A good hygiene habit is essential for all dogs. But what is required and how often, still depends on the breed. While many pet parents have successfully groomed their dogs at home, being good for your dog doesn’t mean that they will like it eventually. Dogs differ in personality when groomed–some are easy-going without a fuss whilst others can get quite uncomfortable and are difficult to restrain. Thus, you need to take a bit of time and effort until your dog will gradually tolerate you grooming them.
Teach your pooch to enjoy grooming sessions by giving a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement when you first introduce them to a grooming habit. It would be better if you start your dog’s grooming training early as a young pup. You can also use the following tips for a smooth at-home grooming session.
First, spread a little peanut butter (with no xylitol) on a washable surface and allow your pooch to lick it off while you brush or wash them.
Next, start small and take things slowly. Make sure to reward Fido for staying calm with plenty of treats and praise so they will look forward to another pampering session.
Lastly, it’s important to observe safety precautions during your grooming training. Lay a slip-proof mat before bath time to prevent your pup from sliding down.
Once your dog is finally comfortable with you grooming them, then you are now ready to do the succeeding pampering sessions at your home. Let’s begin with our grooming tools!
Prepare the Grooming Supplies
Dog grooming supplies are required to keep up with your pooch’s grooming needs.
At-home pet grooming sessions can be easy, fast, and fun if you have the right equipment on hand. Here are some of the basic pet grooming tools you need to keep your dog looking and feeling at their very best.
Dog Brushes and Combs
Brushing is beneficial for dogs because it helps remove dead hair, dirt, and dandruff. Regular brushing also brings out the natural oils of their coat. That’s why to maintain his neat appearance, dog brushes and combs are considered as one of the most essential supplies to pack especially when you’re planning to go on a vacation with your pet. If you want to check out more of the supplies to bring when traveling, you can navigate to this website for more details.
As mentioned before, dogs’ needs vary according to their breed. Choosing the correct brush or comb for your dog depends on his type of coat and length of hair. If your pooch falls into the “smooth-coated” breeds like Pug or Dalmatian, a rubber curry type brush will fit well for your pooch. Other choices like Wire Pin Brushes, Slicker Brushes, and Rakes and Mat Breakers all work for medium to long-haired dogs. You can put a bit of coat spray too before you brush your dog’s hair to make sure the comb or brush glides smoothly. A flea comb is only utilized to detect and remove fleas but not flea infestation. If you’re looking for a brush that works well in most hair types, then Bristle brushes are for you. You can use shedding tools such as grooming shears or scissors that have special teeth to remove excess hairs but with extreme caution, of course.
To bathe your pooch effectively, you need to use the mildest and the best dog shampoo that suits your pup. It is also recommended to avoid colored and overly scented formulas. If you want to protect your dog’s eyes during baths, then Tear-free shampoo will help you. Natural shampoo often includes herbs and is chemical-free to improve your dog’s skin and coat. Likewise, Oatmeal shampoo is made to ease itching and soothe mildly irritated skin. For special skin conditions or allergies, medicated shampoos are usually prescribed for dogs while medicated dips are used to kill fleas, mange, or other external parasites. Although not necessary, you can use conditioners to help prevent tangled coats and leave it moisturized and shiny. Be sure to rinse your pooch thoroughly after applying shampoo and conditioner. Don’t forget to use dog towels to dry your pet quickly. Optionally, you can also invest in a high-velocity dryer for long-haired dogs to achieve maximum fluffiness.
Dog Nail Clippers
Pet Nail Trimmers can be a difficult task for both the pet parent and his pooch without appropriate knowledge or technique as well as the right tools to help you in the process. If you have dogs with small, delicate nails, then Scissor-like trimmers that don’t have springs will fit them well. Opposite to this tool is claw-style or plier-style trimmers that are spring-loaded and cut the nail in a scissor-like manner. Meanwhile, Guillotine trimmers have a replaceable blade that trims the nail when the spring-loaded handle is depressed. Make sure to use Styptic powder to stop bleeding in case you accidentally cut your dog’s nail too short. Utilise filing tools for smooth edge-nail and finishing touches.
Pet Ear Care
Ear care is sometimes ignored but it’s as vital as maintenance of hair and nails. If left overlooked, it may cause an ear infection. Consult with a veterinarian or professional groomer first before cleaning your pet’s ears. Do not attempt to do any action if you’re not trained. Ear cleansers are used to rinse and clean your dog’s ear canal. Wipe out the debris from the ears with cotton balls after applying the cleanser. To dry the ear canal, use ear powder. Hemostats are done afterwards to pluck excess hair from your pooch’s ear. If you notice any infections or ear mites, it’s best to ask a prescription from a vet for your dog’s ear medication. Another word of caution never use cotton-tipped swabs or alcohol in your pet’s ears.
At-Home Dog Grooming Techniques
Now that we had all the supplies covered, it’s time to know the process. Here are some helpful techniques to guide you in your at-home dog grooming.
Brushing Your Dog’s Hair
Always brush in the direction where the coat grows. Brush down and out away from your pet’s skin. Remember that dogs don’t like to be combed backwards. Practice being gentle while you brush your dog’s fur because you may damage their coat. Take the time to untangle them first before brushing. In case you encounter mats, apply a mat conditioner or coat spray, let it leave for several minutes and use a mat splitting tool or a wide-toothed comb to get through the tangle. Mats can get close to your pooch’s skin and removing them can be painful so this should be done carefully. You can cut the mats out but be cautious if you are using scissors. To be safe, take your dog to a professional groomer who will probably shave the mat’s area.
Bathing Your Dog
It’s recommended that bathing once a month works for most dogs. Bathing them more often will only strip their coat’s natural oils leading to dryness and prone to frizzies, dandruff, and mats. However, if your pooch is obsessed with mud puddles, then this is an exception that you need to bathe him frequently. Choosing a place to wash your dog depends on their sizes, you’re lucky if you have a small dog because you can just plop them in a sink or laundry tub. Alternatively, you can use a portable doggy tub or rent out supplies as the last course. To bathe your pooch, it’s necessary to: brush your dog before a bath, use lukewarm water, talk to your pooch in a calm and reassuring voice, use the right dog shampoo, rinse thoroughly, air-dry and then reward your dog for behaving well during his grooming. If the idea is challenging for you, then it’s best to bring him to a groomer who can do all the job for you.
Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
Excessively long nails make it hard for a pet to stand up correctly and walk properly. But you have to be cautious when doing this type of grooming. You need to look at the nail from the bottom and snip it carefully. It’s best to clip less yet more frequently to avoid cutting in and scaring your pooch with clippers. To make this experience stress-free, you should first introduce the clippers frequently (without cutting) while handling your dog’s paws often. Use a lot of praise and delicious treats. A plier style clipper usually comes with a guide to help you avoid cutting the quick. Next, hold your pet’s paws firmly this time but gently. Snip the nail below the quick at 45 degrees angle, cutting small amounts at a time. Do this process until you see the white inside the nail with a small dot of black in the centre. If you can’t see it, you can snip again a bit closer. Then again, extreme caution is required on this one.
Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
Dog’s ears should be cleaned out at least once a month and need to be checked frequently. You can apply an ear cleaner for dogs or use a sterile cotton ball to clean them. A small bit of brown wax on the cotton ball is considered natural after swiping the inside of your pooch’s ear. However, if the cotton ball comes out stinky or messy, it might be a sign of ear infection and therefore, you should visit the vet to have this checked.
Remember not to use products that are made for humans such as shampoo, conditioner, kitchen scissors, human perfume, etc. Always use veterinarian-approved hygiene products on your pooch. Furthermore, if you find the grooming process stressful, it’s wise to take your dog to a professional groomer or consult your dog’s vet for recommendations.