dog

Common Mistakes in Home Pet Grooming

dogIf you try to groom your dog at home, there are a few mistakes that you’re likely to make. Grooming pets is a real skill but with some patience and the proper equipment, this task can save you both money and time.

You must be very careful because a single slip when using clippers can cause your dog pain and harm. This isn’t just physical injury. It’s also an emotional injury. It takes ages to build trust with your pet to begin with and if you hurt him, that trust can quickly evaporate, leaving your pet wary of you from then on.

The first mistake you can make is shaving too close to the skin. Clippers may leave a horrible razor burn that may later cause an infection. If you do accidentally cause such a burn whilst grooming your pet, immediately stop and apply first aid. Clean the wound and then apply some anti-bacteria salve. Give your pet lots of hugs and apologise for causing such pain and say that it was just an accident.

Although your pet may not understand the actual words, he’ll understand your tone and will react to you in the way you intend. Emotional pain can be as bad as physical pain. Keep your eye on the wound and if it starts oozing pus or turns red, take him to the vet straightaway. If he licks or tries to scratch his wound, use a plastic protective collar because you don’t want him aggravating it while it’s trying to heal.

Another mistake that you, as a novice groomer, can make is getting shampoo or other similar chemicals in your beloved pet’s eyes. Whether it’s your fault or perhaps your pet moved his head at the wrong time, soap can easily splash. This can make your pet’s eyes sting and cause him to relate pet grooming with that unpleasant experience from then on. Again, trust is lost unnecessarily.


Wash his eyes with water or a saline solution and then dab them with a soft sterile cloth. Comfort your pet by hugging and patting him to take his attention off his eyes. Give him a treat or grab his favourite toy. Hold the toy so he can see it and move it back and forth. Watch his eyes for any signs that they’re irritated as the eyes follow the toy up and down, back and forth.

One mistake that may prove fatal is leaving your pet loose or unrestrained while you’re trying to groom him. Cats hate baths, as do some dogs, and they’ll try to escape at any opportunity. Your pet might try to escape while you’re grooming him. He may run out into the road and get hit by a car or be attacked by another animal. Ensure your pet is on his leash. Perhaps he needs a muzzle as well. This protects both him and you. If washing him outside, do it in a fenced area so he’s not tempted to run away.

In an ideal world, it’s best to leave grooming to the professionals. However, it’s tempting to do it yourself because it can work out cheaper to do so. Grooming is a way you can bond with your pet. It can be very rewarding for both you and your pet, as long as you follow all the advice your vet and/or groomer gives you and that you feel comfortable doing it yourself.

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