Do It Yourself Dog Grooming Tips

Dog Grooming At Home

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Welcome to do it yourself dog grooming tips that will help you save money by grooming your pet at home. This may appear difficult at first but, you can do it by following some simple grooming steps that are outlined below.

What a better way for you and your pet to bond together. Regular pet grooming is very important as it will keep your dog clean and healthy. Scheduling regular grooming sessions with your pet will also help prevent yeast infections caused by matted hair, ear infections with wax buildup, and periodontal disease for uncured teeth.

This article will cover some of the basic grooming procedures that you can do at home which will help make it more pleasant for all involved. You may have to keep some of his/her favorite treats handy when you start any of these grooming sessions.

The topics below are for further reading. Just click on the topic of interest and you will be directed to that section. Or, just scroll down to view them all.

The following topics will be covered in greater detail:

There are videos in the appropriate sections that you can watch to help you how to perform the procedure.


Before you undertake and begin a grooming session with your pet, be sure you have on hand all of the necessary grooming supplies and tools. This will include the proper supplies for cleaning eyes, ears, trimming nails or hair, brushing teeth, bathing and drying your pet.

Please note, you may not be able to accomplish all of the grooming steps in just one session. You will have to consider the patience of your dog and how long your dog can stand each of the grooming sessions. You want to vary them. However, do each as recommended by your veterinarian. For new dog owners, you may have to train your dog on each step one at a time.

Some dogs may not like you bathing them or trimming their nails etc. Always have on hand plenty of his favorite treats when undertaking any training session. This is so you can reward him for doing what you are asking of him.

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Brushing Your Dog

Brushing Dog
I Like This! Brushing Feels Good.

Before bathing your dog, always brush him first and do it thoroughly. When wet, mats enlarge and can become unmanageable. If a mat goes undetected or coat care is neglected, you may have to shave or cut out the mat so that bacteria doesn’t grow between it and the skin and cause a yeast infection.

If you should have a short haired breed dog, you only need go over with a curry brush or glove, medium to long coated dogs may require special tools like a slicker, a pin or an undercoat rake. These tools can be bought at a local pet store.

Whatever tool you use it must effectively remove loose hair and distribute oils from the skin throughout the coat.

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Other Grooming Tips

We will now cover some other grooming tips that will help your dog look great! The tips will cover the eyes, ears, and how to clean your dog’s ears and a video to show you how.


Some breed of dogs may require more maintenance in this area than others. You can pull eye boogers away from the potentially irritating spot in the corner of the eye, long-haired or white haired dogs require special attention to make sure all gunk is out of the coat. You can buy products which remove tear stains from a white coat available in most pet stores. A healthy eye should be clear and should not show signs of irritation or unusual discharge. Your vet can cut the hair around the eyes for you, which can cause the tear stains (do not try this yourself).

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A clean ear may contain some wax and should not have any smell to it. Before placing any cleaner or medication in your dog’s ear, warm it to body temperature (like a baby bottle) before putting it in the ear. Cold is painful in the ear canal. A few drops of warmed rubbing alcohol will dry water from the ear canal and kill bacteria, yeast and mites.

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Cleaning the Ear

Watch this excellent video on how to clean your dogs ears.

Cleaning Dog’s Ears Video

  • To clean your dog’s ears, apply any recommended ear cleaning solution to a cotton ball and simply wipe dirt and wax away from the inner ear.
  • Be careful not to rub vigorously as to cause sores, and do not travel too far into the ear, as both can cause damage.
  • Be prepared for your dog not to like the process; you will meet with some resistance. Have some treats available for this.
  • When you are done wiping the ear with a damp cotton ball or cloth, gently dry it out with a dry one.
  • If you should notice your dog’s ear is swollen, red, dark or blackened, showing signs of discharge or sores, or smells bad, contact your veterinarian. This is not normal and could be signs of infection or disease.

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Brushing Dog’s Teeth

Here is a startling statistic, according to veterinarians; about 80% of dogs have periodontal disease. This means if your dog continually digests plaque on a regular basis, it may lead to kidney or liver disease and rotting teeth. Not good. If you have a new puppy, you may be interested in reading about “The Teething Process For Puppies”.

Watch this excellent video on how to clean dog’s teeth.

Brushing Dogs Teeth
See! My Teeth Needs Cleaning.

Here are some teeth cleaning tips:

  • Plan on brushing your dog’s teeth at least two to three times a week. You may use a product called PetzLife antimicrobial spray if you do not have the time or your pet is resistant to having its teeth brushed.
  • Use only products made for dogs so you do not unintentionally poison your dog.
  • Use gauze over your finger or a tooth brush or any other effective product available. PetsToothBrush is a surgical glove with bristles attached to the thumb and forefinger.
  • Ease your pet into the process so that it can be a pleasant experience rather than a stressful one so you don’t get yourself bitten.
  • Pets like the human touch than using the plastic brush.

If your dog has a buildup of plaque or tartar, a veterinarian may be needed. Some dogs will allow you to scrape the tartar if you are brave enough to try it. Purchase a dental scraper and be gentle. Brushing or spraying three times a week supplemented with an occasional frozen raw bone should be enough maintenance.

Do not use human toothpaste on your pets. Pet will swallow the toothpaste and may get sick. Purchase only pet toothpaste specially approved for pets.

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Trimming Nails

Trimming Dogs Nails With Clipper
My Long Nails Feel Uncomfortable! Thank You For Trimming My Nails Using A Dog Nail Clipper.

If your dog’s nails are left untrimmed, nails can grow to enormous lengths, twisting toe and causing a pained irregular gait that can lead to skeletal damage, even curling into the pads of the foot.

To prevent this from happening, clip your dog’s nails regularly. Depending upon the breed of dog, you may have to do this weekly or as often as once a month or somewhere in-between. To trim nails use a pet nail clipper and trim about 1/16 of an inch away.

Human clippers can be used on small breeds of dogs. Try not to clip into the pink area. If you should do this and your pet bleeds, use styptic powder or corn starch and apply it with a bit of pressure should stop the bleeding.

Watch this video to show you how to trim dog nails.

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Cutting Your Dog’s Hair

Cutting Dogs Hair
My Hair Is Long And It Needs Cutting!

Just before bathing your dog, you should cut his hair. You don’ have to cut his hair to bathe him. You especially want to do this when summer is arriving to help keep him cool when outdoors. Introduce this grooming session when the dog is young. Be sure to have plenty of treats close buy to reward him accordingly. Below are some tips for cutting his hair:

  • Avoid a clipper that has a loud or irritating buzz. This could scare your dog.
  • When cutting, leave at least 1″ of coat for insulating him from the heat of the sun and to shield his skin from sunburn. This will be critical for long haired breed dogs.
  • Use the appropriate tool to remove tangles and mats before using any clippers.
  • When using clippers keep the blades at a comfortable temperature to prevent any burns to the dog’s skin.

Watch the video on how to use clippers to trim your dog’s hair.

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Bathing Your Dog

After you have completed the brushing and other grooming steps on your dog, you are now ready to bathe your dog. You should bathe your dog once every two weeks. If he is new and has not been bathed before, you may have to train him first so he can get used to it.

Here are some basic steps you can use in bathing your dog:

  • Some dogs are afraid of the sound of running water. If this is the case, you need to desensitize your pet to the sound.
  • Do not place him in a bathtub. He will be sitting in dirty bath water. Try to use a sink big enough for him.
  • Remove his regular collar and replace it with one that will not stain his coat or be damaged by water to restrain him in the tub or sink.
  • Do not put on his regular collar until he is fully dry. Failure to observe this may result in your dog getting sores around his neck.
  • Wet him down thoroughly using lukewarm water. If you have a medium or large dog, you may need to attach a water pressurizer to the hose or hose attachment for the sink, bath spout, or shower head can help clean all parts of your dog’s body.
  • Use only a shampoo and conditioner that’s especially formulated for dogs.
  • Begin shampooing at the neck and move downward. Shampoos are easier to apply if diluted. It’s better to give two shampoos that rinse thoroughly than one strong shampoo that leaves a residue. When shampooing a certain area, give it a few squirts and use your hand to spread the shampoo. For hairy dogs or double coated dogs, you may need to use a curry brush to work the shampoo into the coat. Continue this until you have completed his body and legs. Save his head for last. When doing his head, do not use shampoo around the eyes and ears. Be careful of his nose and mouth. Before rinsing, let the shampoo rest on the dog for 3 to 4 minutes (older dogs and not puppies).
  • Thoroughly rinse your pet. As long as you see dirt or soap bubbles in the water coming off an area, keep spraying, then move on. Shampoo left in the coat will cause hot spots, an irritating spot of bald, itchy, red skin. Be careful not to get any water or suds in his ears and eyes. If you should get any water in his ears, use a cotton ball into his ear and gently pat the area. If your dog should be scratching his ear after bathing, take him to the vet to remove any water. Water left in his ear can cause serious damage.
  • Towel dry your dog as best as you can. If you have a short coat breed of dog, you can let his coat dry naturally. If you have a larger breed or a double coat dog, you blow dry your dog’s as best as you can. This is especially true for long hairy dogs. When using a blow dryer use the cool setting which may take longer. Also, use a professional quality dryer model, because of the amount of time it will take take to dry your dog’s hair.
  • Diluting shampoo. When diluting a shampoo, the ratio is 1 part of shampoo with 10 parts of water.

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You can see for yourself that by following these easy do it yourself pet grooming tips will make you a better pet owner and build a stronger bond with your pet. You will become a pro in no time. Some of you may feel uncomfortable in performing some of these basic grooming steps for your dog. You can always let your vet do it or you can take your pet to a professional groomer. Be prepared to spend some extra money for any of these services.

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Purchase Dog Grooming Supplies

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