A considerable number of dog owners, especially those living in apartments will have their dogs groomed by professionals. With the arrival of Covid, this was no longer possible and so many of us ended up attempting to groom our dogs at home.
This solution, born of necessity, also created a further occasion for us to bond with our furry best friends, so many will continue to groom at home. Aside from the aesthetic aspect of grooming, the principal reason is for your dog’s health.
So, if you plan on continuing grooming your pooch at home or are enticed by the idea of beginning to groom your pooch yourself, we’ve created a list of Dos & Don’ts to get the job done.
Whatever your reasons, use our helpful list to make this as pleasant an experience as possible for both you and your canine BFF.
- DO Get Your Pooch Feeling at Ease with Grooming
The first order of business is to find a place for your grooming activities. Select a comfortably warm and well-lit place where your dog feels comfortable. A grooming table is ideal, but if you don’t have one, any location that is sturdy and doesn’t have a slippery surface will work. If your pooch enjoys brushing, integrate brushing into your grooming routine as a break or positive reward after something disliked.
Place any tools you plan on using on the ground or where your pooch can investigate and smell them before using them. If your pet exhibits fear, use a treat near the brush or clippers to get your dog comfortable around this equipment. For dogs that dislike brushes, use hair removal mitts for an enjoyable massage.
- DO Maintenance of Your Grooming Tools
Maintaining grooming tools should be a priority. Keep tools clean and blades sharpened. Replace your tools every couple of years.
- DO Groom at Regular Intervals
Can you imagine not bathing or washing your hair for weeks if not months on end? Dogs, especially long-haired dogs are subject to matting and need to be brushed regularly. Pay attention to nail lengths as they are essential to your dog’s health. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and eventual complications. Create and maintain a schedule for grooming your dog so your dog will grow accustomed to the idea.
- DO Exercise Patience
Patience is a virtue. Be calm as your dog will sense if you are apprehensive or stressed. Pay attention to your dog’s reactions. Is your dog whining, panting, or trying to bite a grooming tool or your hand? Let your dog take a break. Be careful if you are using tools like clippers or scissors that can hurt your dog in case he or she panics or won’t stay still.
- DO Reduce Stress at Bath Time
Ask for help! Dogs can be a handful at bath time. Ask a family member or friend to aid you. While large showers or bathtubs can work, you can also groom your pet outdoors, weather permitting, or in the garage reducing any anxiety if your pet makes a mess. Open spaces may be more reassuring depending on the dog. Between petting, massages, praise, and treats offer your pooch lots of positive reinforcement.
- DO Towel Dry your Dog
Hairdryers can be terrifying. Opt for towel drying and a nap in the sun.
- DON’T Be in a Hurry
Take your time. Grooming performed hastily can add to the stress and mistakes.
- DON’T Try to Do Too Much in One Sitting
Know your limits when grooming. Normal grooming would require brushing, bathing, nail trimming, fur trimming, eye and ear cleaning, tooth brushing, and more. Select one or two tasks to complete in each sitting.
- DON’T Use Bathing Products Intended for Use by Humans
Never use products created for humans. This is true for shampoos and rinses as well as clippers. Liquid products may contain chemical irritants and will not necessarily have the correct pH balance for dog fur. Nail and beard clippers are designed differently than dog clippers and when using them you may unintentionally hurt your pet. Tools should be designed for animals.” If you find clipping, trimming, or shaving uncomfortable, do not proceed. Wait until you see your vet or decide to call a professional.
- DON’T Restrain Your Dog
Do not tether or place your dog on a leash. Ask someone to assist you.
- DON’T Clip Nails Too Short
To decide if your dog’s nails need to be clipped, look at your dog while standing. Nails should not touch the floor. Normal clipping needs to be done approximately every 6 weeks. Do not cut them so short that they bleed. If you are unsure, ask your vet or an experienced dog owner to assist you when clipping. Curling nails should be referred to your veterinarian.
- DON’T Forget to Clean the Ears and Eyes
Use an ear cleaner to clean your pup’s ears. Don’t let ears get wet during bathing and don’t use Q-tips for cleaning.
Clean your dog’s eyes with a soft, moist cotton ball if there is discharge build-up. Do not trim around the eyes. If you clean your dog’s eyes regularly, the build-up will be greatly reduced if not eliminated.
- DON’T Bathe Too Often
Only bathe a dog when necessary because the pooch is dirty or smelly. Washing your dog will remove natural oils created by the sebaceous glands which also act to protect your dog.
You are your dog’s best friend, advocate, and protector. By improving your grooming skills, you’ll prevent grooming from becoming traumatizing for your favorite pup.