How to Groom Your Dog At Home

Many dog-parents believe that grooming is just about brushing your pooch’s hair every now and then, but it’s so much more than that. Grooming your dog is all about keeping them healthy and bacteria-free, and it goes beyond surface-level combing. 

Why is it important to groom your dog?

Grooming is essential for keeping your dog’s coat, skin, nails, eyes and teeth clean. Each time you groom your dog, you’re removing any bacteria, dirt or dandruff. This helps prevent any infection or bacteria build-up.

It also allows you to see if there are any underlying problems with your pooch. For example, you may have noticed your dog scratching, and you’re not sure what the root of the problem is. Carefully through your doggo’s hair will allow you to check their skin and coat to identify the cause, and whether they need to see the vet. 

How often should I groom my dog?

Brushing your dog

If you have a short-haired hound, it’s important to brush them at least once every few weeks. Long-haired puppers should be brushed and combed at least twice a week to keep coats knot-free. 

Bathing your dog

As a general rule of thumb, your dog should go to the doggie parlour on a quarterly basis. However, at times, your dog may roll in something dead or otherwise, and you’ll have to plonk them in the bath ASAP.

Avoid bathing too frequently. No more than twice a month, as this strips their natural skin oils. If you have to bathe them more than once a month, make sure to use a moisturising conditioner to keep their skin happy and smelling great.

Clipping your dog’s nails

Trim down your dog’s nails every three to six weeks. Some dog’s nails grow quicker, so when you hear the pitter patter of their claws on the tiles, this may be a good indication that their nails are getting a bit long and need a trim.

Cleaning your dog’s eyes

Clean your doggo’s eyes with every bath, so every quarter. If you have a poodle-breed or pooch that gets frequent eye snollies, remove it immediately as it could irritate them. 

What do you need to groom your dog?

It’s best to be prepared before grooming your best pal. Equip yourself with the following tools before diving into that ball of fur:

Brush & comb: When selecting a dog brush or comb, do research or ask your vet which brush would best suit your hound’s hair type, as each one is different.
Toothbrush & toothpaste: A dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste is a great way to freshen your dog’s breath and keep those chompers clean and bacteria-free.
Nail clippers & nail file: The correct, pet-friendly nail tools are essential. Do not use human nail clippers as dog’s nails are not the same as ours.
Shampoo & conditioner: Select a dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner based on your dog’s skin. Just like hoomans, dog’s can have dry or sensitive coats.
Eyes & ear essentials: Between wiping your doggo’s eyes clean and cleaning out those ears, you’re going to need the right dog eye and ear care essentials to groom your pooch effectively.   

Should you shave or cut your dog’s coat at home? 

You may have noticed that Fluffy is looking … fluffier than usual. Although it’s tempting to abuse those scissors, it’s better to go to groomers. Especially if you don’t have correct trimming tools, as human clippers are not suited for dog fur.

If you can’t take your pooch to the doggie parlour just yet, investing in a good dog brush will keep their hair free from knots, tangles and matting while you wait. 

Things to look out for while grooming your pet:

When you’re combing, brushing, detangling, cleaning and wiping down your dog, you’re essentially also inspecting them to see if everything is good under the hood.

Here are a few things to look out for while grooming:

  • Fleas, tick & other bugs
  • Lumps & bumps
  • Spots, scratches & cuts
  • Knots, tangles & matted fur
  • Bad smells & strong odours (go on, lift that tail and take a deep whiff)
  • Abnormalities in eyes & ears
  • Cracked or wounded paw pads
  • Sore areas anywhere on the body
  • Bacteria buildup on gums & teeth
  • Dry skin & flakes

Five easy steps for grooming your dog at home 

1. Brush your dog’s coat

Before brushing your dog’s fur, it’s important to find out which brush or comb is best suited for your pal. Each grooming brush is different, and serves a unique purpose. Longer-haired doggos may need to use a matt breaker comb, as their fur tangles easily and you want to avoid those knots from turning into matted fur.

For dogs with short-haired coats, you can use a brush with rubber bristles to get rid of all those loose pieces of hair. 

What direction should I brush in?

It’s best to brush your pooch’s coat in the same direction it grows in. You wouldn’t brush your own hair in an upward direction, so don’t do the same to your fur kid. 

2. Bath Your Dog

When it comes to bathing your dog, you may be wondering: Where should I bathe them? Inside? Or outside? This is entirely dependent on the weather, as well the size of your canine.

If you have a larger breed, then it may be easier to give them an outside wash. However, if the weather is cold, it might be a better idea to take them to the groomer. If you have a smaller breed, you can easily plonk them in a nice warm bath indoors.

3. Clean your dog’s eyes

A common thing to look out for when grooming your dog is excessive tearing or watery eyes and discharge. Tearing is when there is an overflow of tears rolling from your dog’s eyes, and no amount of cleaning can get rid of it. You may also notice a thin film over your doggo’s eyes with some gunk in the corner. 

Over tearing of the eyes is known as epiphora, and could be a red flag, as this could be due to anything from allergies, eye infections or corneal ulcers. 

So, when do you phone the vet? If you notice that your dog is blinking often, trying to get rid of the tears, if their eyes are red or if they’re just generally uncomfortable (scratching at their eyes), it may be time to dial that phone number. 

4. Trim your dog’s nails

To trim your dog’s nails, it’s best to invest in a good nail file and pet nail clippers.

Many owners worry about hitting the dog’s blood vessel, otherwise known as ‘the quick’ when trimming their dog’s nails. This is because the quick is difficult to see, and you don’t want to hit that soft tissue as it is very sensitive and it might start bleeding.

You can identify the quick by locating the soft pink tissue on the inside of your dog’s nails. It may be a different colour to the rest of the nail, which makes it easy to see in pooch’s with light hair. Dark doggies with black nails make it often difficult to spot the quick, in which case you’d leave it to the vet or groomer.

5. Give lots of treats and cuddles 

No matter which part of your dog you’re grooming, it’s always important to turn the experience into a positive one. That’s why you need to prepare lots of tasty treats to reward good behaviour, and plenty of hugs and kisses.

Got more questions about grooming your dog? Contact our customer care team, they’d love to assist.

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