From outdoor excursions to rough-and-tumble playtime, our pups definitely have a habit of getting into messes, no matter how close an eye we keep on them. But with many groomers closed or completely booked seemingly through the end of the century (yikes!), how can we get them clean? The answer is simple – get them all groomed and cleaned up at home! Not only does it help you save time and money, but also it’s a great way for you to bond with your pup!
If you’ve never taken to grooming your dog at home, never fear. We’ve been in the business of helping pet owners get their pups and kitties squeaky clean at home for over 25 years and are happy to help you get started. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite DIY grooming for dogs tips at home to help you both along the way.
When it comes to grooming for dogs at home, it’s important to have the right tools and the right mindset before you get started. After all, being prepared will help lower your stress levels as well as those of your pup! Then you can focus on having fun and getting clean.
Grooming Tip 1: Stay Cool & Collected
Our pups are no dummies – they can easily pick up on how their human paw-rents are feeling. When we’re stressed, this feeling can easily be passed on to our empathetic pups, who then in turn will be stressed, too. By staying cool and collected from start to finish, you’ll help lower the stress levels of your pup and help show them that grooming at home can be fun, too!
Grooming Tip 2: Treats, Treats & More Treats!
Another way to help keep your pup calm and even excited about bath time and grooming at home? Treats! By giving them extra-special treats throughout the grooming process, this will help them associate positive feelings with this routine, making them more likely to behave during future grooming sessions or baths.
Grooming Tip 3: The Right Tools Make All of the Difference
When it comes to grooming for dogs, having the right tools ready to go will help the whole process go by so much more easily. Here’s what we’d suggest having on-hand:
- Natural Pet Shampoo/Conditioner – Learn more about what to look for in our Earthbath Shampoo 101 blog post.
- Brushes & Combs – look for ones that are intended for your pup’s breed!
- Nail Trimmer & File
- Scissors for Long-Haired Pups
- A Toothbrush & Toothpaste – to keep those teeth sparkling clean!
- Natural Grooming Wipes for Eyes, Mouth & Ears
- Towels, Towels & More Towels! – trust us, you’ll need them all!
If you’re not sure which brushes, combs or other tools you need for your unique pup, it doesn’t hurt to ask your vet or groomer! Either will be able to advise you on any considerations you should be taking for your pup’s particular breed or needs.
Grooming Tip 4: Follow the Right Grooming Steps!
After you have your tools lined up, your treats ready to go, and the right mindset in place, it’s time to jump on the actual grooming process. This, of course, will vary based on your pet’s unique breed, but will generally follow these steps.
- Thoroughly brush your pup before bath time to detangle and release both loose fur and dander. Use the scissors to trim any fur that is too long or tangled.
- Use grooming wipes to clean targeted areas, such as ears, eyes or teeth to remove dirt, gunk & stains.
- Use a toothbrush & dog-friendly toothpaste to gently clean teeth and gums.
- If needed, trim your pup’s nails using the nail trimmer, first focusing on the thinnest part of the nail & then filing down the excess area to avoid cutting their nail quick.
- Gently wash your pup with warm water and apply a natural pet shampoo.
- Scrub the shampoo into your pup’s coat gently, focusing on problem areas that need extra attention & avoiding the eyes.
- Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm or warm water (and remember that you’re definitely in the splash zone!).
- Apply a natural pet conditioner to your pup, scrubbing it gently into their coat.
- Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Thoroughly dry your pup and beware that they’ll definitely help by shaking their fur out!
- Load them up with praise & treats!
Grooming Tip 5: Keep Them Clean Between Baths!
The best method of grooming for dogs at home? Minimize how often you need to do it! Keep them as clean as possible between baths by using spritzes, wipes & more. Using these convenient products will help extend the life of any bath.
Grooming Tip 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Take It Easy!
Sometimes, doing everything all at once can become pretty overwhelming, for both you and your pup, especially if either of you is new to the home grooming routine. Don’t be afraid to take a step back, move slowly through the process, or only do a few steps before taking a break. Remember, this should be fun while helping you bond with your pup in addition to helping them get squeaky clean!
With all of these tips combined, you’re ready to have the ultimate at-home grooming experience for both you and your pup. Happy bathing!
Our At-Home Grooming Essentials!