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3 Tips for At-Home Dog Grooming

Jul 24, 2023 | Dog Mom Lifestyles

Caring and grooming your dog can be a challenge. This is especially true if you have a long haired or hyper dog at home.

Every dog has different grooming needs. My dog Echo needs her hair cut every 2-3 months max as her hair is very curly, and gets matted easily. She also needs regular pruning around her face every 2 weeks as she gets clumped up hair around her eyes really quickly. I also need to brush her regularly when her hair is longer to prevent matting as well. She does not enjoy her nails being clipped but I try to this monthly with her to prevent her nails from getting too long.

Almost all dogs will need to be bathed, brushed, and have their nails trimmed. So here are my top 3 tips for keeping your pooch happy, healthy, and well-groomed!

dog being brushed by owner (dog grooming)

1. Treats, treats and more treats!

Grooming should be a fun, and relaxing time for you and your pet. It’s a pawsome time to bond with your pup and build trust with them. By infusing a little fun and using treats before, during, and after grooming, you will help your pet see that being spiffed up can be enjoyable!

When you’re starting out, focus on one task at a time to keep grooming sessions short. Stay calm, give lots of positive reinforcement, and keep your dog as unrestrained as, safely, possible. For me I originally groomed my pets by just holding them in place but that became very challenging over time as they naturally just wanted to jump from the counter and get away so they were very squirmy which caused for not the nicest hair cuts LOL, so I invested in a grooming station to keep my dogs in place and to free up one hand so it was easier for me to actually cut their hair. This was a game changer for me as they were more calm and the results were much better, and it helped that they get treats along the way.

2. Know your dog’s coat type and the right grooming approach to use. 

Did you know not all dogs should have their hair or fur cut? It’s true. Labradors, German shepherds, border collies and malamutes have coats that don’t need to be cut as regular dog grooming maintenance.

Long-haired dogs tend to need more brushing. No matter the breed of dog, you’ll want to stay on top of brushing, especially during the shedding season.

If you have questions about your dog’s coat, consult a groomer to chat about how to best take care of your pup’s fur.

3. Get the appropriate tools you need

Think of everything you personally use for basic hygiene and grooming. I use a brush, shampoo, nail clippers, face wash and toothpaste.

You will need hygiene products and dog-friendly tools like pet shampoo, nail clippers/electric clippers, and a doggy bathtub for washing. One special treat I do for my dog Echo is I make sure she has a very good water temperature when I wash her so she feels relaxed and not too cold or too hot. I also make sure to hand cut around her paws and she does not enjoy the electric shaver on her feet.

Remember, keep it simple and fun! No need to stress yourself and your pup out with things like nail clipping and more advanced stuff like shearing and cutting. Might be best to leave that to the pros.

dog grooming essentials

When to hire a professional…

Not every dog is great with at-home grooming and not every dog parent is great (or has the time) to groom their pet.

Here are some reasons you’ll want to seek out professional grooming services:

  • Cleaning anal glands

  • Shampooing mud or a skunked dog

  • Removing fleas or ticks

  • If your dog is super-stressed getting their nails trimmed, ears cleaned, etc.

  • Your dog has hair that needs special upkeep

Would love to know what else you think should be on the list? Let us know!

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