Dog Wash and Grooming Tips

Last Updated on August 8, 2023 by Denise Leo. Post first published on October 2, 2020.

Some pet owners refuse to groom their dog because every time they attempt to do so, it turns into a nightmare with both the dog and themselves losing confidence and feeling stressed. Many owners appreciate that their pet needs to be groomed and so they take him to a professional groomer, praying that they’ll work a miracle and groom the dog without poor behavior getting in the way.

Most dog owners return later and, when they see their precious pet, they’re devastated because the best the groomer could do was half the job they were being paid to do. They’re told to take their dog home, even though he’s only half clipped and isn’t combed at all. The groomer says it’s the owner’s responsibility.

The fact is that pets hate being groomed. Dogs love swimming in rivers and playing in mud puddles but become petrified when they see the bath being filled. Cats love being petted all day long but the moment their owner picks up a brush, they’re out the door and up a tree.

Owners must realize that if they can’t wash or brush their pet at home, the groomer has no chance of being able to do so. A professional groomer can make your dog look good BUT he can’t train your dog and nor should he be expected to.

The simplest method for teaching your dog that grooming is fun and enjoyable is to start doing it when he’s very young. Puppies will naturally squirm at first but because they’re small, they’re easier to manage. The bigger they get, the harder it can be to groom them because when they do move around, it can take all your strength to keep them calm and still. Puppies and kittens squirm because they love being with you. Brush and wash them early on and they’ll begin associating those tasks with some fun time with you.

Time must be spent on their ears as well. This includes playing, stroking and cleaning. If you do that from a young age, it will be much easier for both you and your vet to care for their ears as they get older.

Pet owners know that when it comes to nail trimming, it’s a very difficult task. You won’t have to trim nails of your kitten or puppy but still spend time playing with his feet so he gets used to that type of handling for when it’s time to start trimming. Do it early on in their life and it will be much simpler to do later on.

Once grooming is finished, give your pet some treats and play with him. Soon he’ll learn that if he sits still, he’ll be able to play with you and have treats faster.

Home Doggie Grooming Tips

1. Prepare all your Supplies and Equipment

Get your comb and grooming brush, ear cleaner, styptic powder and nail clippers. Then add bath towels and shampoo. Get everything you need beforehand because you can’t leave your dog alone while you’re grooming and bathing him because he can easily hurt himself if he struggles to escape. His short attention span may restrict the amount of time you can spend with him doing these tasks.

2.Secure your Dog

Get a tub that will keep him secure while you control him. Small dogs can be washed in a rubber bin or in a sink. You need a rubber surface or mat for his feet. Secure him with the use of a grooming lead, not a normal collar, and ensure it won’t strangle him if he struggles. If he bites, have a muzzle ready.

3. Clean his Ears

Have cotton balls and a dog ear-cleaning solution. Keep him secure and check his ears to see if there’s any redness or irritating marks. Softly drop a few drops of the solution into the ear flap and down the canal. Don’t push the applicator too deep. Damp cotton balls should be used to get rid of discharge or debris from within the ear flap.

4. Trim your Pet’s Nails

Get a good pair of nail clippers and styptic powder. Take each paw and lightly push the pad to extend the nail. If the nails are white, you’ll see the quick or section with the blood vessels. Softly cut a tiny piece of the tip of the nail at a 45 degree angle. If the nails are dark, snip tiny snips until you see a black dot appear in the centre of the nail. That’s the quick and is to be avoided. If you do cut the quick and draw blood, blot the blood. Put styptic powder on the nail to stop the blood. If he has dewclaws, they must also be trimmed.

5. Brush your Dog’s Coat to Get Rid of Mats and Debris

Every dog needs this because it helps boost circulation, gets rid of debris and decreases shedding. Brush down to his skin as you look for ticks, scrapes and cuts. If he has two coats, brush them both. If you do find mats on his legs or behind his ears, get rid of them by using a slicker brush with slanted, short metal bristles. Don’t pull the mat because it won’t move and it will only hurt your dog.

6. Wash your Dog Properly

Run warm water (never hot water) across his back, body and the back of his head. Apply some of the shampoo and softly massage it through his whole body, avoiding the front of his head. Cover his eyes and nose while rinsing the front of his head and then rinse the rest of his body from top to bottom. If he’s very dirty, do this process twice.

7.Thoroughly Dry Him

Pat him down with towels instead of rubbing which may cause matting and tangling of his coat. Then use a dryer on a low setting but don’t point it at his face. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot or it can damage his skin. Make sure your dog is 100% dry before he’s allowed outside if it’s cold weather.

Items You Will Require for Grooming

  • Grooming comb/brush/s/slicker brush.
  • Styptic powder/canine nail clippers.
  • Pet shampoo/pet ear cleaner.
  • Rubber bin or tub for small dogs and rubber mat.
  • Muzzle/grooming lead.
  • Cotton balls/dryer/towels

Dog wash and Grooming Conclusion

If your day is a bad one, regardless of the reason, don‘t groom your pet. He’ll sense your negative vibes and the task will be much harder to accomplish. He’ll feel trapped while sitting in your lap. Instead, play with him, without making him feel trapped. You’ll still give him your undivided attention and you’ll find it’s therapeutic for you both. It’s a win-win situation.

Ensure you make every grooming session with your pet a positive one and you’ll find that the sessions become easier and faster and you’ll enjoy them as well.

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  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page