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Your Ultimate Guide to Grooming a Dog!

Are you trying to groom your dog at home?

Grooming your dog is an essential part of pet care. In fact, regular grooming is
actually excellent for your furry friend’s overall health! While hiring a professional
groomer is an easy way out, it’s not always the cheapest.

So, why not groom your dog at home!?

Most new pet parents get intimidated when they come across grooming guides. We’ll simplify everything for you by creating a comprehensive and easy to follow guide.

Let’s get started!

Nope, Grooming Doesn’t Just Mean Bathing Your

Pet grooming

So, do you think grooming your dog simply means taking him to the bath?

Most inexperienced dog owners don’t know about the pre-bath grooming and miss this critical step! In this section of the blog post, we’ll share a few things you need to do before giving Fido a bath.

Take a look.

Gather The Essentials--Keep Them Nearby!

One of our dearest friends remembers the first time she ever gave her dog a bath.

“I won’t lie; there was a lot of yelling involved! We didn’t keep everything we needed with us, so I had to keep asking my boyfriend to bring me things. He didn’t know where they were. Yeah, we made a lot of mistakes!”

If your dog’s a runner, you’re going to have a problem when you’re scrambling for stuff.

So, it’s best to keep everything you’ll need with you. These things include:

● Dog brush
● Ear cleaning liquid
● Cotton balls
● Dog toothbrush
● Dog shampoo and conditioner
● Nail clippers
● Towel and blow dryer
● Rubbing alcohol
● Collar and leash--just in case!
If you’re like me, you can create a checklist!

I have a dog grooming bin in which I keep all the essentials, so I don’t have to run around and look for them all over the house. 

Grooming Step 1: Brush the Dog!

Steps in grooming your dog

Matted and knotted fur will remain matted and knotted even after a bath. Trust me; I’ve tried.

If you want your furry friend to have shiny and mat-free fur, brush it right before
giving him a bath. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s coat three to four times a

That’s not it!

Most people forget all about combing their dog’s fur!

A comb is more efficient in detangling than a brush is. If your dog has a dense coat, a comb will be helpful. It works like magic for dogs with an undercoat.

Here’s what to do:

● If you come across tangles, you should try to be gentle and work through
them. You can start from the bottom of the knot, and work your way up
● For short-haired dog breeds, curry brushes work well
● Long-haired dogs need other specialized tools like an undercoat rake, pin
brush, etc.


Most dogs enjoy getting brushed. If your pooch has been calm and complacent, you should reward him with a treat!

Don’t Forget to Take Breaks!

It’s easy to overwhelm your dog when you’re grooming him--especially when you’re working on a knot! Make sure you take adequate breaks so that your furry friend doesn’t start associating grooming as something negative.

Short breaks and a lot of cuddles, treats, and playtime in between grooming
sessions will make things easier for you and your dog!

Step 2: Cut the Knots

If you cannot remove a knot without hurting your dog, it’s best to just cut it off. After all, fur grows back. Your dog might look funny for a few days, but it’s better than the alternative!

Why can’t I leave them in?

You can leave them if you want to, but you shouldn’t.

You see, mats and knots might pull on your dog’s skin when he’s going about his day. They can also get stuck in things. So, it’s better to just cut them off.

But, be cautious when using scissors!

I’m not questioning your ability to use scissors, of course. Dogs like to move and wiggle, so make sure you have someone to help you when you’re doing the snipping.

Don’t think you can safely remove the knot? Take a professional groomer’s help.

Step 3: Clean Your Dog’s Eyes 

Most people skip this step because it doesn’t seem important. 

If you have a predominantly white-haired dog or one with large eyes like the Maltese, Pomeranian, Pekingese, or Pug, he’ll need more maintenance in this area compared to others. 

Start off by cleaning your dog’s eyes and removing debris. Tear stains are normal in some dog breeds. If your dog has permanent tear stains, you can buy stain removal products. 

Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Healthy eyes are clear in color. You won’t find unusual discharge or signs of irritation. 
  • Don’t trim the hair around the eyes unless you’re absolutely sure you can work in that area. We recommend visiting a professional groomer. 

Step 4: Don’t Forget to Clean the Ears!

Dogs Grooming guide

It shouldn’t raise any eyebrows if your dog has wax in his ears. It’s natural and completely normal. What should raise flags, however, is a bad odor, swelling, redness, and unnatural growth. 

I love to do a physical inspection as I’m grooming my dog. 

Keep in mind that healthy wax does not smell bad. If that's the case, you should contact your vet as soon as possible. 

So, how do you clean your dog's ears? 

You should use some earring solution with a cotton round to clean your dog's ears from the inside. You don't need Q tips to clean your dog's ears. In most cases, they do more harm than good, so it's best to steer clear of them. 

You’ll be able to find the recommended quantity of the ear cleaner on the bottle. 

It's not rocket science! 

All you need to do is to gently wipe your dog's ear clean, and that's it. 

If your faithful companion has drop ears, then keep in mind to also clean the ear flag as dirt usually collects in that area. It's better to keep it clean and infection-free. 

Take a look at some steps to follow: 

  • Make sure that the solution is not too cold! Bring it to body temperature before putting it in your dog ear. You can do this by placing the bottle in between your legs! 
  • Make sure that you dry your dog’s ear using a dry cloth after you’ve wiped it clean with the cotton ball. 

Was your dog good? If so, don't forget to give him some treats!

Step 5: Brush The Teeth! 

It is a fact that over 85% of dogs over the age of four have some form of gum disease. 

That’s not all. 

Dogs are also plagued with other dental diseases such as tooth infection, loose teeth, cracked teeth, and an abscess. In most cases, dental extraction is the only solution. 

But there’s one thing you can do to prevent these issues? 

Dogs are great at hiding their pain. So, most dental issues get diagnosed in the later stages when the pain is unbearable for your dog. It’s best to brush your dog’s teeth regularly for prevention. 

Also, with regular brushing, you’ll know what’s going on inside your pooch’s teeth and will be able to catch dental disease in the early stages. 

That’ll save Fido a lot of pain! 

The Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste Matters 

I’ve come across many dog owners who believe that dog toothbrushes are nothing but a marketing gimmick. I can’t blame them for believing that. 

But, I’d like you to know that they’re actually not. 

Dog toothbrushes are according to a dog’s needs and specifications. They’re available for all breeds! I recommend you get a dog toothbrush because: 

  • These find their way into the crevices of a dog’s mouth 
  • The bristles are appropriate for cleaning 

Oh, and a human toothbrush will do more harm than good. So, don’t even think about it! 

Now, let’s talk about toothpaste. 

Why get a special and expensive toothpaste for your dog when you have some at your house!? 

Well, your toothpaste can be toxic to your dog. 

Your toothpaste may contain downright toxic ingredients such as Xylitol. So, it’s safe to keep your whitening toothpaste away from your dog. 

All the ingredients used to make dog toothpaste are safe for your dog. It also comes in exciting flavors that your dog may enjoy! That’ll make brushing his teeth easier for you.

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth 

Brushing your dog’s teeth is crucial, so it’s important to perfect your technique. 

You don’t want your dog to have a bad experience! You should always start small. Show the toothbrush to your dog and let him check it out. You should also let your dog explore the taste of the toothpaste. Forcing a foreign object inside your dog’s mouth isn’t the best idea. 

Here’s what to do: 

  1. Let your dog explore the taste of the toothpaste by letting him lick it off of your finger.
  2. As he’s licking the toothpaste, try to “brush” his teeth using your fingers--he’ll get used to the action.
  3. Let your dog explore the toothbrush, if he puts it in his mouth, let him and brush his teeth ever so gently.
  4. Put the paste on the brush and gently brush his teeth. 
  5. Keep in mind, slow and steady wins the race! Let your dog control the speed and intensity. 

Is your dog doing a good job? 

In that case, reward him with his favorite treat! 

Step 6: Let’s Trim the Nails! 

dog grooming: trimming their nails

Does your dog like to scratch the furniture? 

Long nails are not only bad for your furniture and walls, but they’re also bad for your dog! So, trimming them is often necessary. 

Let’s explore more in this section of the blog post.


Here’s Why You Need to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Most people like to skip this step when they’re grooming their dog! And, they don’t realize how important it actually is. 

Here’s why you should trim Fido’s nails: 

  • Scratched Surfaces 

Is your dog playful and excitable? 

In that case, I’m sure you have scratch marks on your doors and furniture! It’s all fun and games until your dog scratches the expensive couch that you just got. 

But that’s not all. 

  • Bad for Your Pet 

So wild dogs have long nails?

Think hard about it before answering. 

No, they don’t. Wild dogs are more active than domestic dogs and get more physical exercise. They run around on uneven surfaces, and their nails get naturally filed. So, they don’t need an appointment with the groomer. 

That’s not the case with domestic dogs. 

Since our pooches like to lounge around the house all day, their nails grow longer than they should. They also mainly walk on the pavement, hardwood floor, tiles, etc. and these surfaces aren’t abrasive enough to file your dog’s nails. 

So, he also feels uncomfortable while walking. 

In fact, long nails in dogs are linked to joint and mobility diseases such as arthritis. Long nails cause a slight change in your dog’s posture, putting more stress on the joints. This may cause inflammation. 

  • Hygiene Matters, too 

It doesn’t take a long time for a nail to get infected. 

People rarely clean their dog’s nails, and, unlike cats, dogs don’t groom themselves as often. So, the area underneath your pooch’s nails is a hotbed for dirt and bacteria. If left unchecked, it can lead to many infections. 

Other nail woes include: 

Split nails
Nail infections
Brittle and crumbling nails 

Here’s How to Clip Your Dog’s Nails 

We recommend you trim your dog's nails at least once a month. 

How do you know when it’s time to trim the nails? 

You’ll know it's time when you start hearing them touch the floor as your dog walks. You may also be able to notice a change in your dog’s posture. 

Here’s how you trim a dog’s nails: 

  • You’ll need to use a sharp pair of nail clippers. Blunt clippers are ineffective and can hurt your dog. 
  • Start by cutting 1/16th of an inch. 
  • The process will be easier if your dog has white or clear nails. Keep the clippers away from the red part--that’s where the blood vessels are. If you cut them, your dog will bleed. 
  • If, however, your dog has dark nails, you’ll have to go slow and cut tiny bits until you reach a satisfactory length. 
  • Dog nail grinders are better than clippers. So, if you’re interested, you can get a nail grinder instead. 

Don’t panic if you hit the blood vessel! 

Accidents happen. 

You can apply some styptic powder, flour, or cornstarch on the nail and put pressure on it until the bleeding stops. 

And no, you’re not a bad dog parent! Sometimes, even professional groomers make a mistake. 

Finding it Tricky? Consult a Professional Groomer 

Are you doing this for the first time? 

In that case, we recommend going to a professional groomer and asking them to guide you through the process. They’ll share some tips and tricks with you when you need to trim the nails at home. 

If your dog has dark nails, you should stick to a professional. 

Here’s a video that might help make things easier for you:

Was that helpful? Let us know in the comments section! 


Part 2: Giving Your Dog a Bath!

guide to grooming a dog

So, why should I bathe my dog regularly? 

Most first-time dog owners ask this question. Bathing your dog is an integral part of general pet care. By regular baths, we don’t mean that you need to bathe your dog every day or every week! 

Experts recommend that you bathe your dog every four to six weeks or as needed. Your dog will need more baths in the summer than he would in the winter. 

In addition to that, bathing your furry friend is great for his coat and skin. It helps him get rid of debris, loose hairs, and scales. 

Not to mention, he’ll look adorable as well! 

If your dog has a medical issue, your vet will recommend how often you should bathe him. 

How Frequently Should You Bathe Your Dog?

The frequency of baths depends on various factors, such as: 

  • The breed 
  • Age 
  • Current season 
  • Medical issues 

You should bathe your dog when necessary or at least once in four to six weeks.

Shampoos and Dog Grooming 

You should invest in the right dog shampoo and conditioner for a proper bath. If your dog has skin issues, it's best to stick to what your vet recommends. 

Good dog shampoo is one that: 

  • Addresses your dog’s unique needs 
  • Contains natural ingredients 
  • Is odorless 

There are hundreds of dog shampoos to choose from on the market. So, do some research before getting one! 

Here’s How You Should Bathe Your Dog 

This is the final section of this blog post. 

We’ll go through how you should bathe your dog and share some actionable steps. So, let’s begin. 

Check the Water Temperature 

Make sure to use lukewarm water when bathing your dog. Dogs are extremely sensitive to hot water, and it can cause burns! In addition to that, hot water strips your dog’s skin and coat off of natural oils. 

Give Your Dog a Good Rinse 

Start by rinsing your dog’s fur with the lukewarm water. Make sure the coat is fully saturated before applying any products to it. You can use a hose or a handheld shower extension for the best results. 

Time to Apply the Shampoo! 

In a small bowl, mix the shampoo with some water until it suds---some natural shampoos don’t sud--and apply it evenly on your dog’s fur. This simple technique helps you spread the shampoo evenly. 

Don’t apply the shampoo on your dog’s ears, eyes, or face! 

Make Sure you Clean His Face! 

The shampoo is too harsh for your dog’s sensitive face. 

You can clean your dog’s face using a wet washcloth to wipe off the dirt and debris. Since the face is a sensitive area, make sure you’re gentle with your furry friend. 

Moving on. 

Rinse and Repeat: As Many Times as Needed 

After shampooing your dog, keep rinsing with clean water until all the shampoo is out. You can apply the conditioner at this stage and play some bath games with your dog at this point. 

After leaving the conditioner in, make sure you rinse until all the product is gone. 

Then, dry your dog using a towel--you can also blow-dry him if needed. Make sure you use the “cool” setting on the drier. Once you’re done, brush his coat for a “fresh out of the groomers” look. 


Summing Up: Your Ultimate Guide to Grooming a Dog 

Did we cover everything you needed to know about dog grooming in this article? 

Grooming your furry friend doesn’t only make him look good--it’s also detrimental to his health and overall well being. Pets also do better psychologically when they’re well-groomed. 

In this ultimate guide, we shared everything you need to know about grooming your furbaby! After going through this, you won’t forget any of the essential steps. 

Leave comments if you have any questions or concerns! We’ll get back to you soon! 

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