Pet Grooming Basics | SmartGuy

Pet Grooming Basics

Pet Grooming

Why pay hundreds of dollars a year having your dog bathed and groomed when you can do it yourself at home with just a few simple supplies? Regular pet grooming is necessary for your animals health, cleanliness, and happiness. Getting groomed should be a treat, rather than an anxiety causing event. Once youre aware of the dog grooming basics, the process will become easier.

Pet Grooming Supplies

While there are hundreds of products available at pet stores, you only need to gather a handful of pet grooming supplies to provide quality dog grooming.

  • Leash
  • Shampoo and Conditioner Make sure to get pet shampoos and conditioners, as human products can irritate your dogs skin.
  • Shears or Clippers Either human or pet grooming clippers work fine, but make sure the guard is long enough so you dont nick your pup if he moves around.
  • Pet Nail Clippers and Baking Soda
  • Pet Brush (Even if you dont plan on grooming your pet regularly, every pet owner needs to have a quality animal brush.)
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Cotton Balls
  • Toothbrush and Pet Approved Toothpaste Pet stores sell several varieties of dog toothbrushes, but a human toothbrush will work just as well. However, never use human toothpaste on your dog.
  • Blow Dryer Either one specifically made for pets or a human blow dryer with a cool setting.
  • Pet Treats As you groom your pet, reward him throughout the process for remaining calm and still.

Steps to Pet Grooming

1. Stabilize your pet. Secure your dog to your workspace with a leash so he doesnt jump off the table or back away. Make sure to leave enough slack, however, so he isnt uncomfortable.
2. Brush your pet. Begin by brushing your dog thoroughly. Start at the head and work down to the tail, brushing with the grain. Remove any matted or knotted areas carefully.
3. Clean your pets ears. When cleaning your dogs ears, dont dig deep into the ear canal. Dab some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and softly massage the underside of the ear. Do not stick anything inside the ear or scrape at areas.
4. Brush your pets teeth. Gum disease is a huge problem in dogs. Any quality dog grooming will pay careful attention to the teeth and gums. Actually, you should brush your dogs teeth at least once a week to prevent periodontal disease. If your poochs teeth show signs of decay, notify your vet immediately. 
5. Clip your pets claws. Most dog owners (and dogs) get anxious when it comes to nail trimming. Hold the dog in place when clipping, and speak reassuringly to him. Cut the nail two millimeters from the quick. To avoid nicking a blood vessel, make several snips at the nail, rather than one large cut. If you cut too far, place the paw in a bowl of baking soda to stop the bleeding.
6. Trim your pet. If using clippers, get your pet accustomed to the sound before applying them. Keep calm and reassure your pet with soothing words as you proceed. The more often you clip your dogs coat, the less skittish he will be.
7. Place your pet in the tub. Some dogs love the water, and some dont. Place water in the tub before putting your pet in it to avoid the noise of running water. A few inches of water will suffice. The water temperature should be lukewarm. Once the dog is in the tub, have him sit, and reward him.
8. Shampoo and rinse your pet. Wet your dog completely. Follow the directions on the shampoo bottle. Dont use too much product, as residue will irritate the dogs skin. Start at the head, and work your way to the back. Rinse your dog twice to make sure all the soap is gone.
9. Dry your pet. Start by towel drying your dog. If you want to get him completely dry, use a hair dryer on a cool setting. Keep the dryer far from the dog to avoid burning. Again, speak soothingly to him during the process, as the unfamiliar noise and sensation may spook him.

Now that you have the right pet grooming supplies and are aware of the dog grooming basics, you can pamper your pet without spending an arm and a leg. Above all, remember that pet grooming should be a positive experience for both you and your dog.