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4 Top Tips for grooming your dog at home

Caring for and grooming your dog can be trying. This is especially true if you have a heavy shedding dog breed like Jack Russel or a dog with two coats.

Every dog has different grooming needs. For example, my dog Sasha needs brushing daily to help with hair knotting.

Almost all dogs need to be bathed, brushed, teeth cleaned, and nails trimmed. So here are my top 3 tips for keeping your pooch happy, healthy, and well-groomed!


1. Treats, treats, and more treats!

Grooming should be a non event time for you and your pet. It’s a pawsome time to work on bonding, working as a team, and building trust. By infusing a little fun and using treats before, during, and after grooming, you will help your pet see that spiffed up can be enjoyable!

When starting, focus on one task at a time to keep grooming sessions short. Stay calm, give lots of positive reinforcement, and keep your dog as unrestrained and safe as possible. Sasha likes to be handled sparingly. Touching her at first was a challenge, but through vet-handling games, we now have a much easier time. I always make sure she has many breaks. For example, I might brush once and then release forward with a toss of food when she returns and resume my training.

2. Know your dog’s coat type and the appropriate grooming approach.

Did you know that not all dogs should have hair or fur cut? It’s true, huskies, mastiffs, Labradors, German shepherds, border collies, and malamutes have coats that don’t need to be cut as regular dog grooming maintenance.

Long-haired dogs tend to need more brushing. So no matter the dog breed, you’ll want to stay on top of brushing, especially during the shedding season.  

If you have questions about your dog’s coat, consult a groomer to discuss how best to care for your pup’s fur.

3. Get the appropriate tools you need

Think of everything you use for basic hygiene and grooming. I use BRUSH, SHAMPOO, FACE WASH, NAIL CLIPPERS, to name a few.

You will need hygiene products and dog-friendly tools like pet shampoo, pet conditioner, face wash, nail clippers, doggy bathtub, ear cleaner, and Plaque K9 (no toothbrush needed!). One special treat I do for my dog is giving her a lick mat when combing her hair.

Remember, keep it simple and fun! No need to stress yourself and Fido out with nail clipping and more advanced stuff like shearing and cutting. Let’s leave that to the pros.

4. Brush your dog regularly.

Maintaining their fur or hair is essential even if you aren’t bathing Fido. When I first got Sasha, I did not comb her hair enough and under her ears were a mess. My previous dogs did not need as much hair care. I learned quickly how vital hair care for long-haired dogs is.

Brushing regularly has many benefits, such as removing dirt, detangling, preventing matting, and keeping the coat and skin healthy.] Brushing can make less work for you too. You’ll spend less time vacuuming and lint rolling. Lucky Sasha’s hair blends into our couch. But I make sure I sweep up before visitors. She loses hair the same way people do, but taking care of her is essential.

When to hire a professional…

Only some dogs are great with at-home grooming, and only some dog parents are great (or have the time) to groom their pets.

Here are some reasons you’ll want to seek out professional grooming services:

• Cleaning anal glands

• Shampooing mud or a skunked dog

• Removing fleas or ticks

• When your pup is matted and needs professional help

• If your dog is super-stressed, getting their nails trimmed, ears cleaned, etc.

• Your dog has hair that needs special upkeep

• You’ve fallen behind on at-home brushing and need professional help

• You don’t have time, energy, or the space at home to properly groom Fido

Would you happen to know a groomer you trust? We would love to hear in the comments below!

Good Dog Concept Training LLC,   Mount Laurel NJ 08054 - 856-905-1556


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