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How to Groom Your Dog Yourself

Updated on July 21, 2009

Your dog may still have a glossy coat without going to the groomer

When enduring tough economic times, pet owners may be searching for various ways to cut corners. While some essentials such as food, vaccinations and physical examinations cannot be sacrificed, cutting on grooming sessions may be a valuable option. You really do not need your dog to smell like if she was wearing Chanel #5 nor do you need her to get her hair died with that extravagant hot pink color, therefore refraining from taking your dog to the groomer may be a good way to be a good penny pincher without sacrificing much on your dog's looks.

Tips For Grooming Your Dog Yourself

-In order to groom your dog you will need of course some supplies. If possible arm yourself with the following: heavy duty clippers, brush, dog shampoo, scissors, nail clippers towels and a hairdryer.

-Use shampoo that is approved for dogs and that meets your dog's needs. There are whitening shampoos for light coated dogs, oatmeal shampoos for dogs with itchy skin, medicated shampoos for dogs with special skin disorders and shampoos for dogs with fleas. If you are afraid to get shampoo in your dog's eyes purchase tearless dog shampoo. If you are really on a tight budget you can use some diluted Dawn dish detergent. This is very mild, often used for cleaning birds victims of petroleum spills.

-Unfortunately human hair clippers do not work well for clipping dogs. They are generally not up to the job. You will need a heavy duty hair clipper or a professional one. This may cost a bit, but will save you money in the long run.

-The best nail clippers are Pedipaws which are a quick solution for owners that are afraid to cut nails too short. These clippers work by using an emery wheel which files the nail effectively and without risking to cut the quick off. While these are the best utensils out there, however any pet store nail clipper will do the job if you know how much you can cut.

-Just in case, you would cut too much, causing the quick to bleed, you want to keep on hand special products that will help the nails to stop bleeding immediately. Styptic powder may be helpful, however, packing the nail with flour or cornstarch and keeping it there for a bit may do the trick.

-You can start by brushing your dog's coat. If mats are found they should be shaved off because bacteria may grow between the may and the skin causing a bacterial or yeast infection. Do not bathe a matted dog before brushing, as the mats tend to tighten when wet.

-Clean eyes and tear stains. There are special towelettes to do this.

-Clean your dog's ears with a good ear cleaner. If you are bathing the dog, placing a cotton ball in each ear canal can help prevent them from getting wet and prone for bacteria to set in.

-Place your dog in the bath tub with and rub in the shampoo making sure it does not go in the eyes. Diluted shampoo is much easier to be applied throughout the dog's body.

-Towel dry the dog. If must use the hair dryer use it briefly so not to dry out the dog's coat. Be careful not to burn your dog's skin, keep it at a distance and move it about.

-Don't over do it. Professional groomers recommend to keep grooming sessions 4-6 weeks apart. Too many baths will deprive a dog from natural skin oils.

-If comfortable, learn how to express your dog's anal glands yourself. Your vet or your groomer may show you how. A dog's anal glands are found at the four o' clock and eight o' clock position around the rectum. You will need to gently but firmly squeeze these glands with a pair of gloves in order to empty them effectively. This is best done when bathing the dog because it can be quite messy.

-Always finish your dog's grooming session on a positive side. Brush the dog's teeth with a flavored tooth paste for yuor dog and give dental treats for a fresher breath and ccleaner teeth.

As seen, it really does not take much to learn how to groom your dog yourself. While you may not be able to cut your Poodle's hair like a pro, you still may be able to perform some of the basic and essential tasks your groomer charges you for a fee.

Medicated Shampoos for Skin Conditions

Histacalm Shampoo 16oz
Histacalm Shampoo 16oz

HISTACALM® antihistaminic emollient anti-itch shampoo Indications: HISTACALM® antihistaminic emollient anti-itch shampoo provides temporary relief of itching associated with sensitive skin. HISTACALM® Shampoo contains both diphenhydramine hydrochloride, an antihistamine that stops the itch, and colloidal oatmeal, to cleanse and soothe irritated skin.



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    • SUSIE DUZY profile image


      8 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Good Hub. I want to groom my doy myself and wil use this information

    • profile image

      Kim Garcia 

      9 years ago

      Thank you Alexa for your informative hub. I have a wonderful female Rotti...and her side claw is getting extremely long. Afraid she will get it hung on some root or some other obstacle. I've been afraid to try to cut these I didn't want to cut too deep and hurt her. But after reading your hub....I believe with the right clippers I'll be more comfortable with the precision.

      Thank you for your post!

      Be Blessed,

      Kim Garcia

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Very useful advice for these sad days. Cinderella you shall go to the ball!


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