No More Bad Fur Days! Groom Your Pet at Home!
Jessie, perfectly-groomed dog: With so many people keeping an eye on their budgets these days, it makes perfectly good sense to learn how to groom your dog at home. Our friends, Bolt and Naismith, are regularly groomed at home. Initially, the female human in the home doubted the male human’s ability to produce quality work. She was pleasantly surprised when both dogs came out of the grooming station (code for the dark depths of the basement), they looked good enough to be seen out in public.
Granted, Bolt, the Yorkie-Poo, is not very cooperative, so on some grooming days, he looks, well, less than stellar. Naismith, the Wheaten Terrier, however, has learned to become patient over the years and even seems friskier when his coat is trimmed.
So, here are a few pointers and tips for those who are considering saving some money and grooming their dogs at home. Be sure you have a handy-dandy vacuum with which to clean up afterwards!
- To get started, you will need to invest in a grooming kit for your pet. You can find these at most any local dog or cat grooming supply house. Be sure to get the best scissors that need to be sharpened frequently. You will also need a buzz grooming electric razor and the right shampoo for your pet. There are many start-up dog grooming kits that will walk you through the cutting and buzzing process.
- An important part of grooming is your dog’s ears. You want to make sure your dog’s ears are free from fungus, waxy ears, and ear mites. Check them weekly. If they become infected, that can lead to complications, even leading to an ear hematoma (breaking of a blood vessel while shaking his head because of discomfort.)
- Be sure to trim you dog’s nails ever two to three weeks. Begin this ritual in puppyhood, if possible, so that your dog becomes accustomed to it. Clip the dark-colored nails in several small cuts so that you reduce the likelihood of cutting into the quick. Ouch!
- Be sure to clip the hair between the paws so that debris and seeds from grasses and pebbles do not get stuck between the pads on his feet.
- Brushing a dog’s coat is the most intensive part of grooming. Don’t press too hard against his coat, as you do not want to scrape the underlying skin and give him brush burn. If you come across a mat of fur, hold the mat close to the skin, insert the end tooth of the comb into the mat, and then attempt to work the mat loose. If that is not possible, consider cutting out the mat as opposed to causing your dog unnecessary pain. Be sure to brush or comb your dog’s fur against the lay of the coat. The resulting fluffy look will amaze you…and no more bad fur days!
- It is best to bathe a dog outdoors when the weather is warm. Use a mild dog shampoo and start bathing the body and the legs of your dog. Shampoo his head last and give special attention to the eyes, ears, and nose. Cover the ear hole while bathing your dog and be sure to cover his eyes, as well, when you are cleaning his head. Leave the shampoo on your dog for about three to four minutes before rinsing.
- Towel dry your dog when done. Blot and press a towel against his coat. Then, comb the coat through before drying to make sure there are no additional tangles or matted areas.
- If blow-drying your dog, make sure all the coat is separated and dry to the dog’s skin. Remember to dry the bottom of his paws, too. When drying his head, avoid targeting his eyes and the ear holes.
And, if your dog is a foxy lady like me, be sure she looks good with perhaps a bow on top of her head. Painted nails are optional. Hey! When you got it, flaunt it!
(Thanks to the Doggie’s Paradise web site for this helpful information!)