Washing Your Dog
When washing your dog, place a non-slip mat into your bathtub. This will make it easy for your dog to stand up the entire time without slipping or falling down. Once the pet is in the tub, wash your dog from the back towards the front with baby shampoo. After you’ve washed the entire dog’s body, dry them with a towel and start on washing the face. The reasoning? When a dog’s face is wet, it will shake its entire body, meaning you’ll have more of a mess to clean up later. With a body that is dry minus the head, the mess will be nonexistent.
If you find a towel doesn’t dry them off very well, feel free to use a hair dryer on the lowest setting so you don’t harm their skin.
Brushing the Coat
When brushing your dog’s coat, use a soft plastic comb. Ensure that you’re combing the dog’s coat in the direction of hair growth, giving your dog a great finish. You probably want to comb your dog once a week, but be sure not to comb them too much or the skin could become damaged.
Trimming the Nails
One of the most difficult aspects of grooming your own dog is trimming their nails. Especially on dogs with dark nails, it can be difficult to know where the excess nail ends and their actual nail begins. For this reason alone, you need to pay close attention where you are cutting before you trim their nails.
To trim their nails, first purchase a dog nail trimmer from your local pet store. These trimmers are specially made to cut a dog’s nails as easily as possible, and once you get the hang of it, it isn’t difficult. However, when trimming, keep a close eye for their “quick:” which will look darker than their “excess” nail. Once you see it, you’ll know what it looks like, however if for any reason you're nervous, you may want to consult a professional groomer before trimming the nails.
Trimming the Hair
Trimming a dog’s hair differs from breed to breed. If you’re unsure as to the proper way to trim your dog’s coat, ask a trusted groomer before you begin. Many times, hair clippers specially made for dogs will suffice, and if you go this route, you’ll want to ensure that the clippers are well-oiled before you begin. As with combing the dog’s hair, trim the hair in the direction of the hair.
Grooming Will Come Naturally (Eventually)
It’s true: after some practice, you’ll be able to groom your pet to perfection every time. However, this will obviously take practice, so if you’re not satisfied with the grooming of your pet the first time around, do not get discouraged. Rather, learn from your mistakes and fix them the next time. Nobody is perfect the first few times you groom, but after a while, grooming your pet will feel natural.
Guest Post by Allison Kingsley, a proud dog owner that loves to take care of her dog on her own. She wants you to follow her on Twitter (@DomesticAllison) for more tips!
Get Thrifty Little Deals, Coupons, furniture makeovers and thrifty living tips directly to your Inbox!