DIY Grooming Tips
If you don’t have time to constantly run your dog to the groomer, or just want to save some money, there is another option: DIY a grooming sesh at home. Although you may want to refer to a professional when it comes time for a haircut, most of the basic grooming tasks you can do on your own at home. Here are five DIY grooming tips to help you get started.
- Round up your tools (including treats). Before you get your pup all worked up about bath time, make sure that you have everything in place for the entire grooming session. You’ll need a brush, dog shampoo (and conditioner, if you want), a towel, nail clippers, and a waterproof apron for yourself. Don’t forget to have plenty of treats on hand, too. It’s much easier to get your dog to sit still when he knows a treat awaits him for a job well done.
- Start by brushing. Ease into your at-home grooming appointment by starting simple, with brushing. Depending on the length and texture of your dog’s coat, different combs or brushes might work better than others, so experiment until you find the right one. Once you do, run it gently through his fur to get rid of tangling and matting. This way he’ll be all ready for the bath. But even when you’re not doing a full grooming session, you should still brush your pup about once a week to keep his fur shiny and smooth.
- Then move to bath time. Now that your pooch’s coat is all in order, he’s ready to jump in the bath. You may not need to bathe your dog every week, it really just depends on his typical activities and the texture of his coat. Some pet owners can get away with bathing their pup every other week. Either way, bath time should go the same way: Soak your pup with plenty of warm (but not hot) water, then lather him up with your dog shampoo or soap. Start at the top of his head and keep lathering all the way to the tip of his tail. You should pay special attention to his neck, where grime can build up due to his collar. Also take this time to give your pet a once-over, checking for everything from cuts to ticks. Then spray him down and towel him off. Add conditioner to his coat first, if you like.
- Clean his teeth and ears. You won’t get to the teeth and ears during bath time, which is why you should spend a few more minutes taking care of them. Use a cloth or cotton balls to oust any wax or grime from the inside of your dog’s ears, then brush his teeth with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Make sure to rinse his mouth out adequately afterwards.
- Clip his nails. Since it’s possible to injure your dog while trimming his nails, it’s best to ask your vet or a groomer for a tutorial before you try it yourself. After you have the hang of it, buy a pair of dog-specific nail clippers and get to work. The most important thing here is not to cut to down to the quick of your dog’s nail; just take off a smidge at the very end.
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