You may be reluctant to groom your dog. Some pet parents fear they may do it wrong and inadvertently cause their beloved fur baby harm or anxiety. Others just don't want the hassle of getting their pooch to comply.
The truth is, giving your pet a "spa day" doesn't have to be scary or a hassle with these dog grooming tips and tricks.
Trick #1 - Start Out Slowly
For dog's that are reluctant or fearful of being groomed starting out slowly is the best method. This can consist of brushing your dog one day. Bathe him the next day. And trim the nails on the following day.
This type of grooming gives your pup a chance to relax between sessions, which will reduce her anxiety and the extreme struggling that may occur in stressed dogs.
Tip: Offer your pet lots of positive reinforcement during the grooming process and be sure to give her some extra treats after you're finished.
Trick #2 - Brushing
Determine how often your dog will need to be brushed. Generally shorter-haired breeds won't need it as often as their long-haired counterparts.
When brushing a dog with longer hair, be sure to work out any mats or tangles, as these can cause skin irritation. Depending on your individual pup you may have to brush a hairy dog every day or two to keep her from becoming matted and overly dirty. Canines with short hair can most likely be done once-a-week.
In addition, when you are brushing your dog, be sure to keep an eye out for ticks, fleas and flea dirt (small pepper-like granules). If you find any of these lurking on your pet, get her treated right away to prevent illness and an infestation from occurring.
Tip: Use the proper grooming tool/brush for your dog's fur. This cuts down on the amount of work you will have to do, as well as keeping your dog comfortable during the session. Read this guide about best dog brushes for shedding.
Trick #3 - Bathing
Once again determine how often your dog needs to be bathed. Once you have this established follow these tricks to making the session less stressful;
- Have all your supplies together before starting
- Brush your dog first to remove any mats/tangles
- Fill the tub to the appropriate level with warm water
- Block water from getting in your dog's ears by using a bit of cotton ball
- Always use a dog shampoo
- Start bathing at the top and work your way down
- Use a washcloth to gently wipe around your dog's eyes
- Rinse, rinse and rinse some more
- Prepare for the after-bath shake by holding a towel over your dog
Tip: To provide a quick, non-slip surface for your dog, use a towel on the bottom of the bathtub.
Trick # 4 - Stylin' the Hair
If you have a longhaired breed of dog, you may want to clean up his shaggy coat by clipping the hair or shaving him right down. Here are some helpful tricks to help you along the way.
- Bathe, dry and comb through your dog's coat to get rid of snags/tangles etc.
- Have someone help hold your dog still, especially if she's skittish of being groomed.
- If you are using doggy clippers, use them in the direction the dog's coat grows, with long smooth strokes to the desired length.
- Use doggy grooming scissors to trim around the eyes, muzzle, ears, legs and tail. If you just want to trim all your dog's hair, use the scissors and proceed by trimming the coat to the desired length.
- To trim the paws, comb the hair in the opposite direction it grows (it will stand up) then clip off the extra hair.
Tip: Be sure to shave or trim your dog's hair where you can easily clean it up. There could be a lot of it, depending on your dog's coat and what you are doing to it.
Trick # 5 - Clipping the Toenails
Many pet parents dread clipping their dog's toenails. This can be a stressful time for both you and your dog. However, it can be done safely at home without pain.
First: Look for the "quick" in the nail. This is the bloodline that nourishes the nails. If you're lucky your pup will have white nails that shows this line very clearly.
Second: With your dog's paw firm in hand, use the dog nail toe clippers or dog nail grinder filing tool to snip/file the end off, making sure you don't cut into the quick (this will cause pain and bleeding). If you do accidently cut the quick, use a styptic powder or quick stop product to stop the bleeding.
Tip: If your dog has black nails or you are nervous about the procedure, just take the tips off the nails to start and be sure to do them more often.
Dog Grooming Basics
These are the basics of dog grooming. With these simple tricks and tips you will soon have the confidence to make your dog's spa day a regular practice, without the help of a pro.