Keeping your dog clean and well-groomed is crucial for keeping your pet healthy and happy.
When your canine friend is groomed properly, you can help eliminate mats, fleas, ticks, and even shedding. Moreover, a professional groomer will use the best dog care products to spot and stop other severe health conditions from developing. These can include rashes, lesions, inflammations, and lumps.
A tidy pet is also a joy to have in your home. Aside from having a nice-smelling pet that you can cuddle every day, your abode won’t likely have bad odours coming from your pup. Additionally, you’ll be able to keep your home clean since there will be less shedding coming from your furry friend.
Lastly, regular grooming has positive effects on your dog’s mental health. This helps your pet display good behaviours. As a result, you get a disciplined and obedient pup — one that you will love having in your home.
Grooming Your Pet at Home
Most of the time, keeping your pet tidy and clean means bringing him to a groomer. However, there are some grooming steps you have to do regularly, which means you have to do them at home.
Moreover, by knowing the dog grooming basics, you can keep your pet clean and tidy even if you don’t bring him to a pet salon weekly or bi-weekly.
Below are some tips for grooming your pet properly at home:
Prepare a pet grooming kit.
To ensure you are going through the right steps for keeping your dog clean and tidy at home, stock up on all grooming essentials first.
Your kit should include:
- Slicker brush
- Shedding blade
- Grooming shears
- Nail grinder
- Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
These hair grooming items are essential for brushing and trimming your pet’s fur and keeping it tangle-free. You use the clippers for trimming his long claws.
And to clean your dog’s teeth and gums, you need a specially formulated pet toothbrush and toothpaste.
Lastly, you should have several soft towels to dry your dog when he is wet while grooming him.
Find out if your provider of pet food delivery services also carries dog grooming supplies and have them delivered as well to save time.
2. Groom your pet regularly.
Whether you intend to bring your dog to a groomer weekly and groom him in-between schedules, or you want to do all of this on your own, you have to do so regularly.
This means giving your pet a bath at least once a month and combing or brushing him daily. You have to be strict in following this schedule, especially if you have a dog with long fur, such as a Shih Tzu or Pomeranian.
Make sure you use dog shampoo recommended for your pet’s breed and the right brush or comb for combing his fur.
In case your pet’s fur needs a bit of trimming, ensure you use the right tools as well.
If your pet’s nails are long, trim them as soon as possible. Keep in mind that overgrown nails can pose a risk to your dog’s well-being and if you wait too long to cut them, the process may become more stressful and uncomfortable for your canine friend.
3. Find the right spot for grooming.
The best place to groom your pet is somewhere that is well-lit. You can do this outdoors during the day to take advantage of natural sunlight.
If you want to groom your dog indoors, ensure the room is sufficiently illuminated.
Additionally, choose a safe grooming spot. Place your dog on a non-slip surface so that he doesn’t slip and fall.
Also, avoid tethering your pet during grooming even if he becomes fidgety since this can lead to terrible accidents.
4. Brush your pet’s teeth at least once a day.
Dogs are also susceptible to dental issues. As such, you have to look after their teeth and gums, too.
Brushing your pet’s teeth at least once daily can help him avoid different types of dental issues. However, make sure you use dog-safe toothpaste since regular or human toothpaste contains unsafe ingredients that could make your pup sick if he swallows them.
If you can’t find a toothbrush made for dogs, use one designed for kids. You can also use dental sprays and chew treats to help your pet maintain healthy teeth and gums.
5. Clean your dog’s face regularly.
Washing your pup’s face is something that dog owners often do when they bathe their pets. However, this part of the body is something that is easy to forget to clean during bath times.
Moreover, your pet’s face can easily get clumps and stains from food and tears or sweat. Because of these reasons, you need to give your pup’s face a gentle cleaning every other day or so.
Use a soft, clean, slightly moist washcloth or sponge to wipe your furry friend’s face. It is best to steer clear of paper towels or napkins since they easily shred and disintegrate and leave behind small bits of paper.
When wiping your pup’s face, do it gently but firmly. Make sure you remove the bits of food or dirt in this area.
Lastly, clean your pet’s eyes as well. Gently wipe the area around the eye with a water-moistened sponge of cloth to loosen and remove dirt and stains.
6. Clean your dog’s ears at least once a month.
A dog’s ears are prone to infection, especially if bacteria and wax are allowed to build up in the canal. Because of this, you need to clean your pet’s ears regularly (at least once a month).
Use a safe dog ear cleaning solution when tackling this body part. Wet a cotton ball with the product and start by cleaning the outside area first. Next, work your way towards the inner part.
Avoid using cotton swabs deep inside the ear canal. However, you can use them to gently clean inside the ear folds found on their outer ear flaps.
If your pet loves swimming, you have to clean his ears more often. Additionally, always clean and dry his ears after he goes for a dip.
As an extra tip, always be patient when grooming your dog at home, especially if this is the first time for both of you. Avoid getting mad at your pet easily and if he is showing some resistance, stop the activity and consider doing it several hours later or even after a day.
Also, know your limits. If your dog is clearly scared when you approach him with a pair of shears or clippers, it would be best to bring him to a professional groomer or to ask your vet for help.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.