photo by Critter McDonell
We’re all looking for ways to save money. Maybe you’re using coupons at the grocery store, cutting down on the number of Venti Caramel Macchiatos you drink or purchasing new clothing less frequently.
This year I was able to slash my dog grooming bill in half (sorry groomers!). I have two dogs that need to be groomed every month but since I’ve been looking for ways to save I decided to try and stretch the grooming appointments from every month to every two months… and it worked!
In all fairness to the grooming community, I certainly can’t groom my dogs anywhere as well as a professional groomer… but good enough especially since it saves me $600 a year.
Rub A Dub Dog
I have two white fluffy dogs that need to be bathed every single week or else they become a shade of gray. So, I am now a master bather– four times each month those dogs are in the tub with me. Since they are small I literally take them in the shower with me. I figure, I’m going to get wet anyway so I might as well incorporate it into my shower. Here’s the process:
1. I shampoo my own hair while the dogs get the pre bath shower drizzle.
2. Then, after they’re sufficiently wet, I lather them up in Bubbles n Beads shampoo . This is the best shampoo to use on dirty dogs, which mine are. We live at the beach and these dogs drag in copious amounts of sand everyday. Usually the sand ends up in the bed or couch but often times it’s sticky and difficult to remove from their skin. Bubbles n Beads contains microbeads which not only deliver conditioners to the hair follicle but they also act as a gentle exfoliator to remove the sand and dirt. Best of all is that it’s ALSO a conditioner, so you save a step right there.
3. While I’m washing my face and conditioning my hair I apply a deep conditioner on each dog and let it sit for the remainder of the bath. I already used a conditioner in step 2, however, I have long haired dogs and they need the deep conditioning. If you have a short haired dog, then skip this step! This deep conditioner leaves the coat super soft and silky and helps the coat stay cleaner, longer.
4. I remove myself and dogs from shower and dry them. If it’s the summer they can air dry and if it’s the winter I use my hair dryer on a low setting.
The Devil is in the Details
Of course grooming a dog is not JUST about bathing the dog. Here are the other areas I focus on throughout the month
1. Eyes- my dogs are prone to tear stains , so I use Eyemunity , an all natural powder I sprinkle in the dog’s food to boost their immune system to help fight the bacteria that cause the tear stains. I also wipe their eyes clean every few days to get rid of excess debris and gunk. Read more about tear stain s.
2. Ears- If you don’t keep you dogs ears in check they could develop a nasty infection that’s hard to eliminate. The best thing is to prevent this from happening in the first place. Every week when I wash my dogs I also treat their ears. It’s a quick and easy two part program that takes literally less than a minute to complete. You wipe out your dog’s ears then put a couple of drops of serum in their ear. DONE! And you’ve saved yourself a fortune in veterinary bills! Read more about Ear Infections .
3. Teeth- Sadly, I have fallen short on my duties in this area. "They" say brushing should be done several times a week but I’m lucky if I do it once a month. But, I know I have to improve in this area or my poor dogs will be toothless by the time they are 10. Small dogs especially have the chance of bad teeth as they age. So, brush your dog’s teeth! I do tend to use breath spray on my dogs to make their kisses more pleasant. Try Dog Smog Remedy !
4. Nails- Oucch! This is one thing I leave to the groomer because if you’re not careful YIKES!
5. Mattes & Tangles- with my long-haired dogs I have to be sure to brush them often. When they do get a matte I spray a detangler directly onto the matte and work it out with a brush. This will save you money at the groomer as they will normally charge you more if the dog is full of mattes. Read more about Mattes & Tangles.
TIP: your dog might be nervous the first few times you try to bathe/care for him yourself. Try giving your dog some Sleepytime Tonic about 20 minutes before you plan to start the process. This all natural remedy helps to calm a nervous anxous dog.
So, here’s how I came up with the $600 a year savings. Each dog costs $50 per session to be bathed and cut and I used to go every month. That’s $100 a month or $1200 a year. Now I go every two months so I save half and I don’t compromise my dog’s health or beauty! Here’s to happy savings!
To read more about how to groom your own dog, check out these articles: