by Good Dog People May 14, 2020 6 min read

With the circuit breaker measures in place, most of us are opting to stay home safely with out pets. But this also means avoiding of grooming salons our furry friends frequent which could result in overgrown coats and long sharp nails! Before things get too out of control, consider pampering your pup with a full haircut and manicure package at home! 

But home grooming isn’t just limited to this lockdown period! It’s always great to maintain your pup’s fur and nails to reduce shedding and that distinct dog odor around the home. Most of all, it will help ensure the health and wellbeing of your dog. Grooming your dog at home might sound daunting, but it might be easier than you think - Here are some tips on how to get started!

#1 Be Regular

Dog Grooming 101: 5 Essential Tips For Beginners

There are plenty of simple grooming tasks you can take on at home between trips to dog salons with the help of some regularly used dog grooming supplies - such as nail clipping, hair brushing, teeth brushing and bathing. These help maintain your pup’s general hygiene. 

Regular hair brushing, for instance, can make worlds of difference for your dog. In fact, it’s recommended that you should brush them at least once a week! This helps reduce shedding and gets rid of pesky mats that can cause wounds, infections and general discomfort. Plus, regularly brushing your pup helps spread the natural oils throughout their body secretes, helping to maintain their shiny and healthy coats. 

Outside of that, bathing your pup with great dog shampoo options like TropiClean’s excellent 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner at least once every two weeks and brushing their teeth twice a week helps to keep dirt and bacteria away, maintaining their hygiene and helping them feel and smell fresh! Between showers, if you want to help your pup smell nice and fresh, give Essential Dog’s Deodorising Cologne for Sensitive Dogs a try. 

Regular nail trimming with dog grooming clippers around once a month is also great as it helps your dog feel much more comfortable walking or running - if you start hearing clicking noises when they walk, it’s time for a nail trim. Getting high quality dog clippers like Artero’s Nail Trimmer will also help make it easy to cleanly cut and trim your pup’s nails. 

Trimmed nails can often be sharp, so filing down their nails is also an important step in home grooming. Artero’s Electric Nail Grinder makes filing down nails extra easy and painless. 

In summary:

  • Hair Brushing: Once a week
  • Bathing: Once every two weeks
  • Brushing teeth: Twice a week
  • Nail trimming: Once a month

#2 Pick The Right Grooming Tools

Dog Grooming 101: 5 Essential Tips For Beginners

Different dogs require different types of care - dogs with longer fur, for instance, require different types of brushes. Dogs often also require more than one type of brush too, to ensure every aspect of their grooming is taken care of.

  • Very Short Fur:Dogs like Boston Terriers that have very short fur should be brushed with rubber brushes that aren’t going to scratch your pup’s skin. 
  • Short & Thick Fur:Huskies or German Shepherds tend to have coarser hair that’s pretty short. A rake comb will help get through all that thick hair effectively
  • Short, or Straight and Silky Fur:Short fur dogs like labradors or dogs with straight and silky fur like malteses require slicker brushes like #1 All Systems’ Slicker Brush to really get into their fur.
  • Medium, or Double-coated Fur:Larger dogs with medium length hair and especially double-coated fur like Golden Retrievers need brushes with much more support, such as Bristle brushes and Pin & Bristle Brushes. 
  • Curly Fur:Poodles and Bichon Frises fall under this category as they require Pin Massage Brushes that are able to work through the curls in their fur

Outside of purchasing a suitable brush or two, another great tool for hair brushing is a de-matter tool like Artero’s De-matter. It helps eliminate mats and removes knots in very dense coats, but is suitable for use on all breeds and life stages of dogs. Additionally, If your dog’s fur is feeling a little dehydrated, give them a healthy spritz of Burt’s Bees’ Hydrating Waterless ShampooAnother must-have tools in your dog grooming kit includes Petz Route’s great Nail Clipper which is suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes.

    #3 Take Special Care of Your Dog's Eyes, Ears, and Paws

    Dog Grooming 101: 5 Essential Tips For Beginners

    These areas of your dog’s body can be sensitive and often experience a lot of dirt build-ups that require regular cleaning to get rid of. As in tip #1, it’s important to regularly clean your dog’s ears, the area around their eyes and their paws at least once every two weeks. This gets rid of dirt, prevents infections and prevents issues like tear stains.

    Clean the area around your dog’s ears with Woosh’s Pet Ear Wipes that help dissolve earwax and control bad odors. However, when cleaning your dog’s ears, it’s important not to over-clean as they have a whole host of healthy bacteria that help them fight harmful organisms. It can also be easy to damage your dog’s ears - so never stick any q-tip into their ear cavities further than you can see.

    When cleaning the area around your dog’s eyes, it’s also important to be careful not to irritate their eyes, by using a sponge or cloth to lightly wipe from the inner corner of your pet’s eyes to the outer corner. Avoid using paper towels or tissues for this purpose, as it may irritate their eyes. To clean your pup’s paws, use Earthbath’s Mango Tango Wipes to wipe it down, especially after walks. This can also be done during your dog’s regular baths by gently separating their toes and cleaning between them. 

    #4 Don't Be Afraid of Grooming Your Dog

    Dog Grooming 101: 5 Essential Tips For Beginners

    Giving your dog a trim or clipping their nails can be nerve-wracking. However, these tasks are completely doable, and with a little bit of prep it will become easier over time - and you’ll never have to worry about pet grooming costs or finding a dog groomer for your pup. 

    For instance, if you’re planning to trim your dog’s hair, set up a dog grooming station with all the tools you need and run through the steps before carrying them out:

    1. Brush out any mats and tangles
    2. Decide on preferred length
    3. Work calmly from front to back
    4. Work on sensitive areas like your dog’s face and tail at the end - if your dog is starting to get restless, pause for a bit and let them loose before continuing
    5. Use thinning scissors to trim any mats you weren’t able to get rid of in the first step

    If you’re worried about cutting your dog’s skin, use a comb like Artero’s Grooming Comb to separate their hair from their skin and make sure you can see through the hair you’re about to cut - if you can’t, you could be getting too close to your pup’s skin. 

    Another common worry pet parents have is - How should I cut my dog’s nails? Dog nail trimming can be difficult because it’s not very obvious where your dog’s nail ends - however, in a well-lit spot it can become much easier to see. Here’s what you should do to trim your dog’s nails:

    1. Position them comfortably such that their paw is facing upwards in a way that lets you easily see their paw
    2. Hold their foot gently and ensure your dog is calm before proceeding
    3. Trim small parts of the nail at one time, looking out for signs that you’re getting too close - normally, you’d be able to see roughly where the blood vessels start, based on the color of your dog’s nails

    #5 Help Your Pup Enjoy Grooming

    Dog Grooming 101: 5 Essential Tips For Beginners

    Take things slow and steady - especially if you’re just starting out with home grooming. For beginners, you may wish to get a Stay Home Grooming Kit that contains all the grooming essentials! Make sure you never force your dog to do anything they don’t want to - ease them through the process with delicious treats to help get them more comfortable. The most important step is to be regular - once your dog is used to the routine of pet grooming, and associates it with delicious treats, he’ll be much calmer and may even begin to enjoy the process. 

      Tammi ChngTAMMI CHNG
      Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog. 

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