In our comprehensive guide we will walk you through step-by-step on how to successfully groom your canine pal. Proper grooming is not only essential for your dog’s appearance but also for their overall health and well-being. By maintaining a regular grooming routine, you can ensure that your furry friend remains clean, comfortable, and free from common issues such as matting, skin irritations, infections, lengthy nails and anal gland issues. This valuable blog will give you the confidence to ‘give it a go’ and provide you with some basic techniques.
From bathing to brushing, we will guide you along the way. We will touch upon the correct equipment and its importance. We will reveal suitable grooming products and what our dog grooming team suggests you do for a successful grooming session at home.
Grooming can strengthen the bond you have with your fur-baby. So let’s embark on this grooming journey together, ensuring your furry friend looks and feels their best at all times. Let’s get started!
Step 1. The Prep Work
Before we started this blog we interviewed Aoife our Head Groomer for advice. She told us that Step 1. had to be about the prep work. By gathering the necessary grooming tools, such as a slicker brush, Comb, nail clippers, dog shampoo, towels and dryer helps to make life a lot easier for you and for your dog. So before you even think about wetting your fur-baby, your prep beforehand is essential to create a calm and relaxing environment for your dog. Rushing around, stressing your dog will make life difficult during the grooming session. Having a chilled atmosphere and a chilled pet parent, will make life much easier when grooming your dog.
Step 2. Brushing
Start by gently brushing your dog’s coat to remove any tangles or mats, making sure not to over brush areas and making their skin sore. You must use the appropriate brush for your dog’s coat type. Coats can be long, short or curly, so choosing the right brush is essential. All good pet stores will advise on the specific brush to use.
This brush by Ancol is a Double Sided Brush and is a multi-purpose tool to simplify grooming. The pin side of the brush features stainless steel pins with rounded edges, to tease out tangles and removes loose hairs while being gentle on your pet’s skin. The bristle side can then be used to smooth the coat.
The Slicker is one of the most useful grooming tools because it is excellent for getting rid of unwanted dead hair and mats. Slickers have sharp filaments to enable them to “cut” through the coats and therefore should be used with care, especially on young pets and pets with short coats. And when used with care, you will see just how fabulous your dog’s coat can look after using this tool.
* Please note the most sensitive of areas are the ears, face, under the legs and belly, so be careful when brushing and choose your tools carefully! Our grooming team in store and our shop floor staff members can easily advise on the correct brushing tools.
Step 3. Bathing
So whether you’re filling a sink for a small puppy or a bath for an adult dog, always make sure the water is warm and comfortable enough. Wet your fur-baby thoroughly avoiding their ears and eyes. Use a dog shampoo suitable for your dog and remember to use an Oatmeal based shampoo for dogs with sensitivities. Lather your dog’s coat thoroughly and massage gently, talking and reassuring them constantly. The final step is to rinse thoroughly making sure all of the shampoo is removed.
Step 4. Nail Trimming
Now if you’re not confident with this part then don’t attempt it. Go to a groomer or to your vet and they will take care in trimming your furry friend’s nails. Firstly you need to familiarise yourself with the anatomy of your dog’s nails and be cautious not to cut too close to the quick. You must use specialised dog nail clippers and just trim the tips of the nails. Always reward your dog with treats, reassure and praise for their cooperation.
* If you don’t feel confident enough Aoife our Head Groomer charges just €5 for nail trimming and we have a walk-in clinic Monday to Friday 9am – 2pm. Very handy!
Step 5. Cleaning Ears & Eyes
These areas are sensitive and you must be careful when cleaning. Aoife advises to be gentle and use the Trixie Ear Care Finger Pads for a simple way to clean your dog’s ears. Aoife points out and stresses, “nothing should be inserted into your dog’s ear canal to cause harm”.
The same applies to your dog’s eyes, be gentle, calm and either use a soft damp cloth, cotton ball or Wipes to wipe away any discharge from the eye.
Step 6. Dental Care
Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth using a dog-specific Toothbrush and Toothpaste will help to clean away plaque and tartar build up, and will also prevent your dog from losing their teeth. You must start slowly and make it a positive experience by rewarding them with praise and a Dental Treat
Maintaining good oral hygiene and caring for your fur-baby’s teeth is all part of the grooming process and should be done as often as needed. Always consult your vet about any dental or gum issues. And let’s not forget proper bones and Dental Chews are essential for promoting healthy teeth and gums.
Step 7. Trimming & Final Touches
Aoife suggests that using home Grooming Pet Clippers can be difficult if in the wrong hands. She goes on to say that if you want to shave your dog yourself, then she can tutor you within a day to groom your own dog. Her ‘Groom Your Own Dog’ day class has been a huge success and people have taken on her knowledge, tips and training and gone onto groom their dogs. Ideally shaving a dog should be done by a professional if you are not confident enough, however simply trimming around your dog’s face, paws and bottom can be done quite easily with specialist safety scissors with a Rounded Edge Remember to remain calm and praise your dog for their cooperation and always check for ticks, fleas or Skin Infections.
Step 8. Drying
Start by gently patting your dog’s coat with a towel to remove any excess water. You could use a Leave in Conditioner or Detangling Spray after the drying process to keep your dog’s coat soft and manageable. If you are using a grooming dryer, Aoife suggests you turn it on so your dog can acclimate to it before you start the drying process. Set it to a low or cool setting to avoid overheating your dog. Hold the dryer approximately a foot away from your dog’s body and use sweeping motions to move air along their fur. Maintaining a safe dryer distance and by keeping the dryer moving constantly, prevents concentrated heat in one area and the risk of burning. Monitor your dog’s behaviour during this process and take breaks if needed, especially if your fur baby becomes stressed. Reassure them and offer a little treat for cooperation.
With our step-by-step at home dog grooming guide, you now have the knowledge and confidence to groom your furry friend with ease. If you dedicate the time and effort to groom and maintain your dog’s coat, you are not only making them look fabulous, but also helping to promote their health and well-being. Some dogs need to be brushed daily, so do so. Make it a relaxed bonding experience and soon your furry friend will love to sit by your side, feel relaxed during brushing, and be happy to go the full hog and enjoy their pamper session. So start today and make your dog look and feel their absolute best!
If you don’t have time to pamper your pooch, bring them in to our dog grooming salon.