When it comes to taking care of our pets, one way that we can save a little money is by grooming our dogs at home. It's a tough job and it can get messy, but with a little elbow grease, we can get our dogs looking sharp on our own, right?
Well, grooming a dog may be a little more complicated than you think. If you want to groom your dog at home, keep reading to learn what dog grooming mistakes you should avoid.
1. Not Training Your Dog
Hands down, the first thing you need to do whether you want to groom your dog yourself or take them to a groomer is to train them. There is nothing worse than a reactive dog that is filled with anxiety and has no idea what you want them to do. This is especially true when you put them in a weird situation like grooming.
Get your dog used to being touched all over, including the face, tail, paws, and belly. Introduce them to buzzing and other loud noises so they're not afraid of the grooming equipment.
When you start grooming them, do it with lots of treats and affection so they learn to associate grooming time with positive reinforcement.
2. Not Brushing Before Bathtime
If you have a long-haired dog, don't even think about getting them wet before giving them a brushing. That long hair will mat so easily as soon as it gets wet. Plus, it tangles and sets knots.
Before you put your long-haired dog in the bath, give them a brush to get rid of dead hair that got tangled in their coat.
3. Not Brushing After Bathtime
After the bath, it's time for another brushing! This brushing will get rid of the dead hair that fell off after the bath.
If you have a dog with a long coat, taking care of it is a full-time job.
4. Skipping the Winter Grooming
We know that our dogs' coats help to keep them warm during the winter. In that frame of mind, many dog parents don't want to start grooming in the winter because they're afraid it'll make them cold.
While you don't have to cut your dog's hair in the winter, you shouldn't skip the rest of the grooming process. If you don't bathe and brush your dog, especially if they have long hair, you're going to have a matted mess to clean up in the spring.
While there are dog grooming products that can make cleaning up matted fur easier, it can still be a long and painful process.
5. Inconsistent Grooming
You don't have to have a full-blown grooming session each time you groom your dog. If your dog doesn't need a bath, you should still go through with all of the other aspects of grooming.
Don't forget to still brush your dog. Once a week is good for many long-haired dogs that are low maintenance regularly. But for some dogs, like poodles or golden-doodles, to prevent matting, you should care for their hair more frequently.
They also need their ears cleaned out and their nails clipped often. Neglecting these things can cause health issues for your dog!
6. Cutting Nails Carelessly
When it comes to cutting your dog's nails, you need to have the proper dog grooming products to get the job done right. Trimming nails can be a challenge for even the most veteran dog groomers. It could be a challenge for you.
Use sharp clippers and replace them regularly. If you use dull clippers, they'll crush the nail instead of cutting them and you can hurt your dog.
Learn how to find the quick of your dog's nails. This is easy for dogs with light nails, you'll be able to see the pink through the nail. But if your dog has dark nails, you have to take your time and make sure you don't clip it.
Cutting through the quick of the nail will cause your dog to bleed and can cause pain and infection.
7. Getting Shampoo in the Eyes
Take special care when you're washing around your dog's eyes. Most shampoos are safe to get near the eyes, but they can still hurt and make bathtime a stressful situation.
Wash slowly and make sure you rinse thoroughly.
8. Not Keeping Your Pet Inside After Grooming
So, your dog is fresh out of the bath. What's the first thing they want to do? Run around and roll all over things, of course!
This is just your dog's natural reaction to being wet. But unless you want them covered in dirt and other debris the second they're out of the bath, keep them inside while they get their zoomies out.
9. Using Dull Clippers
When you cut your dog's hair with dull clippers, you run the risk of causing them razor burn. Not only does it hurt and cause grooming to become a stressful situation, but it can also become infected.
Always replace your clippers as soon as they start to go dull. You'll have an easier time cutting your dog's hair and you'll protect your dog's skin all at once.
10. Neglecting the Ears
Make cleaning your dog's ears a part of your grooming routine! Cleaning your dog's ears can be stressful, so talk to your vet and ask them to show you how before you start. But once you get into the habit of taking care of their ears yourself, you'll lower their risk of infection.
Avoid These Dog Grooming Mistakes
As you can tell, there are a lot of dog grooming mistakes you can make when trying to groom your dog yourself. It's for this reason that many pet parents decide to send their dog to the groomers instead of doing a shoddy job of it themselves. But if you've got the time to learn the basics of grooming, you'll be taking care of your dog on your own in no time!
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