Got a dog? 36.5 percent of households in the country own a dog. It’s no wonder why pet salons and grooming stations in malls are popular.
However, you can’t always rely on veterinarians and grooming experts to keep your dog clean and fancy. Sometimes, you have to do it yourself.
Taking care of a dog is nothing like caring for a human. They have special needs and there are different do’s and don’ts to follow.
Not sure where to start? Proper pet grooming all begins with getting the right equipment.
Equipment for Pet Grooming
Dog grooming requires different tools. The basic list includes:
- A comb
- One brush
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Nail clippers
- Styptic powder
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- An electric clipper
- Otic solution
Keep in mind that dogs need a shampoo or conditioner that has the right pH balance. Getting this wrong could lead to damaged fur and skin, which will require a more complicated treatment and visits to the vet.
There are more complex tools you will need later down the line, but this is a good set to start with. The best part is that getting all these won’t cost you much.
How Often to Groom?
Keep in mind that you won’t get everything done in one pet grooming session. You have to give your dog a bath, clip their nails, brush their fur, and more. That said, there are grooming activities you’ll only do once a few months, and others more often than that.
Bathing, for example, is only necessary every two to four months. Dogs that stay outdoors get dirty more often, so you need to bathe them at least once a month. Don’t bathe your dog too frequently because his skin gets dry.
As for nail trimming, most experts recommend doing this every three weeks.
The more frequent grooming activities include cleaning the ears and brushing the dog’s teeth. You should brush their teeth two to three times a week, and clean their ears at least once a week. You do need to brush your dog’s fur every day.
Brushing Your Dog
As mentioned, brush your dog’s fur each day.
Brushing every day prevents shedding and lets you spot any problems under the fur. These issues could include potential skin issues or fleas. Brushing also works like petting, meaning it lets your dog bond with you.
To accomplish this, you’ll need a comb and a brush. The kind of comb you get depends on the thickness of your dog’s fur.
If they have really fine, long fur then get a comb with tighter teeth. If they have thicker fur, get a comb with wide teeth.
When it comes to brushes, you’ll need to consider two options. A rubber brush is best for dogs with short fur, while a slick brush is better for thick fur with tangles.
Cutting a Dog’s Hair
When people get their hair cut, they do it wet. This is not the case for pet grooming. You want your dog’s fur to be as dry as possible before you move forward to cut and shave his fur.
First of all, place your dog on a grooming table to get better control over them. Cut the fur around the body using the lengths of the scissors. The tips are only for cutting around the feet, tail, and face to prevent injuries.
If you have a dog with matted fur, drop the plans of cutting their hair with scissors. Instead, rely on a pair of clippers.
Shaving a Dog
Get a No. 10 clipping blade for the private area, underarms, and your dog’s face. This is a broader blade compared to others. It ensures your dog has a reasonable amount of fur left while also maintaining comfort and safety during the trimming.
For the rest of the body, start shaving from the neck going down. Use a sharper blade and keep the clipper close to the skin. You do need to make sure you don’t get loose and fragile skin between the clipper blades.
Another aspect to check is the heat. Some clippers heat up too fast. One good way to avoid this problem is to lift the clipper after each shave down, check how hot it is, then go back down for another run.
First of all, you may want to leave nail trimming to a professional. It’s not too complex and you don’t need to be a veterinarian to do it but it is easy to make mistakes and harm your dog.
If you do want to do this by yourself, start by getting your dog accustomed to the sound of nail clippers. This helps make sure they don’t jump every time they hear the nail clippers click.
For dogs with white nails, keep going until you see a pink portion called the quick. For black nails, keep going until you see a plain black dot.
Clipping the nails any further will lead to bleeding. Not only will this hurt, but your dog may develop fear or an aggressive attitude towards nail trimming when it should be a fun and relaxing activity.
If, by some chance, you clipped the quick then apply a little bit of styptic powder as this will stop the bleeding and reduce the pain your dog feels.
There is newer equipment that makes this activity easier. Some nail trimmers are electric and they shave the nails down. They stop automatically, ensuring you never harm your dog’s paws.
Cleaning the Ears
For puppies, don’t stick any sharp object in their ears. This includes your fingers. Instead, use a damp towel to wipe the interior portion of their ears clean.
The goal is to get rid of wax and dried ear debris. Look for the following signs of infections:
- Constant ear scratching
- An abundance of ear debris
- Bites from ticks and other parasites
For adult dogs, you can find a number of ear cleaning solutions. Pour the solution over a damp towel and apply slowly while cleaning their ears.
Whether you’re cleaning the ears of a puppy or an adult, make sure that you dry their ears after the pet grooming session.
Discover More DIY Tricks
With these simple DIY tricks, you can keep your dog clean and fancy. Not only does pet grooming keep your dog looking beautiful, but it also guarantees he doesn’t get sick.
Looking for more DIY tips and tricks? Visit us today and we can show you all kinds of neat guides like a DIY eco-friendly pest control method!