How Do You Groom a Dog Perfectly?

Routine grooming sessions certainly help your dog feel and look its best. But, whether due to time, health, or budget constraints, taking your dog to the groomers isn’t always a feasible option.

So, how do you make sure you give your dog the best care it needs when going to the professionals isn’t possible?

From what we’ve read on DogsCessories, there are a ton of things that you can do at home and ensure that your best friend feels and looks their best.

Here are eight of their best tips. Check out Carefree puppy to find more tips on taking care of your puppies straight from the experts.

Let’s begin!

1. Bathing

Depending on your dog’s breed and coat, regular bathing is needed. But before we go further, it’s important not to go overboard with the frequency.

Bathing your dog too frequently can lead to dry, rough, lackluster coats. This is because the shampoo can strip away much-needed oils in your dog’s hair. We recommend bathing your pup once a week or whenever they’re visibly soiled and smelly.

When bathing your dog, place them inside your tub or a large basin. Before getting them wet, cover their ears with clean cotton balls and drop some dog-friendly mineral oil in their eyes to stop them from getting irritated with soapy water.

Saturate your dog’s coat with warm water, starting from their neck all the way to their legs and tail. Using a mild shampoo specifically formulated for dogs, gently scrub the lather into your dog’s skin.

Once done, rinse thoroughly with warm water and allow them to shake off the excess. Take a dry, clean towel and rub vigorously until all the excess water is soaked up. You can blow dry your dog’s coat as needed, making sure it’s at its lowest setting.

Finally, comb or brush away any tangles or falling hair.

2. Cleaning and protecting your dog’s paws

After bathing your dog or in between baths, wipe away any dirt or debris in between your dog’s paws using a clean cloth and warm soapy water.

To prevent cracking and any painful lesions caused by dry paws, make sure to keep your dog’s paws moist and protected with dog-formulated paw balm. These are non-toxic humectant-rich moisturizers that keep moisture in and irritants out.

Paw balms are especially necessary if you live in an area with dry, hot, or wintery climates.

3. Nail trimming

Long nails break off very easily, create painful wounds, cause infection-prone ingrowns, and even interfere with the dog’s gait. These injuries usually call for an expensive and completely preventable trip to the vet.

One way to determine if your dog’s nails need a trim is when they start to make tapping sounds on the floor.

Using a flashlight, shine the light under your dog’s nails to determine where the quick is. Take a clipper specifically designed for dogs and trim only the hook-like ends of the nail. Then, let your dog stand on the floor and see if the nails touch the floor.

If they do, repeat the steps above until they are just a few millimeters above the ground.

4. Ear cleaning

Cleaning your dog’s ears will depend on how much ear wax they produce. Usually, their ears only require cleaning once a month of their ear production is normal.

However, if they produce a ton of wax on a regular basis or are prone to ear infections, once a week is ideal.

Using a damp cloth or mineral oil-soaked cotton bud, limit your cleaning to the outer part of the ear only. Avoid forcing anything too deep inside, as your dog’s ear canal has a right-angled bend that makes foreign objects incredibly difficult to remove.

For some dogs, it may be necessary to pluck some hairs to encourage air circulation. If you’re not sure, ask your vet.

5. Eye cleaning

As we all know, the eyes are quite sensitive to chemicals and foreign objects. To clean your dog’s eyes, simply take a clean, water-soaked cotton ball and gently remove any discharge or debris.

6. Nose cleaning

Before cleaning your dog’s nose, inspect it for any untoward signs of poor health.

A healthy nose is moist and free of any discolored discharge. While it’s normal for your dog’s nose to become dry at certain times in the day (especially after a nap), beyond that could be a sign of dehydration, sunburns, or dry air.

Use your observations to confirm any other symptoms that are consistent with anything more serious.

If you don’t see any, simply address the occasional dry nose with high-quality, dog-friendly balms, cool water, and/or make sure air humidity is within an ideal range.

For dry dirt or debris, simply take a moist cotton ball or cotton bud and gently wipe them away.

7. Hair brushing

Daily brushing can help remove hair fallout and keep your furniture clean and hair-free. For long-haired dogs, regular brushing ensures they don’t develop matted fur and helps you keep track of any ticks that may have made themselves at home on your pup.

Take a pin brush with long, round-ended steel pins for long-haired dogs or a bristle brush for short- to medium-length-haired dogs.

To remove mats and dead hair, slicker brushes are ideal. To polish coats, use rubber curry combs.

Apply enough pressure to get the tips of the comb or brush to massage your dog’s skin to help stimulate blood circulation and gently remove dandruff.

8. Tooth brushing

Never use human toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth. Most human toothpastes have xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs.

Gently ease your dog into the whole process by massaging your finger into their gums and teeth. Then, slowly add dog-friendly toothpaste to your fingers to get them used to the taste and smell.

Transition into a special toothbrush and gently massage their teeth and gums. Brushing your dog’s teeth three times a week is ideal. However, once they get older, they may need a vet visit to get rid of tartar buildup. You can maintain their teeth using chew toys specifically designed to clean teeth.

Dog Grooming Essentials

  Grooming your dog is a crucial aspect of pet ownership. Every pet owner is familiar with the difficulty of keeping their animals clean. Still, the correct equipment can make the process simpler. All dogs require a regular grooming regimen. Some require routine haircuts, while others require daily coat brushing. One of your dog’s fundamental demands is physical upkeep, such as grooming the coat and nails. You’ll need dog grooming tools to keep up with your dog’s grooming requirements.

1. Dog Combs and Brushes

Dog Being Groomed

  Your grooming toolkit is complete with combs and brushes. These two grooming essentials will come in handy to keep your pooch clean, mat-free, and looking his best. Always use the most appropriate brush or comb for the job. The coat and health of your pet will benefit significantly from regular brushing. As a bonus, brushing your dog’s hair can reduce the amount of hair they shed. Your dog’s breed and coat type will determine which brush you should use. It’s vital to pick brushes carefully, so you don’t accidentally scratch or irritate your dog’s skin.

2. Nail Trimmers

Nail Trimmer

Both dogs and their owners may experience anxiety during nail trimmings. Knowing the proper techniques and using the right tools can help to trim your dog’s paws easily. You can use many trimmers, such as spring-loaded claw-style or plier-style trimmers, which cut the nail in a scissor-like manner. Scissor-like trimmers are best for dogs with small, delicate nails because they don’t have springs; if you are accidentally over-trim, use styptic powder, such as Kwik-stop, to stop bleeding. The pins use filing tools to grind down to achieve a smooth edge nail. Simple emery boards or metal files can be used on small, sensitive nails. 

3. Cleansing Shampoo

A Woman shampooing a dog
Poodle dog being scared in the bathtub of a dog salon while being bathed with shampoo

Your dog also needs good shampoo to maintain their wonderful hair like humans. Look for a shampoo that is appropriate for dogs or cats. The primary purpose of shampoo is to serve as a cleanser of the pores and hairs – reaching beyond the cat or dog’s hair to the skin. Your pet will feel revitalized and energized after a relaxing shampooing session. Nevertheless, it is to be remembered that excessive shampooing may leave your pet dried up. Cleanse your pet’s body thoroughly to remove any residues that may still be there. Pets require conditioning like humans do since it moistens their hair. Look for a shampoo that is specifically designed for your dog or cat.

4. Wipes and Sprays

  These are a convenient way to rapidly refresh your pet when they don’t feel like taking a bath, making them an essential pet grooming item. Aloe vera and Vitamin E are the main ingredients in these disposable wipes and sprays. Most of these wipes and sprays are recommended for cats. They are safe for the dog and entirely non-toxic.

5. Dog Fur Dryers

A dog wearing a towel

  Bathing is a challenging task in dog grooming. To prevent your pet from getting your entire house wet and soiling your furniture, ensure you are equipped with the necessary dryers for your fur babies every after bathing. If your dog is short-haired, you can quickly towel-dry them. Certain dogs enjoy the skin-stimulating effects of a soft, canine-friendly towel. However, towel drying a dog with long hair may take some time and will likely cause more matting and tangles, making fur dyers handy.

The Importance of Dog Grooming

Dog Being groomed

  Regular dog grooming is essential to your dog’s well-being. Regular grooming will help you avoid various issues with your dog’s health, both major and small. Over time, dirt, debris, and parasites can amass in a dog’s coat, causing skin issues, infections, and even allergies. Grooming keeps your dog’s coat healthy and tidy by removing unwelcome debris. Routine grooming is an ideal time to check for potential health issues like ticks, bumps, or sores. Suppose any of these are found early on. In that case, they can be treated to prevent them from developing into more significant problems. Schedule regular grooming sessions to ensure your dog is looking and feeling his best.

1. Keeps your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.

  One benefit of grooming pets is that their coats can stay healthy and good-looking. When you often brush your dog’s coat, you keep it free of mats, tangles, dirt, and other debris. A good brushing also moves oils down the length of your puppy’s fur and removes extra hair stuck in the fur. Finally, brushing can help keep hair from falling out and blowing around your house like tumbleweeds.

2. Makes your dog look its best

  By giving your puppy regular haircuts and trims, you can control the length of its coat and make it look better overall. A dirty, scruffy dog can make its owner look bad, so make sure your puppy’s coat looks good and is healthy.

3. Grooming is the best time to find fleas, ticks, and other parasites

  Fleas, ticks, and other parasites on puppies can be the worst thing to happen to a puppy parent. Give your puppy a flea bath using a special shampoo that is safe for puppies but kills fleas and flea eggs. You may also bring your puppy to a professional groomer to give you a pill that removes fleas in 30 minutes. Grooming is the best time to check for the presence of fleas, ticks, and other parasites, as well as some skin damage.

4. Reduces and prevents stinky odors

  Giving your puppy a regular bath may help prevent and reduce your dog’s stinky odors. You can get rid of the undercoat from its nose to its toes by providing a regular bath. A trim and a bath can do a lot to make a puppy smell better.

5. Builds trust and obedience

  Dog grooming helps with more than just health and looks. When a puppy spends time with a person alone, they get closer to that person. Taking care of your dog regularly can teach and reinforce good manners. 

And there you have it — the eight best tips from the experts. We hope these will help you keep your dog looking and feeling its best!

Just remember that even with religious at-home grooming, your dog will benefit immensely from special trips to the vet and groomers when needed.