Go slowly, you can always clip off more, but you can`t go back from cutting it too short.
Steps to help you groom your dog`s ears, nails, and teeth
Grooming your dog`s ears, nails, and teeth might seem strange and insignificant, but, these are important for your dog`s good health.
For several different breeds, this may be a concern because some of them are more susceptible to ear infections. Dog`s ears should be odor-free and clean. Therefore, anything that looks swollen, red, or has an unpleasant smell
might be a problem. Any sign of infestation by ticks and mites or anything else unusual that you notice, just take your pet to the vet for a checkup.
Steps for ear cleaning:
● Hold your dog`s head gently in a way that the open ear is exposed
● Apply otic solution according to the directions.
● Get a sponge or a sterile gauze pad and gently wipe out the solution
Dogs can have sharp nails that can grow long if we don`t trim them frequently. Additionally, this can cause some serious injuries. That is why, we need to trim their nails and prevent injury, getting caught in the carpet, or in-growing nails.
Steps for nail trimming:
● Hold the dog`s foot steady
● Snip off a small bit of the end of each toenail and be careful to do that
below the quick
● Repeat these two steps on each foot and remember the dewclaws
Brushing your dog`s teeth regularly is the only way to combat periodontal disease. Likewise, if your pet has bad breath, that might be a sign of a dental problem which we can avoid with brushing. Your furry family member needs its toothpaste and toothbrush, too.
Steps for teeth brushing:
● Apply some dog toothpaste on the brush and let your dog lick it off
● Flip your dog`s lips and rub the toothbrush and toothpaste against your
dog`s teeth and gums for a few seconds and use gentle, circular motions
● Give your dog a treat, even if he let you brush his teeth only for a few
Grooming your dog, by yourself, at home does not have to be difficult. You just need the right tools, routine, and patience. However, if you are still not sure if and how to do it, you can try taking your dog to a salon or try holistic grooming a few times, watch while they do it, and that way you will see that it is nothing scary.
This is a routine that can make you and your pet bond even more. Likewise, you can both enjoy, just be patient with your dog and slowly build a habit out of it. Your dog will soon realize how good it feels to be clean. Good luck!