Typically, most of us choose to send our dogs out for dog grooming. If you must resort to doing it yourself, don’t fret! We have the tips and direction to keep your pooch healthy and clean.
With every non-essential shop closed, dog groomers had no choice but to close their doors. Even when they reopen, it’s always a good idea to learn DIY dog grooming tips.
In this article, you’ll discover the easiest ways to keep your pooch in good shape and looking and feeling great. Who knows, you might decide to never bring your dog to the groomers ever again!
Dog Grooming Tips To Keep Your Pooch Healthy & Happy
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Regardless of the size of your dog, you can groom your pet without going mad! It takes some patience and cleaning your bathroom afterward, but you can do it! Because we want our pets looking and feeling good, grooming is essential. And with dog grooming shops closed, it’s up to us to learn how.
1 – Have The Items You Need On Hand Before Grooming
To begin, it’s a good idea to make sure you have everything on hand before you begin. Below, you’ll find a list of dog grooming products you should have handy.
🐩 Click on the links below to learn more about these products.
- Tearless Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
- Nail Clippers with Safety Guard
- Ear Plugs For Dogs or Cotton Balls
- Kwik Stop Styptic Solution (in case of a nail bleed)
- Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid for Dogs
- Dog Grooming Wire Brush and/or Dual Sided Natural Bristle Brush
- Blow Dryer
- Shaving Clipper Set
- Pet Grooming Scissors
- Old Clean Towels
- Oral Care For Plaque, Tartar & Fresh Breath
More importantly, before you begin dog grooming, you always want to make sure you have all the items you need. Without them, you might not have the level of success you strive for.
In fact, having the right tools is essential for proper dog grooming. Look at it as an investment and a great way to save money on repeated professional dog services.
🐩 Always make sure you have everything you need ready to go before you groom your dog. Pick a place that’s safe and comfortable. This way your dog gets familiar with the area and can feel protected.
2 – Bathing Your Dog
We own a Miniature Poodle named Oliver (Ollie for short!) Needless to say, he is the love our lives. We rescued him from a very bad situation and therefore, we treat him like the prince he is!
In the past, we did bath him in between dog grooming. According to CanineJournal, you should bath your dog every 3 months. My groomer also told me the same thing.
First, always bath your dog with a shampoo specifically designed for them. We like to use an All-Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Plus Conditioner in one. And also specially formulated for pets with allergies to food, grass, and flea bites.
Currently, I’m using Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour and Honey as I switch off from time to time. Ollie’s coat feels and smells so good after his bath. This shampoo cleans, soothes, softens, and conditions your dog’s dry skin and coat. We love it!
Moreover, if your pet is a nervous wreck in the tub, you can try this Calming Pet Shampoo that Cleans, Conditions, Detangles, & Moisturizes with Lavender Chamomile. This shampoo really helps your pet relax while bathing.
Above all, this lavender-scented pet shampoo is great for cleaning dirty coats. Perfect for coat conditioning & detangling & skin moisturizing. You can use it on both short to long coats. The thick lather rinses off clean & keeps your pet looking and smelling clean.
Always Bath Your Pooch In Lukewarm Water
🐩 Importantly, you should always regulate the water temperature. Use lukewarm to slightly warm water only and please don’t scald your pooch. Their skin is sensitive like yours. Think about how you feel in scalding hot bathwater!
It’s also a good idea to clean your dog’s coat from the bottom to the top. And rinse from head to the tail. You can also easily follow the directions on the shampoo bottle for best results.
To limit your dog shaking water all over, I try and keep my hands on Ollie until I’m done scrubbing. Once you let go, they will shake. I also use a circular motion and ensure I cover every inch of his body including the private parts. You must not forget to clean them too!
🐩 Remember, never leave your pet alone in the bathtub. Just like a child, you should have someone there to monitor them at all times. If you bath them outside, always have them on a sturdy leash.
3 – Always Protect Their Ears While Bathing
Before you bath your dog, be sure to gently place cotton balls in their ears to prevent ear infections and irritation. Please make sure you use a large enough cotton ball to prevent any issues. This will help block any water from entering their sensitive ears. You can also use this Disposable Pet Shower Cap when dog grooming as it works great!
Additionally, when cleaning your dog’s ears, only use Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes. They clean gently, deodorize, and dry your pet’s ears. They help to stop itching and good for yeast and mites too.
While bathing, try to make it quick when bathing but do a thorough job. Make sure you clean their underbelly and private parts as well. We use a handheld showerhead and I must say, it works great! It’s so easy to clean your pet quickly and effectively with the handheld. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you get one!
🐩 Above all, always follow professional advice when cleaning your dog’s ears. If you can’t clean them yourself, always bring them to your vet.
4 – Drying Your Dog
After bathing, first, I always towel drying Ollie off really good. Then, I set my blow dryer to a medium warm heat and complete the drying process. If your dog freaks out at the sight or sound of a dryer, just continue towel drying until dry. It’s a lot more work but worth it to keep your pooch happy and calm.
When I towel dry Ollie, I ensure he is fully dry before I walk him, especially in the colder months. If you use a blow dryer, always make sure you dry your dog on low to medium heat.
🐩 More importantly, you don’t want to burn or cause your dog any discomfort while grooming. You want them to have fun and not associate negative feelings about dog grooming if you can.
5 – Brushing Your Pooch
To begin, it’s always a good idea to brush your pet a few times a week. Typically, I brush Ollie for about 10 minutes several times a week. This helps keep his hair from matting and keeps him clean as well.
After bathing and drying, use a good metal pin wire brush and start with the back end first. This will allow your dog to feel comfortable with the brushing motion and not freak out. Plus, the conditioner in the shampoo will help with knots and unruly hair. You want your pet to feel comfortable and relaxed when you brush them. Brushing on a regular basis will ensure they do.
In particular, like most dogs, Ollie does not like his face brushed. To help distract him, I place one of his favorite Whimzees Natural Grain-Free Dental Dog Treats in front of him. This excites and distracts him allowing me to brush his face successfully. Try it! It might work out good for your pet too.
6 – Clipping And Shaving Your Dog’s Hair & Nails
If you trust yourself enough, you can successfully clip or shave your dog’s hair. If you don’t, you can always trim their face and paws with Pet Grooming Scissors. Typically, that’s what I do with Ollie. I personally prefer to wait for the dog groomer to tackle his curly and abundant hair.
With that said, you can purchase a good and highly rated Dog Shaver Clippers Set. Typically, it’s safe to use and works excellently on most pet’s fur and hair.
🐩 It’s also important to note the following. If your pet has long and thick hair, you need to use scissors to cut the hair shorter before you use clippers. Otherwise, the clippers may jam up with long hairs and not work properly.
If you decide to give your pooch a haircut, always start with clean and dry fur. And most of all, always be careful around your dog’s face, eyes, and ears. I do trim Ollie’s, face, feet, private parts, and ears. Since I’m a former hairstylist, it’s pretty easy for me to do. Personally, I don’t recommend shaving your dog unless you trained in dog grooming and or a professional.
Your Dog’s Nails – Always Be Careful!
When it comes to your dog’s nails, you must be very careful. Again, best done by professionals. But if you do decide to cut them, always use the best Pet Nail Clippers and Trimmer with a safety guard.
In addition, make sure it has a safety stop blade to prevent cutting the nails under the quick (containing both nerves and blood vessels). This greatly reduces the risk of cutting nails too short. The “quick”, typically easy to see from the side of the nail, is what you want to avoid. Trim a little of the nail at a time. Make sure you look at both sides of the nail and at the trim surface.
🐩 If you do cut the nails too short, always have Kwik Stop Styptic Solution on hand in case of a nail bleed. This solution will quickly helps stop bleeding.
7 – Finishing Off Dog Grooming With Eye, Teeth, And Maintenance
Now that bath time is over, I always follow up with cleaning his eyes and oral health care. It might seem like a lot of work, but when dog grooming, these things are essential.
Above all, eye care is very important. While bathing Ollie, I try to avoid his eye area in the tub. Typically, I clean his eyes with a product like Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid for Dogs.
You can also use a saline solution to clean them as well. This product helps reduce eye irritation, removes debris, and keeps Ollie’s eyes clean all week long. I also use this in-between bathing as well.
Lastly, we give Ollie Petlab Co. Dental Formula Water Additive for Dogs to keep his teeth and oral health at its best. Plus, Petlab formulated to support teeth and gums, keeping them healthy and clean. It keeps his breath fresh and clean too. It has no added sugar, alcohol, detergents, or additives as well. Just one teaspoon daily can promote healthy gums and maintain overall oral health.
To keep my boy fresh in-between dog grooming, I use Pogi’s Grooming Wipes. I love these wipes and use them daily. You can use them any place your pooch requires freshening up!
All things considered, it might seem like a lot of work and product, but it helps save us money on dog grooming expense. With groomers closed, and who knows when they will reopen, it’s well worth it.
Finishing Up With Some Final Points
All things considered, it might seem like a lot of work and product, but it helps save us money on dog grooming expenses. With groomers currently closed (due to our current pandemic), and who knows when they will reopen, it’s well worth it.
Do you groom your dog at home too? If so, what’s your least favorite part? Are you grooming your dog home now as well due to the lockdown?
I hope you gleaned some great tips on dog grooming after reading this article. I know following these steps allows us to give Ollie a salon grooming at home!
Don’t forget to read 8 Things I Do To Reduce Stress And Anxiety too!
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