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Grooming Your Dog At Home

December 05, 2020 7 min read

Long hair dog being groomed with scissors and comb

Whether you have a fluffy poodle or a shedding golden retriever, dog grooming is an essential part of care for all breeds. Many owners are looking into grooming their dogs at home ever since the quarantine began because we care about our dogs! We want them to have great fur and this can be done with proper grooming and feeding great food. 



Bathing Your Dog

Grooming your dog is much less painful if they have a clean, dry coat- which is why bathing your dog beforehand is a great idea. When you bathe your dog, you want to avoid bad experiences, which could lead to your pup being terrified of baths! Below are a few tips that could lessen some bath time anxiety.

How Often Should I Bathe my Dog?

While every dog is different, it is advisable tobathe your dog at least once every three months,with certain breeds being able to go for longer or shorter unwashed

Over-bathing could cause dry skin for certain breeds, so you want to be careful to not wash your dog too much. Sticking to once every three months, or whenever your dog starts to smell and get visibly dirty, is the best course of action for washing your pet.

Is Your Dog Afraid of Baths?

The best way to make your dog used to water is by starting slowly. Go at your pup’s pace, and slowly introduce them by bringing them toward the source of the water and rewarding them. Let your dog feel comfortable around the sound of running water, then let your dog get their paws wet. Gradually increase the amount of water, keeping your pup relaxed. Make your dog feel comfortable at each step, and give them treats frequently to make the experience pleasant. 

It’s not uncommon for a dog to hear the word “bath” and run for the hills! If getting your dog into the bath is difficult, there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

For dogs who like to fight their bath, we recommend taking your dog on a long, leisurely walk beforehand. After going out, they will have less energy to run, hide, and make things chaotic. 

You can bring your dog in by bringing a high-value treat in. If you reward your dog for being around the bath, their fear could turn into a positive association. The treat can be swapped out with a toy if your dog isn’t food driven and make bath time feel more like playtime.


How to Bathe Your Dog

Now that you’ve coaxed your pup into the tub, it’s time to do the dirty work. Keep the water at a lukewarm temperature and get all your dog’s fur wet. After your dog’s coat is wet, apply dog shampoo and massage it into their coat. Make sure to avoid sensitive places, like the eyes, ears, and nose. Let the shampoo sit on your dog for around 5 minutes, and rinse the soap off.

How to Wash a Dog’s Face

Your dog’s face is one of the most sensitive parts of their body, so washing their face with proper care and instruction is the best way to avoid harming your pet. 

When washing your dog’s face, you want to use a very soft washcloth or towel. Moisten it with water, and gently stroke the dirt from your dog’s face. Start with the eyes and be careful not to get any water in your dog’s peepholes; slowly clean the areas around, above, and under them. Place two cotton balls in your pup’s ears to avoid getting water in them, and use your washcloth to gently stroke the dirt from their face.

How to Groom a Dog

Dogs that can grow their hair out will need proper grooming. Long hair can easily catch mud and debris outside making them dirtier faster than we would like. To avoid this, grooming at home is recommended when a groomer isn’t available or if you’re trying to save. 

Learning to Groom a Dog 

Grooming your dog without proper information is not only difficult but dangerous. Investing in a grooming handbook is always a good idea, and watching video tutorials will give you a better idea of how you can get started. Take things one step at a time, and learn at your own pace- make sure you’re fairly confident in your D.I.Y. dog grooming before you start snipping away!

If you're looking to groom at home check out Clipper Kit

Puppy Grooming

When your puppy turns 10-12 weeks old, they are ready to be introduced to the world of grooming! At this age, you really want to go at your dog’s pace and be careful not to create bad experiences for them.

Starting to groom your dog after they’re old enough is so important! Grooming your dog from a young age will let them get used to being handled and combed. When you take your dog to a professional groomer for the first time, you want your dog to be as comfortable as possible. Create a positive association with grooming the same way you would for bathing- go at your pup’s pace, constantly reward, and walk some energy out beforehand.

When you groom your puppy for the first time, it’s recommended to only bathe, clip their nails, and blow-dry them. This means that hair trimming, sanitary trimming, or any other activity that takes over half an hour, should be avoided. This is because puppies are little bundles of energy, and asking them to stand in one spot for an extended period of time will only frustrate them.

Dog Sanitary Trim

If your dog’s urine or feces is getting caught in their fur, it’s probably best for them to get a sanitary trim. If your dog has longer fur, it’s more common for waste to get caught up in their coat. Sanitary trimming is when you cut the fur by the private parts to prevent any waste from getting caught. 

To prepare, it’s best to wash your dog’s fur beforehand, as you would for any grooming procedure. Get your dog on an elevated surface, like a tabletop, if you don’t own a grooming table.

To begin, lift up one of your dog’s legs and shave the fur on their leg and inner thigh. Gradually shave up to the dog’s private parts. Use small strokes and hold your dog’s skin taut to avoid any loose skin. Lift up your dog’s other leg and repeat the process. 

After the lower body has been trimmed, lift up your dog’s front paws and shave their lower abdomen. If your dog is a male, you may want to shave farther up the abdomen since they tend to get urine on their stomachs. Next, you want to shave your dog’s backside. Lift up their tail and shave around their butthole. Voila! Your dog should now be nice and sanitary.

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Overgrown nails can lead to a series of health problems, which is why trimming them is so important. You can tell if your dog needs a nail trim if they’re clicking or bending sideways as the dog walks.

The first step to clipping your dog’s nails is finding the ideal spot to clip. Since a dog’s nails contain blood, you want to be careful and avoid cutting too far up on your dog’s nails. Cutting too far up can lead to a lot of blood and a lot of pain. The perfect place to snip is right before the blood supply, which is easy to find if your dog has light-colored nails. If your dog has dark nails, use a flashlight to determine where the blood supply is.

Make sure your dog is completely relaxed before you cut their nails. The most important part about D.I.Y. dog grooming is avoiding negative experiences, so go at your dog’s pace and fill them up with treats. Cut your dog’s nails parallel to the bottom. If you see any blood following nail trimming, do your best to stop the blood flow and keep the wound clean. 

You can purchase a Trimming tool online. 

Caring for Your Dog’s Fur

Now that your dog has been bathed and groomed, the next step is maintaining your dog’s coat health. Taking care of your dog’s fur is key for their health. It helps to prevent fleas and ticks, allows your dog’s skin to breathe, prevents overheating, and reduces shedding.

How Often Should I Brush My Dog?

No matter the length of your pup’s coat, you should brush them about once every 2-3 days. If you have a double-coated dog or a dog prone to matting, it’s recommended to brush them at least daily. On the other hand, if you have a short-haired or hairless dog, you can keep the brushing around weekly.

How to Cut Dog Fur

The most important factor in cutting your dog’s fur is a good quality pair of clippers. Make sure your clippers are clean, sharp, and well-oiled to reduce friction. Before deciding to cut a piece of fur, make sure to think about how much you want to cut beforehand. Many dog owners make the mistake of cutting before thinking, which leads to their dog’s fur looking like a fuzzy mess!

After your dog has been bathed and brushed, they are ready for a trim! Start by trimming along their neck and back, working slowly and cautiously. Use your fingers to comb through your dog’s fur as you clip it. Talk calmly to your dog and hold them in place gently. Continue trimming until your dog’s coat is the desired shape and length!


How to Maintain Fur Health

A dog’s diet is an essential part of what their coat displays. A higher-quality food will reflect a shinier coat, while a cheap kibble brand will cause your dog’s coat (and other things) to suffer. Biologically, the best diet to feed your dog for fur health is aBARF diet. A BARF diet consists of raw meat, bones, fruits, veggies, and organs. 

To keep a dog’s coat healthy, they need to receive the nutrients they require. Some of these nutrients include amino acids, fatty acids, biotin, Vitamin D, zinc, etc… All of these ingredients can be found in each ofCali Raw’s BARF formulas. By serving your dog a raw, balanced diet, they will have a much healthier coat which will ultimately result in an easier time grooming!