dog grooming

Grooming a Dog at Home

Grooming your dog at home, whether long or short haired, is something all pet parents should do. Whether you use a groomer or the family bath tub it is an important part of pet parenting.  Spending time brushing your dogs coat, builds the build between you and can help keep you pooch stress free. Here we talk you through our top tips on how to groom your dog at home.

Grooming Short Haired Dogs

Firstly, check the dog for any mats by running your hands all around them, head, ears, legs, body, and tail. Checking for any clumps of matted hair.  Matted hair holds water. Hence it can be a nightmare to remove while wet and can leave your pet with sore irritated skin.  Use this time to check for signs of fleas and ticks. Give them a quick brush with the Great & Small slicker brush to remove the dead hair and then its time for a bath.  Use lukewarm water and test water temperature with elbow prior to bathing.

Select a shampoo that is most suited to your dog. Flea shampoos are available to clear off any unwanted visitors. If your dog likes to roll in fox poo – there is even a shampoo for that too! If your dog is white, you might want to use White Coat shampoo. Look for sensitive shampoo if your pooch is prone to itching. Soap can also be used for itchy dogs, it has all natural ingredients and can clear up any skin irritations the dog may have.

Some dog shampoos do not lather up, but this is ok because it can help come rinsing time. Just be sure to spread and work the product into the fur. After applying the shampoo rinse it off and apply a second time, rinse again. The second application will really brighten up your dog’s coat and give it a shine. Once all the shampoo has been removed gently run your hand over the dog and squeeze the dogs legs, body, ears, and tail, to remove any excess water.

If your dog has very short hair a towel dry might be just enough. Brush them through after.
Using your normal hair-dryer to dry the dog is fine. Brush the dog using the slicker brush as you are drying. 

Grooming Long Haired Dogs

Grooming your long-haired dog is very similar to your short-haired just a few extra steps to be taken. Brushing your dog before the bath is a very important step. It helps to remove the dead and matted fur.

Start off by running hands through them checking for any fleas, tick, lumps and bumps and fur mats. If you find matted spots, spray it with anti-tangle spray then tease them out using a Great & Small cutting scissors or a special matt tool. A slicker brush can also be used and a Great & Small thinning scissors to thin the hair. Once all the mats are clear then we can wash the dog.

When shampooing, be sure to work the product around the most smelly areas, give a good scrub where the collar sits. Rinse the shampoo and then shampoo again, and the final rinse to make sure all the shampoo is gone. Once all the shampoo has been removed gently run your hand over the dog and squeeze the dogs legs, body, ears, and tail, to remove any excess water. Wrap them in a towel.

Drying

Give you pooch a good towel dry, try and do this before they naturally shake themselves. This will save you and your walls getting it! If your dog has very short hair a towel dry might be just enough. Brush them through after. Using your normal hair-dryer to dry the dog is fine. Brush the dog using the slicker brush as you are drying. Very important to keep brushing a different spot all the time. Never stay in the one spot for more than a minute as you can cause a skin burn from the heat and a brush burn if you over brush the one spot. Always brush in the direction the hair grows. Brushing against the hair growth will cause irritation.

To dry long haired dogs, use the blaster (no nozzle) on your hairdryer, working the coat with your hands, remove any further loose and dead hairs. Once the vast majority of wet is gone, continue with the hair dryer dry but using the slicker brush. This will break up the hair and dry it faster. Never stay in the same spot for more than a minute as it can cause burns to the skin.  Brushing your dogs coat can help Reduce Shedding. 

Trimming

Once your dogs coat is dry, you can use the thinning scissors all over or just in the more dense parts to thin out the hair and allow it to breath a bit better. Use a brush or your hands to remove the clumps of hair cut with the thinning scissors. Do not leave it sitting in the coat.

You can use cutting scissors to shape the dogs legs and body, also to tidy up any other areas. The Great & Small eye & ear scissors can be used to trim around the face and tidy up around the eyes and you can use this to trim the hairs in the ear.

Nails

If you are walking your dog for long periods on concrete long nails should not be a problem. Concrete will help help your pets nails short. However, if the nail is becoming too long and hooked and if you feel brave enough, you can trim the nails using clippers. Depending on the size of the dog, use a small or large nail clipper.

You have to be very careful when trimming your dogs nails. Dogs have a vein in their nails called a quick. If your dog has white nails you will be able to see the quick as it is pink. If your dog has black nails you won’t be able to see the quick and need to be very careful. Stay away from the pink bit!
Where you see the nail start to turn/hook is the point you cut the nail, this is depending on how long the quick is, if the quick is longer than the turn then you need to take the tiniest bit once a week and the quick will recede back to normal length.

Ears

Once the dog is dry you can then look at the ears and if you see a lot of hair building up you can simply pluck/cut them but don’t go any deeper than what you can see from the base of the ear. Use a piece of cotton wool and an ear cleaner to remove any dirt or wax that may be sitting in the ear. Again do not go down into the ear just clean away what you can see on the base of the ear. 

Teeth

Use this time for dental care and to look in your dogs mouth, check for smelly breath.  You are searing for any broken, rotten teeth or bleeding gums. Or any injury to the mouth area.  Give the teeth a good clean using dog tooth paste and tooth brush. There are many dental chew toys available to help reduce plaque build up and keep teeth in tip top condition.

To finish off you can spray your dog with dog colonge body mist. Your dog will be looking and smelling fabulous.  Bows are optional at this point – but why not!   Reward your dog with a tasty treat, so that they are compensated for their good behaviour.  

If you want to learn more about shedding and grooming, call into your local Petworld Store where our helpful and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help and answer your questions.