Dog Grooming at Home: See These 7 Tips For Success

Professional dog grooming can be expensive. While some of the cost depends on the dog, the professional's expertise, and your geographic region, in general, you should expect to pay at least $50 for this service. Larger dogs might run $75 or more. Most owners should have their dogs groomed once a month, although some dogs might require it more frequently. At 12 times per year, that means dog grooming alone could cost the average dog parent $600-$1000 a year. Ouch. What if you could do the dog grooming at home, though? That would save money!

Fortunately, dog grooming at home is not that hard and will minimize the number of trips you'll need to make to a professional. Most people who struggle with at-home grooming merely need a few extra pointers to make the process smooth. Here are seven tips to ensure your next grooming event is a success!

Have the Right Tools

Like any job, having the right tools makes it significantly more comfortable for both you and the dog. For grooming your dog at home, you'll need the right set of brushes (the right length for your dog's fur), nail trimmers, teeth cleaning tools, and combs. You should also have a blow dryer to get your dog's coat fabulous after washing it!

Pay Attention to the Teeth

Daily dental hygiene should be part of your dog grooming at home routine, and regular brushing can avoid a whole slew of dental problems in the future. In dogs, dental issues can lead to heart disease, kidney issues, and other severe medical conditions. You can avoid those by making your dog clean their teeth regularly!

Trim Nails Carefully (And Have Backup!)

As part of your dog grooming equipment, you should have the right nail clippers. Your vet can show you the proper way to trim your dog's nails so that nothing goes wrong. However, accidents happen. In case an issue arises, make sure that you have a styptic pencil nearby to stop the bleeding quickly. Styptic pencils are a few bucks and could save hundreds in vet bills in an emergency. Therefore, please always keep one on hand!

Brushing Is Better Than Bathing

One of the mistakes that first-time groomers make is assuming that the best way to make their dog clean is to bathe them. While a bath doesn't hurt, it doesn't necessarily help as much as people expect. The problem is that bathing releases the dirt from the dog's fur and into the water. However, the dog is still sitting in that dirty water, so it winds up finding its way back to the dog.

On the other hand, brushing gets the dirt out of your dog's fur and results in a cleaner coat. You can still bathe your dog, make sure to brush your furry friend first!

Clip Your Dog's Hair on a Grooming Table

Buy the best dog grooming clippers available. If you're dog grooming at home, they will be worth the investment! Be very careful with clippers and scissors so that way you won't accidentally cut your dog's skin. Also, always cut your dog's fur when it is dry, not when it is wet!

Getting your dog used to a professional grooming table is a benefit and one that you should consider. Professional tables have the proper restraints and ease of clean up, which will save time and ultimately be better for the dog!

Do Not Groom If There Are Signs of Issues

See redness on the skin or swelling? Don't attempt to groom that area. Instead, take a trip to the vet. Many people try and groom over bumps and other issues on their pet's skin only to find that there are significant problems. It's straightforward to nick one of those areas and cause bleeding for which you have to go to the vet. 

Only attempt grooming if your dog's skin and demeanor are healthy. If your dog has skin problems, go for a vet visit instead.

Go Slowly

Vet bills are expensive, but taking a few minutes extra to groom your dog is not. Do not start grooming your pet when you're in a rush, which will lead to accidents. Instead, take your time to do the job right. Whether you're brushing your dog's teeth or clipping your dog's nails, you'll want to go slowly to ensure that you do your dog grooming at home correctly and with minimal potential harm to the dog.

Dog Grooming at Home Isn't Too Hard

Many dog owners are electing to do more and more of their pet's grooming at home because it's easy, much cheaper, and isn't a substantial amount of work. Get the right dog grooming equipment, go slowly, and pay attention to common problem areas (like the teeth). Once you start doing these things, you'll be able to groom your dog like a pro!

How to become a dog groomer?

There are no formal requirements to become a dog groomer. No state has a license or an exam that they require for this profession. However, you still need to demonstrate and learn skills. Some dog groomers elect to apprentice with an experienced groomer to learn about the business, while others take online courses or enroll in a formal grooming educational program. The best way to make a career out of dog grooming is to get lots of practice!

How much does it cost to groom a dog?

There are regional variations to this answer, but people who want their dogs professionally-groomed are frequently looking at spending $50-$100. Of course, there might be cheaper groomers, but to have a professional job done right, you should prepare yourself to fork over closer to $100.

How often should you groom your dog?

It depends on what jobs you're doing as part of the grooming process. Tooth brushing should happen at least twice a week, but ideally once per day. However, trimming your dog's hair might happen once every couple of months. At a bare minimum, you should brush your dog's teeth twice per week, brush its hair and bathe every 1-2 weeks, clip your dog's nails once a month, and trim their hair once every 2-3 months.

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Written by Leo Roux

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