Grooming Your Dog at Home

kids wash boston terrier puppy in blue basin in summer garden on a wooden terrace

If you cannot get your dog to the groomers, here are a few tips to help you to make grooming your dog easier.

Trimming your pet’s nails

  1. When trimming your pet’s toenails, it is important that you purchase the right clippers.  Do not use nail trimmers designed for people.
  2. Many dogs do not like having their nails trimmed and it is recommended that the owner starts rubbing their pet’s feet and keep this practice going through out their life. This approach will help reduce your pet’s anxiety of the nail trim and it reduces your chances of getting bit by your dog.  
  3. When you are ready to trim the nails, pull the foot backwards, as if you are trying to shoe a horse. This is more comfortable for your pet and it would be easier for you to trim the nails.
  4. When you start cutting the toenail, your first cut should reveal a white powdery substance. You are not done, keep trimming until the white powdery substance starts turning black.  At this point, you should stop because if you keep trimming any further, you risk the chance of hurting your dog’s toe and causing it to bleed.
  5. If your dog begins to get anxious and begins fighting your attempt to trim the nails, you need to stop for a few minutes and play with your pet. This will reduce your and their anxiety levels.  After a few minutes you should begin trimming the nails again.
  6. If you can, have another person distract your pet by rubbing their ears or feeding your pet peanut butter, this will make your toenail trimming task easier.

Bathing

  1. Make sure that if you are using any topical parasiticides, wait about a week before bathing your pet. If you don’t, you will be washing away the product.
  2. When bathing your pet, make sure that the water is lukewarm. You don’t want to scald your pet or freeze them while you are bathing them. 
  3. Try to use a hose or removable shower head for bathing your dog. This allows for better control of the water to help in rinsing the fur before and after shampoo use.
  4. If you can avoid it, do not use human shampoo. Some brands can cause dryness of the skin and your dog will begin to itch. 
  5. When using medicated shampoos from your veterinarian, you will need to leave the medicated shampoo on your pet for at least 15 minutes. The active ingredients need to penetrate the fur and get absorbed into the skin. If your pet is suffering from allergies, some medicated shampoos need to be applied to the skin and fur for a longer period of time.
  6. When rinsing, try to stay away from the head, especially the ears. If water gets into your pet’s ears, it might lead to an ear infection.  We recommend that you apply the shampoo up to where the color would rest on your dog’s neck. 
  7. When you are done with the bath, dry your dog off with towels. Do not use a hair dryer.  This can cause the skin to dry and your pet will begin to itch.
  8. If bath time is a challenge, try purchasing a “Kong” toy that can be applied to the wall and fill it with peanut butter or another veterinarian approved treat for the Kong toy. This will distract your pet while you bathe them.

Grooming

If possible, leave this to the professional groomers.  If you decide that the you want to groom your pet, do not use scissors. You might end up cutting your dog and they might require stitches. 

Our recommendations are:

  1. Use trimmers with the plastic blade guides. The guides will help protect your pet from razor burns.
    1. Not all trimmers are equal.
      1. Professional grade trimmers have sharper blades and are designed for longer period of use.
      2. Trimmers purchased from local stores will not hold up to continue usage.
  2. When trimming the fur, do not use the shortest setting at first cut. This will cause the clippers to get “snagged” in the fur and will pull on your pet’s skin.  Cut the fur in smaller increments.
  3. Be careful around the genital areas. If you shave the fur too short, it can cause your pet to develop a rash and they will begin licking the areas to soothe the pain.
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We are a place where pets and their people can feel at home. It's a place where wellness is maintained and supported from the time they’re newborns through their golden years.