Home grooming doesn’t come to an end now that most grooming salons are open again. Here are 6 expert tips on how to groom your dog at home.
Regular coat maintenance from an early age is very important. It keeps the coat nice and healthy and deepens the bond between you and your dog. It also aids in identifying health issues like skin allergies, ear infections, external parasites, etc much earlier on.
Here are my tips on how to groom your dog at home.
Regular bathing of your dog will make sure that their coat is kept clean. Make sure you choose your shampoo well. Take note of not only the suitability for your dog’s coat but also the ingredients. Ideally, find a shampoo that is free from sulfates, parabens, and petrochemicals.
We use For All Dog Kind shampoos in the salon which are as natural as possible (97%). It cleans well and smells lovely. I would recommend a 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo for everyday skin and coats. The scent is great and the coat is easy to brush afterward. Bathing without brushing can cause the coat to tangle. Therefore never bath your dog without following up with brushing and combing.
I prefer to brush and comb dogs once their coat is clean. Not only does it feel better on my hands but this way I also avoid breathing in debris, dust, and hair. My dogs are low maintenance. They don’t need daily brushing and combing so I only need to give them a good thorough brush and comb when I bath them, which is about every 10 days. Well, that’s my goal at least. When they were little, they were brushed daily so that they could get used to it.
Have you noticed a build-up around your dog’s eyes? If the answer is yes, please don’t try to use clippers or scissors to remove it! Instead, use a small, moist, piece of cotton wool. For example, cooled-down chamomile tea is very soothing. Carefully wipe from the corner of your dog’s eyes moving in a downwards direction gently. Repeat if necessary with a new, clean piece of cotton wool. This will remove or loosen any discharge surrounding the eye. Practice this daily with dogs with hairy faces such as Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Schnauzers, Cockapoos, Doodles, Yorkies, etc. When done daily, this can help prevent any build-up from occurring.
Nail clipping is one of the many things that dog owners have had to have a go at for the first time during the lockdown. The fear of cutting the quick puts a lot of dog owners off of cutting their dog’s nails. This is fully understandable, however, sometimes we have to do things we aren’t comfortable with. You have to think about it differently… you’re actually helping your dog! Check my step-by-step guide to nail clipping here.
Preventative care is always best, which is why regular checking and cleaning of ears is so important. Just like clipping a dog’s toenails, starting from an early age is suggested so that your puppy gets used to it as soon as possible. You can do this by gently holding the ear, massaging it, and turning over the ear flap while playing with your puppy. Check my blog on how to clean your dog’s ears here.
Paw pads consist of a layer of pigmented skin, usually black or pink, as well as insulating fatty tissue. This fatty tissue gives your dog’s paws a bit of protection from colder surfaces in the winter.
Paw pads are a fundamental part of your dog’s foot structure and are protected by nails. The two work in conjunction with each other. Paw pads help with your dog’s stability and balance as well as providing traction and shock absorption. A dog’s paw pads may feel rough, calloused, or smooth and soft which all depends on what surface you walk your dog on as well as his/her lifestyle. Rougher walking surface = rougher paws.
Make it a habit to check your dog’s paw pads regularly from an early age. Gently spread your pup’s toes apart and inspect the sides of his paw pads and between the toes. Check for any injuries or foreign objects. Like pebbles, dry mud, or grass seeds, and also check for any swelling or discoloration. Remember to never walk your dog on hot pavement! Follow the 5 seconds rule. If you can hold your palm on the pavement for 5 seconds it’s ok for your dog to walk on it.
Soothe and moisturise rough and cracked paw pads with Paw Butter. You don’t have to worry that they’ll become too delicate for outdoor activities 😉). Massage the paws with the Paw Butter by taking a small amount and rubbing between the pads on the bottom of the paw as well as between each toe. This will help to relax your dog as well as promote better circulation. Some dogs don’t like to be touched on their paws. So a little spritz of Calming Floral Spay will help them to relax.
Just like any other grooming routine, little and often is the way you get your dog used to paw care.
What part of the grooming process does your dog enjoy… and what part not so much?
Love, Jitka xx