Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to pay to get your dog groomed? Whether you have a short-haired dog or a long-haired dog, there are some basics you need to follow when doing at-home dog grooming. I’ll give you basic all breed dog grooming tips so you can save money and time by learning how to groom your dog at home. Then I’ll teach you specifics for short coat and long coat dogs.
So, here we go.
All Breed Dog Grooming Tip #1 – Handling and Preparation
No doubt, it’s cheaper to do at home dog grooming than it is to go to a groomer. Here are the fundamentals. First, in order for your dog not to bolt out of the tub, he needs to understand and obey the stand, sit and stay commands.
And hopefully you’ve been handling your dog since he’s been a puppy. If you’ve been playing with your dog and letting others handle him, there’s far less likely chance of him causing trouble when it’s time for clipping.
Your Grooming Kit
Ideally, when it comes to clipping hair, nail clipping, teeth and gum cleaning, you should use a no-slip mat and let your dog stand on a table so that you don’t strain yourself by having to bend over a lot and so you don’t have to overly restrain the dog.
Your kit should contain scissors or clippers, combs and brushes.
All Breed Dog Grooming Tip #2 – Bathing
I cover this topic in more detail in another post, but basically you need a tub that’s suitable for your dog’s size. Fill it with warm water. If your dog doesn’t like being put in water, have a bucket of warm water handy.
Now, get your non-slip mat, a plastic jug, a towel or hair dryer (depending on the coat of the dog) and canine shampoo. There are many types shampoo on the market. For instance, if your dog has fleas and ticks, get a shampoo for that. If your dog has a skin condition, get a shampoo that provides relief for it.
Now it’s time to pour the warm water over your canine until he’s thoroughly saturated. Or, if you’re putting him in the tub, put the non-slip mat in it. To prevent soapy water from getting in his ears, you can use cotton wool.
Mix 15-20 ml of shampoo in the jug of water. Start lathering him up. Avoid putting the soap on his face for now. Work up a really good lather on the dog’s body. Then carefully move to his face.
Be careful to avoid his eyes and mouth. Better yet, use a sponge on your pooch’s face. You can also use the sponge to clean under your dog’s tail. Because of fecal matter, bacteria often spreads in this area and can cause infections.
Time To Rinse
Now rinse and dry your dog’s head first using the towel before you rinse the rest of his body. The total amount of time to rinse should take about 3 minutes of rinsing for short haired dogs and 5 minutes rinsing for long haired dogs.
When drying the rest of your dog, be careful not to irritate your dog’s skin by having the dryer on high heat. In fact, you should start out on low to be safe.
Make sure you give your dog lots of praise during the process.
All Breed Dog Grooming Tip #3 – Clipping His Hair
When clipping your dog, clippers are preferred over scissors. The advantage of using clippers over scissors is that with a clipper, you can cut your dog’s hair to the specific length easily because clippers have different length snap-on attachments.
For great clipping results, follow these tips:
- Use the clipper head flat on your dog’s coat.
- Move the clipper in the same direction of the grain of the dog’s hair
- Don’t accidentally dig the clippers into your dog’s skin. Use a light hand.
- Be especially careful around the neck and facial areas.
- Don’t use the clipper on your dog’s anal muscle. The anal muscle is extremely sensitive. Use scissors in this area if you have to remove any excess hair.
- For difficult to reach areas, use scissors.
All Breed Dog Grooming Tip #4 – Cleaning Your Dog’s Face
Gently dab your pup’s eyes with a damp cotton wool ball to clean off any debris. Don’t put it directly in your dog’s eye. Clean around it and on top of the lid.
Next, hold your dog’s head forward and hold open one of your dog’s ears and gently wipe it with a new piece of damp clean cotton wool. If you have a Sharpei, or some other dog with folds on his face, make sure you clean out the folds weekly using a cotton wool. Don’t push the cotton too deeply into the dog’s ear. When you’re done, do the other ear.
All Breed Dog Grooming Tip #5 – Nail Clipping
Trimming your dog’s nails requires extreme care. So you can either get your vet to do it, or you can do it yourself, but you’ll have to be extremely careful. Here are some tips to help you trim your dog’s nails without a problem:
- Buy a good solid pair of clippers and a muzzle. Flimsy clippers break too easily. As for the muzzle, your dog may mouth you the first few times before he gets used to the process.
- It’s best to have started clipping your dog’s nails when he was a pup. But if it’s too late, start playing with your dog’s feet gently so that he’s not terrified when you try to use the clippers.
- For the first few times you clip his nails, only trim a tiny bit of nail off so he gets used to the process.
- Try to trim his nails every six to ten weeks. If your dog goes outside a lot, the pavement actually keeps the nails at a decent length. But if your dog stays indoors, you’ll have to clip them every 4 to six weeks.
- DO NOT cut into the live part of the nail. Your dog will be in agony! The live part is wear you see the nail starting to turn pink. Also you can tell the live part by the differing texture and color of his nails.
- Don’t forget to trim the pointed end of the declaw (that’s the dog’s thumb).
- When in doubt, you can always ask your vet or groomer to show you how to trim your dog’s nails.
All Breed Dog Grooming Tip #6 – Smooth Coats and Short Coats
For smooth and short coat dogs like Jack Russell Terriers, you’ll need a rubber brush, a bristle brush, and a chamois. Brush against the grain of your dog’s hair. To remove large matter or foreign debris, first use the rubber brush.
Next, use the bristle brush to remove smaller particles of dirt and hair. Lastly, you’re going to use the chamois to give your dog a glossy sheen.
To keep your dog looking pristine, you should do this type of grooming every 3 to 4 days.
All Breed Dog Grooming Tip #7 – Long Coat Dogs
Dogs like Collies and Shetland sheepdog need to be groomed at a minimum twice weekly. If you wait too long, then when it’s time to groom, their hair will be matted and difficult to work with.
1. A slicker brush
2. Bristle brush
3. Wide tooth comb
The slicker brush should be used daily so that your pooch’s hair doesn’t get matted and tangled. Then use a pin brush to go even deeper into your dog’s coat. Don’t pull on your dog’s hair though. Be sure you pay attention to untangling hair from underneath your dog’s legs. This area is really sensitive and is often times overlooked.
Next, use the wide tooth comb to take out any last vestiges of hair. To finish off the coat, use a fine tooth comb. Trim any overly long hair from around his hocks and feet. These areas are more susceptible to getting foreign objects caught in them like mud, dirt, and pebbles.
And there you have it! You can use these all breed dog grooming tips on any pooch and save yourself tons of money from having to go to an expensive groomer. For more detailed dog health care, visit Guide to Dog Health
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