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Top tips on DIY dog grooming

With the second lockdown now underway, you’re probably looking at jobs you can do from the comfort of your own home. If you’ve considered DIY dog grooming before but haven’t had the time or know-how to tackle it successfully, then this might be the perfect opportunity to give it a bash. Anything goes in 2020 afterall. 

There are several benefits of grooming your dog yourself. Firstly, you will save a considerable amount of money. Secondly, your pup is more likely to be relaxed in a familiar environment (getting professionally groomed can be a very stressful experience for your fur baby!). Thirdly, it will help you keep an eye on any bumps or cuts your pup may have developed and make it easier to spot anything new that may need looking into. 

Read on for the helpful guide and top tips on DIY dog grooming!

Establish a routine

If you’d rather groom your dog at home, a one off probably isn’t the way to go. Establishing a proper grooming routine based on your breed’s needs will help your pup feel much more comfortable about the process and even make them more likely to cooperate with you. If you have a puppy, it’s always best to start as early as possible; but that doesn’t mean that older dogs can’t get used to home grooming too! It’s all about patience and persistence. 

Make sure you have the right tools

Taking a pair of garden shears to your pet’s fur isn’t a great idea. You can buy specially designed dog grooming kits online that will make your life a lot easier when it comes to grooming your dog. The tools you will need are dependent on the breed of dog you have, so be sure to do proper research before purchasing. Typically, you will need a pair of clippers, some specialised scissors or clippers and a good dog fur brush. 

Invest in good products

Before you buy dog shampoo, do a little bit of research and read reviews about the particular product you’re thinking of buying. This will give you an indication of whether or not it will be right for your breed and also help you assess the situation if your dog has any medical conditions, such as skin ailments. If your pup is prone to tangled fur you may also want to consider buying a good quality dog conditioner. 

Set up a grooming area

Choose a place in your house where you know your dog feels comfortable and where you also know it will be easy to clean up afterwards. Many people choose to groom their dogs in the bathroom as cleaning tiles is much easier than other surface areas. You probably want to stay away from grooming your dog on carpeted floors, even if you’ve put a sheet down; dog fur has a way of getting everywhere after all. Make sure you have all your tools, towels and products to hand before you begin; once you start there’s no turning back!

Think about the order

Consider what your dog likes and dislikes about the grooming process and try to save the things they don’t like until the very end. Have some treats on hand if your pooch starts to play up and consider throwing in a massage to calm them down. Many dogs hate having their nails clipped and if this is the case with your pup, it might even be worth doing this on a different day to the rest of the grooming process to minimise stress as much as possible.

Brush your dog

Many dogs love being brushed, so give them the attention they deserve and take your time. The brushes you use should be appropriate for your dog’s breed and hair length, but no matter what kind you’re using, keep it as gentle and therapeutic as possible. Brush out all the tangles and mats and cut out the mats that you can’t get out. It’s important to brush your dog properly before their bath as tangled fur is even more unmanageable when it’s wet. 

Protect your dog while bathing

When bathing your dog, some cotton wool in each ear will stop them from getting water in their eardrums. You can also rub a small drop of mineral oil around each eye to protect them from the shampoo, but still be sure to cover your dog’s face with your hand when you’re pouring water over their head. Give your dog a good rinse all over as shampoo residue can cause your dog’s skin to dry out.

Trim how you like

There are really no rules when it comes to cutting your dog’s hair. You can trim just their beard and belly or give them a complete once over; the choice is yours. Many people keep their dog’s belly fur and leg fur cut quite short as this makes them easier to clean after particularly muddy walks in the park (perfect for this time of year!). You can use either clippers or scissors depending on what you find easier. However, be careful with your tools so you don’t nick your dogs skin and if your pup is starting to get agitated, take a break or offer them a treat. 

Dry, dry, dry

Unfortunately, a quick pat dry with a towel just isn’t enough when it comes to drying your dog after a bath. You should try and get as much water out of your pet’s fur as possible, so make sure you have plenty of towels to hand and take your time drying them. If you think your dog will tolerate it, it may also be worth getting out the hair dryer for a quick blow dry. Remember though, always use the cool setting as you don’t want to inadvertently burn your pet and cause them undue stress. Once your dog is dry, consider whether they need an extra brush over to finish off the job!

Are you planning on attempting DIY grooming over lockdown? Tell us on social media about your experiences!