Grooming at Home

Giving your dog a bath

Save Money by Grooming Your Dog at Home

You really can groom your dog at home! With the right equipment and the right attitude, you’ll be able to groom your fur baby like a pro. Even if you do mess up, your pup surely won’t complain about their new ‘do!

Equipment

  • Shampoo: Oatmeal Shampoo is a great place to start. It’s perfect for all coats. For dogs with sensitive skin and for puppies, try their Hypoallergenic shampoo.
  • Clippers
  • Shears or sharp scissors: No need to buy pet-specific shears here, just make sure they’re sharp so they don’t snag the fur!
  • Blunt tipped scissors for around the eyes
  • Comb or brush: you can also look into getting a slicker brush

Getting Ready

Step 1. Make sure your pup is squeaky clean before beginning the haircut.

Step 2. Thoroughly dry and comb your furry friend. If your dog ‘s fur tends toward matting, pay particular attention to their coat before using the clippers. Using clippers on matted hair can be very painful for your pup.  If your pet is matted use a de-matting comb to loosen the mats from the skin before beginning with clippers.

Step 3. Clear the space in your home where you’ll be clipping. Keep in mind, cur will get everywhere so be sure to clip fur where it will be easy to clean.  Consider asking a friend help hold your dog (or alternatively using a leash and securely attached harness). This will ensure you have two hands available for grooming.

Step 4. Start from the neck and work your way down the body. Clip with the direction of the fur and make sure your dog is aware of where you are, at all times. You don’t want to startle your dog while you have clippers near their body.  If your dog has matted hair, use a de-matting comb first to loosen the matts. Then try gently using the clippers on the lowest setting to start removing the matted fur.  If you notice your dog experiencing pain during the matt removal, stop and consider talking to your veterinarian about administering a pet sedative and having the de-matting procedure done in their office.

Step 5. Now tend to any additional spots that need attention. This is where you’ll use sharp and blunt-tipped shears. Be extra careful around eyes, this is where you may want to use the blunt-tipped shears. If your furry friend has lots of hair in between their toes, you’ll want to hold on tightly with one hand. With the other, use a slicker brush starting from the front of their toes and brush towards the direction of their legs, against the pattern of natural fur growth. This will pull up extra hair. You can use shears to cut this excess from atop the comb. I’ve also seen groomers use clippers on the bottom of their dog’s feet – this is to get any extra hair in between their toes and pads.

Step 6: Step back and relax! Your job is done. Even if your clipping seems a bit uneven it will regrow soon enough so you can try again in a few weeks.

How Often?

The average length of time between grooming sessions is usually 6-8 weeks, depending on the type of coat your dog has. If, for example you have a golden retriever with long fur, you might want to do grooming sessions a bit more often during the summer!  Another option is to clip the belly fur shorter so if your dog can rest their bare belly on the cool ground while still enjoying the protection of longer fun against the hot sun.

Care of Your Clippers

Make sure you oil your clippers after using them to keep them prepped for the next time! Brush off the extra hair with an old toothbrush each session, before oiling. Keep clippers sharp.  Most places that specialize in knife sharpening will also sharpen clipper blades as well. If they need to be sharpened, make sure to do this ahead of time instead of waiting until your pet’s hair snags.

Additional Tips for Nervous Dogs

If the sound of the clippers makes your dog anxious, shop around for quieter ones. If those still make your dog jump, it might be best to look into a calming aid. I recommend this Anxiety Relief for Dogs Treats if your poochie needs a little help relaxing before grooming.

Finally, have fun with it! You probably won’t get it exactly right the first few times, so be able to find the humor in a lopsided cut. It might even be wise to watch your groomer perform their magic before trying it on your own. Either way, your dog will love you the same and it will be wonderful bonding time for you both.

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