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7 Helpful Tips on How to Groom Your Dog at Home

Posted by Elizabeth S on
dog getting a bath

Dog grooming isn't reserved for only fancy show dogs. All dogs need to be groomed about every two to three months. Brushing, haircuts, nail trimmings, teeth cleanings, and baths keep dogs happy and healthy. Fortunately, you do not necessarily have to visit a professional groomer or dog grooming salon to beautify your pup. You can do it yourself in the comfort of your home! In this blog, you’ll discover seven valuable tips for how to groom your dog at home.

1. Brush Your Dog Regularly

Brushing your pet's hair will reduce shedding and avoid fur matting. Consider visiting the local pet shop or asking your vet about the best types of brushes or combs based on the breed of your dog. There is a wide selection of products such as grooming mitts, slicker brushes, and rubber brushers. Select a pet brush that is best suited for your dog's coat. Make sure to detangle any knots prior to bathing your dog since shampooing can cause the matting to get worse. 

Wondering how to groom your dog at home? We recommend brushing your dog outside, so their coat doesn't fly around in the house. Perhaps take a tote bag with you and bring all the doggy essentials like a portable water bowl, drink holder, treats, and toys for a fun and productive day at the park!

2. Trim Your Dog's Nails

 dog nail clipping

Keeping your dog's nails trimmed helps to prevent them from experiencing unnecessary pain. Filing or cutting your dog's nails regularly must be a routine part of the grooming process. However, the process can be extremely stressful for them, so you'll need to clip them properly to avoid pain. The frequency between nail trims largely depends on how fast your dog's nails grow and how quickly they get worn down. On average, most dogs should have their nails clipped about every one to two weeks. However, it should be done as often as needed to keep their nails from touching the ground when standing. 

Looking for tips for grooming your dog at home? Always use clippers that are specifically designed for dogs since their nails are much thicker than ours. Not sure how to groom your dog at home? Start by finding a quiet area where your pet is comfortable and free from distractions. Gently but firmly hold their paw between your forefinger and thumb. Then push down on the paw pad to extend the nail forward. Clip straight across the tip of the nail, and don't clip behind the curve of the nail. Make sure to give lots of treats before and after the nail trims, so they can associate the experience positively.

3. Trim Your Dog's Hair

 dog hair trim

While most doggy owners prefer to take their pup to the groomer to get their hair cut, it is possible to do it on your own. It's especially important to trim the overgrown hair around your dog's paws or eyes to prevent the hair from blocking their vision or rubbing against their eyes. 

When doing so, wait until your dog is relaxed and preferably lying down. Move slowly and take extra caution when the scissor blades are near their skin. Reward your dog's calmness by giving them a treat once you're finished. 

Also, trimming the hair inside their ears prevents ear infections and can improve air movement. Cutting the hair should be done with extra caution, so if you're unsure of how to groom your dog at home, we recommend asking your vet or going to an experienced groomer.

4. Bathe Your Dog Occasionally

Sometimes, dogs can be quirky about bath time. Some dogs can't get enough of the water and will jump ecstatically into the tub, while others loathe bath time. Then there are other dogs who simply tolerate it. These pups stare at us helplessly as we lather them up with shampoo, yet they know they'll smell and feel great afterward.

The frequency in which you wash your dog depends on many factors such as their breed, coat, health, and activity levels. Dogs who spend time outside rolling around should need a bath more often than dogs who spend more time on the couch. 

Before taking your dog in the bath, you'll need dog shampoo, towels, and brushes. Always ensure your dog's coat is knot-free before getting it wet. Also, place a rubber mat or towel under their feet, so they can grip a surface. If your pup has sensitive skin, they may need a special shampoo that reduces irritation to their skin. In the event that your dog experiences itching or a rash after bathing, speak to your vet immediately.

5. Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Looking for more tips on how to groom your dog at home? Brush your dog’s teeth! There are special dog toothpaste and toothbrushes that keep their teeth clean and gums healthy. 

You can begin by using a toothbrush alone without any toothpaste because this will help your pet become used to the sensation of having their teeth brushed. Most dogs do enjoy the taste of the doggy toothpaste since it comes in many types of meaty flavors. If your dog isn't tolerating toothbrushing, speak with your vet for tips or other dental care alternatives.

6. Check Their Ears

Ear cleaning is a vital aspect of your dog's grooming needs. Some dogs require more frequent ear cleaning than others. Many dogs are prone to ear infections, which is why cleaning is necessary. 

Cleaning your pooch's ears doesn't require much. If you’re wondering how to groom your dog at home, you'll need a quality ear cleaning solution, some gauze or cotton balls, and treats to reward them. Never use cotton tip applicators since they can cause trauma to the ear canal and push debris further into the canal. 

Put a few drops of the ear cleaning solution into their canal and massage the base of their ear to ensure the solution is evenly distributed inside. Then wipe away the outer surface of the ears using the gauze. Use a different gauze for each ear to avoid spreading bacteria. Also, never poke anything into the ear since that can cause inflammation and damage if your dog suddenly moves their head.

7. Teach Your Pet to Enjoy Grooming Sessions

Training a dog to enjoy grooming is just one of those tasks that go along with puppy care and training. All dogs, especially puppies at an early age, should be able to tolerate grooming even if they don't like it. Here are some tips for grooming your dog at home:

  • Use frequent short sessions 
  • Train your dog to stand, sit, and lie down 
  • Use lots of praise, kisses, and treats
  • Touch areas of the puppy's entire body, including paws, tail, and underarms, when you are cuddling or playing with your pet.

Start Grooming Your Dog at Home

Dog grooming at home is an excellent way to help your dog feel their best while keeping them clean and fresh. It also helps to build trust and a stronger bond with your four-legged furry companion. With a steady and consistent routine with how to groom your dog at home, your pet will feel relaxed and comfortable while you bathe and trim them. We recommend storing all of your dog grooming supplies in one place, like a cute cosmetic cube bag. Everything from your dog shampoo, brushes, nail clippers, toothpaste, and anything else you need. 

Now that you know how to groom your dog at home, you're ready to get started!

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