With people trying to stay at home as much as possible, more of us are looking into DIYing many things, including grooming our pets.
Many dog groomers are currently closed, so it’s understandable that you might like to tackle your pet’s grooming needs yourself. Although many dogs and their coats can be high-maintenance, there’s no reason you can’t keep on top of their basic grooming needs from the comfort of your own home.
First, you should prepare a grooming area with a non-slip table at a comfortable height and you will need to have all the grooming equipment easily within reach. This should include a lead and collar, combs, brushes, grooming glove, clippers and scissors, dog shampoo, sprays and grooming powders, nail clippers, dog toothpaste and toothbrush, a towel, and treats.
Brush your dog's coat gently in the direction that it grows, checking for things like thorns as you brush and removing any that you find. If the dog’s coat is matted, hold the base of the matted hair as you comb it through to avoid pulling at the skin. If you need to cut matted fur out, keep your hand between the scissors and the skin to avoid cutting your dog. If you notice tiny black specks on the dog's skin while you are grooming, this is a sign that the dog has fleas. Never use cotton buds to clean your dog's ears. Cleansers, drops, and wipes are the safest method.
Bathtime can be a tricky experience in many pets’ households. Petshop chain Petstop has the following advice for novice dog bathers:
- Always close the bathroom door when you are bathing your dog to prevent an escape. Prepare the bathroom by removing all items that could be damaged by water or knocked on to the floor. Before you bathe your dog, brush it thoroughly to remove mats and tangles.
- Place a rubber bathmat in the bath so your dog will be secure and fill the bath 3in-4in full of lukewarm water. Lift your dog into the bath and use a spray hose to gently wet it. Take care not to spray directly into his face. Always use a dog shampoo and massage this into its coat. Depending on the coat's condition you can use shampoos that are designed to improve shine or cure dandruff. Rinse thoroughly to remove all residues.
- After the bath, you can squeeze excess water from the coat and blot the dog dry with a towel. If you prefer to use a hairdryer, make sure you accustom the dog to it before using one. Don't let the dog go outside in cool or cold weather until it is completely dry.