4 Steps To DIY Dog Grooming
When money is tight, we all try and cut back on spending where we can. Having your dog professionally groomed on a regular basis can make a big dent in the family budget. Grooming your dog is an important part of his care, because it helps prevent skin and coat problems. Not only that, there will be more hands-on love and affection in his life if he’s clean and smells nice.
With a bit of practice and the right equipment, you can groom your dog yourself and save quite a few dollars. You may not be able to trim him into a perfect "show clip" but you can keep him looking quite respectable.
When you’re starting out, you’ll need to invest in a few grooming products such as shampoos, brushes and nail clippers, but this is money well spent.
Like the Dreadlocks Look?
The first step in grooming your dog is to thoroughly brush his coat. This will get rid of loose hair and any little clumps of dirt that are stuck in his coat. If your dog’s coat is long, unless you do in fact like the dreadlocks look, you need to carefully comb out any knots and mats, or they’ll be almost impossible to get out after his bath.
If there are one or two particularly stubborn tangles that just won’t comb out, give them a spray with Calming Aromatherapy Spritzer . This makes it much easier to comb out the knots, and it also contains lavender essential oil. Lavender is well known to have a calming effect, and it can make your grooming session much more relaxing for your dog.
It’s not a good idea to use a human hairbrush on your dog. Use a specific dog brush that’s suitable for his coat type. A slicker brush is ideal for a longer coat, whereas a short coat often just needs a quick once over with a curry brush.
Shampoo, Blow Dry and Style Cut
Let’s face it – when you bathe your dog, the odds are that you too are going to end up more than a little wet! So, make it more comfortable for both of you, and use lukewarm water. Whether you wash your dog in the bath tub, in the shower or out in the backyard, he’ll feel much more secure with a non slip surface to stand on.
Your choice of shampoo is very important. Choosing a product that doesn’t suit your dog’s coat can leave your dog itchy and scratching. Bubbles ‘n Beads is a two in one shampoo and conditioner that will gently but thoroughly clean his coat. It then delivers conditioning vitamins right down to the hair roots to make his coat stronger, softer and shinier.
Wet your dog all over, apply the shampoo evenly over his body, and lather thoroughly. Make sure you rinse him well and remove all of the shampoo from his coat. Watch out – he will shake when you least expect it, and you’ll end up drenched. There is nothing more affectionate or loving than a wet dog!
If your dog has a long coat which tends to tangle, it’s a good idea to spray his coat lightly with Calming Aromatherapy Spritzer after his rinse, and massage it into his coat. He’ll be much easier to brush him next time.
You can also learn to clip your dog if you wish. You’ll need a good set of clippers, and this is one area where you shouldn’t skimp. It’s worth investing in quality.
There are two ways you can clip him. You can read books, watch videos and learn how to give him the style cut that’s typical of his breed. It’s a lot of work, but if you like that look, you can do it. Alternatively you can clip him short all over, and just let the hair grow out. It doesn’t matter which way you choose; it’ll take practice to get it right, and in the meantime, he may have a few "bad hair days".
The Eyes (And Ears!) Have It
Some breeds of dogs are prone to tear staining . The dark stains extending below the eyes can really stand out, particularly in a light colored dog. Fortunately they’re easy to remove with Eye P ads containing Eyebright, Golden Seal and Colloidal Silver. These ingredients will clean away the tear staining and help prevent it recurring.
If your dog has long hair around the eyes, you can trim it short with round ended scissors. This can be scary stuff – one wrong move and you run the risk of poking him in the eye. You may want to have an extra pair of hands to hold his head steady while you do the trimming.
Have a look inside your dog’s ears. Keep his ear canals free of hair, to allow air to circulate and prevent them from staying moist. You can do this by gently plucking the hair with tweezers or forceps. Make sure you only grab a few hairs at a time, or it will hurt. If he has particularly dirty ears, clean them with an ear cleaning solution. Squeeze some solution into his ear, massage the ear base to move it around, then gently wipe it out with cotton balls. Don’t use Q Tips in his ear – if he moves his head, you could injure his eardrum.
The thought of clipping their dog’s toenails is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many dog owners. With good reason – many dogs hate having their toenails cut, they twist and turn, and it ends up being stressful for both of you.
Use good quality clippers and make sure they’re sharp. Cheaper clippers often crush the nail before they cut, and this hurts.
How short can you cut a toenail? It’s easy if your dog has white toenails – you can see the pink blood vessel, and avoid cutting into it. Black toenails are harder. It’s better to err on the side of caution, and nibble away at the nail, a little at a time.
If you do happen to cut the quick, it does sting, and it seems to bleed a lot! It’s handy to have some styptic powder in your grooming kit for just such occasions. Sprinkle a little on the bleeding nail and it will stop very quickly.
Long haired dogs also look tidier if you trim the hair around and between the toes with scissors. And if your dog’s paws are feeling rough and ragged, be sure to heal and protect them. Try bowWOW Butter Balm which is a quick relief soothing treatment for dry, cracked noses and paws. Read more about paw care here
Owning a dog costs money, but there are some areas where you don’t want to skimp. Good food, parasite control and veterinary care are essential, and can’t be avoided. If you learn to groom your dog yourself, you could save hundreds of dollars a year. When your dog gets admiring glances as you walk down the street, you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself!!
For more tips on grooming your own dog, click here.