DIY dog grooming: What you need
Many pet owners are discovering that it is far more convenient to do their own dog grooming at home. Not only do you save on grooming fees and gas, which is a big expense these days, but you save time, as well, not having to commute to take your dog to the groomers. DIY grooming has several other benefits, as well. You'll get to bond with your dog and get to know him better through the grooming process.
Having everything you need on hand is very important since you want to be able to do each grooming step after the other, avoiding distractions. This is easier on the dog and will keep you organized, as well.
Here are the things you will need.
- Tub: If you are planning to do your own dog grooming long term, it really is worth it to have a raised tub for your dog. Rather than bending over a tub, you'll be able to wash and groom your dog at an easy height. Smaller dogs can be bathed in a baby bath set on a table (be sure it's very stable).
- Nail Clippers: Important for clipping those overgrown toenails that click on the floor as your dog walks. Just be sure to clip far enough back that you don't get the quick, which can cause bleeding and pain for your pet. A good set of nail clippers combined with proper lighting can make nail clipping a breeze.
- Brushes: A good brushing should be a regular thing. It stimulates the skin and helps to remove loose hair, so you can keep the house relatively fur-free. There are plenty of different brushes available on the market, but you should look for one that is appropriate for the size of your dog and that has rubber tipped bristles to protect the skin. A soft brush in a smaller size is also useful for ears and face.
- Rake: These are stiffer tools meant to get rid of matted hair that tends to form on dogs with longer hair. It can really help ease the entire grooming process if you remove matted hair before it has the chance to get worse. A proper dematting rake will make the entire thing easier. You can also use a comb, but it tends to be more painful for the dog and take longer.
- Natural Dog Shampoo and Conditioner: Bathing your dog should definitely be a regular part of the grooming process, but human shampoos and conditioners aren't meant for pets and can cause allergies and itchy skin. Instead, look for specially formulated hair products that contain all natural ingredients and are meant for dogs.
- Towels: Set aside some towels specifically for your pet. These are invaluable when it comes to drying him after a bath or a romp in the rain, but chances are you won't want to use the same ones, so be sure to mark them.
- Power Clippers: While you can certainly trim your dog's coat with regular trimmers, it will take a long time and tends to be less accurate. A good set of power clippers will allow you to trim that hair quickly and easily to get the look you want for your pet. Power clippers will make this a lot easier, too, for the inexperienced home groomer.
DIY dog grooming can be a very rewarding experience. It definitely helps strengthen the bond between you and your canine friend. Not to mention the amount of time and money saved just by doing this relatively simple process at home.