How to Groom a Dog at Home

How to Groom a Dog at Home

Regular grooming can help you avoid unpleasant smells and shedding. It’s also a great way to bond with your puppy. 5-Minute Crafts would like to share with you some pieces of advice that will help you trim your dog’s fur in case you can’t get to the groomer.

What you’ll need:

  • shampoo and conditioner made specifically for dogs
  • a towel
  • nail clippers for dogs
  • styptic powder
  • a piece of gauze
  • cotton balls
  • medicated ear solution for dogs

Which tools to choose:

  • Scissors are better for long-haired dogs. Clippers are best for dogs with shorter hair. You can also use a combination of the 2.
  • Choose straight grooming scissors for your dog’s body and scissors with rounded tips to cut fur around sensitive areas like the face, paws, and tail.
  • You can also use curved scissors for rounding layers of your dog’s hair.
  • Use a metal pin brush for dogs with longer hair and a shedding blade for short-haired dogs.

Preparation

  • Brush your dog first to get the heavy dirt out of their fur and then bathe your dog with shampoo and conditioner in warm water.
  • Dry your dog’s fur completely with a towel.
  • Then place your dog on a table with a non-slip mat, to prevent damage to the table and to keep the dog from slipping.
  • If your dog is not used to home grooming, you might need the help of another person who will hold the dog still.

Body

  • Take straight scissors or clippers and start trimming your dog’s coat gently from its neck, then move to the back and the sides. Slowly and carefully work your way down to the tail area. Then move to the legs and the belly.
  • Hold the fur close to the skin to prevent any damage.
  • Cut a little at a time and then comb the area, this will help you to see if you’ve already cut enough.
  • Always maintain a single direction when you cut and try to trim in the direction of the hair growth, never against it, so it won’t look unnatural.

Feet

  • Use rounded safety tip scissors to trim the fur growing over the top of your dog’s feet and around the paw pads.
  • Start trimming the back of the legs, then move to the paws.
  • Trim the fur on your dog’s paws to the point at which it is level with its pads and toes, not shorter, otherwise it could be uncomfortable for your dog to walk.
  • When trimming your dog’s feet, use only the tips of scissors, to avoid cutting your dog if it suddenly moves.

Tail

  • Grab your dog’s tail at the tip and slowly trim the excess fur hanging down that appears straggly or wiry.

Head

  • Start trimming on top of the muzzle and work your way downward, in the direction of the fur.
  • To get access to your dog’s cheeks easier, lift its ears.
  • When you’re trimming the area above the eyes, use a comb to lift the fur and make sure that the scissors don’t touch the dog’s skin.
  • Always work in the same direction that the fur grows to make the hair look smooth and not patchy.

Eyes

  • To clean your dog’s eyes from mucus and debris, use a cotton ball soaked in water.
  • Wipe the eyes in a downward motion, paying closer attention to the corners of their eyes.
  • If your dog has a build-up of discharge around its eyes, it’s not recommended to trim the fur anywhere around this area.

Ears

  • When trimming your dog’s ears, always hold your other hand on the edges of the ear to avoid cutting its skin.
  • If your dog’s fur is matted, use clippers instead of scissors.
  • To clean the inside surface of your dog’s ear, take a cotton ball, soak it with some ear cleaning solution, and wipe it, going down only as far as your finger easily fits.
  • You can also use baby wipes wrapped around your finger.
  • Don’t use water on your dog’s ears because it doesn’t evaporate quickly and moisture promotes bacteria growth.
  • If your dog has droopy ears, also wipe the inside of the them since dirt can collect there as well.

Teeth

  • To clean your dog’s teeth, use a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.
  • You can use special toothpaste formulated for dogs, baking soda, or just clean water. Don’t use human toothpaste because it foams too much and can upset your dog’s stomach.
  • You only need to clean the outside surface of your dog’s teeth since its tongue keeps the top and inside surfaces clean.

Nails

  • Use nail clippers quickly to avoid chipping and splitting and stop before you reach the quick (a blood vessel at the bottom of the nail).
  • If your dog’s nails are white, clip until just above the pink. And if your dog has black nails, clip until you see a solid black dot on the tip.
  • Don’t forget to clip the dew claw by your dog’s wrist if your dog has them.
  • If you accidentally clip the quick, use styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
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