How to groom your dog at home

Easy to follow guide for how to groom a dog at home

Grooming requirements for dogs will greatly vary depending on things like their breed, coat type and size.

We’ve covered everything from why grooming is important to offering tips for grooming your dog at home in our handy grooming guide.

Why is grooming your dog important?

Your dog will look and feel better with a proper grooming routine. It’s also a great opportunity for bonding with your pet but also gives you the chance to look for indicators of potential problems in their coats, ears, eyes, and nails.

Even if your dog has quite a low-maintenance or short coat, it should still be groomed and washed on a regular basis.

Whether you’re taking your dog to a professional groomer regularly or opting for at home dog grooming, it’s important to make sure that the grooming needs of your dog are met.


How often should you give your dog a bath?

While it's good to keep your dog clean, you should avoid washing them too regularly. This can cause the skin to dry up, interfere with external worming and flea treatments, and even cause skin diseases. Typically once every 2-3 months is more than enough. 

Do I need to train my dog before grooming them?

Ideally, you should start small and get your new puppy or dog used to groom gradually.

After all, it can be a scary thing to have their fur detangled if they don’t understand what’s going on.

Getting them used to being groomed at an early age will help your puppy get more comfortable with a regular grooming routine.

Settling my puppy into a new home

6 Tips for Grooming your dog

  • Brush your dog’s coat on a regular basis

Brushing regularly will help avoid matting and keep it looking its best. The type of brush you use will largely depend on your dog’s coat type and length.

Typically breeds that are longhaired (such as Golden Retrievers) will need to be brushed more often than shorthaired breeds (such as Labrador Retrievers).

A regular brushing routine helps keep matting at bay and removes loose hair and dirt in between baths.

  • Don’t forget to trim your dog’s nail

This should always be done very carefully at home. You’ll know when it’s time to trim their nails as you’ll notice that you’ll hear their nails against hard surfaces in your home.

Keeping their nails trimmed helps stop them from being bothered by excessively long nails.

Be careful not to trim your dog's nails too short or it may bleed.

  • Try to make grooming sessions enjoyable for your dog

If you’re grooming your pooch for the first time, try to encourage and praise your dog. It’s important that you start exposing them to grooming as young as possible. Using lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement will help them learn to enjoy the grooming.

Positive Puppy Training Guide
Tips to make the grooming experience easier on your puppy:

1. Avoid rushing through the grooming process

2. Offer plenty of praise and cuddles for completing a grooming session

3. If bathing your dog, make sure to put a slip-proof mat to stop them from sliding about.

4. Offer them a tasty treat to take their mind off grooming.

What can dogs not eat?
  • While grooming your dog, keep an eye on their skin

When you are grooming your dog, make it a habit to inspect their skin. To do this, begin by feeling your dog’s skin for any strange lumps that shouldn’t be there.

If you find a bump, split their coat, and look for blisters, rashes, bald areas, or redness. If you are worried about anything you find, it’s a good idea to call your vet for further advice.

  • Keep your dog’s coat trimmed

Although the majority of dog owners will opt to have their pet’s hair clipped at a groomer. If this isn’t possible or they’re simply in between visits, it’s a good idea to keep your pet’s fur-trimmed to stop it from being unruly.

You should pay special attention to the hair around your dog’s eyes to stop it from obscuring their vision or aggravating their eyes.

Remember to be very careful when trimming your puppy’s fur as it’s very easy to catch your pet with sharp clippers or scissors.

  • Examine the ears of your pet often

Your dog can’t tell you when they’re in pain, so it’s important to remember to examine their ears closely.

Signs of possible ear infections in dogs are:

- An unusual odour (particularly if it smells sweet)

- More than usual ear wax being present

- Your dog scratching at its ears frequently

- Irritated or wet looking ears

- If your pet doesn’t want you to check their ears

Benefits of owning a dog
How to choose a professional groomer for your puppy

It can be daunting for some dog owners to groom their dogs.

Some dog breeds have complicated breeding needs, or you may simply prefer that a professional pet groomer does it.

Either way, it’s important to make sure you’re picking the perfect pet groomer for your puppy.

We’ve put together 4 easy tips for picking the right dog groomer:
  1. Always, always, always ask your vet if they know any good pet groomers near you.
  2. Are the groomers part of any organisations? Good ones to keep an eye out for are the British Dog Groomers’ Association and Pet Care Trust.
  3. Although not a legal requirement, many professional dog groomers will have recognised qualifications. Always ask where you can!
  4. Wherever possible, request a tour of their dog grooming facilities. A good dog groomer will be happy to do this to put your mind at rest.
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