Grooming your dog at home is an excellent way to save money. Dog grooming can cost your upwards of $90 depending on where you go. It also stresses out your dog to have to wait in a cage for his turn at grooming, then be dried with a big blow drier before going home. Generally speaking, you can do everything that groomers do on your own. All you need are the right tools and a little time. So let’s talk about grooming your dog and saving money and peace of mind for your dog.
Grooming Your Dog at Home – The Tools of the Trade
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There are some basic tools you’ll need for grooming your dog at home. It doesn’t take a lot of equipment to groom your pup, and the equipment itself will run you a little less than $2o0. However, when you compare the cost of the equipment to the cost of shelling out anywhere from $50 to $90 every 6 weeks for grooming, doing it yourself pays for itself in the long run. Here’s what you’ll need.
- Clipper Set – Get a dog clipper set. It doesn’t have to be a super fancy “professional” set, but it should be for dogs. I recommend a trimmer that has several blade guards. These allow you to adjust the height of the clippers without having to buy separate blades.
- Wide Tooth Comb – If you’ll be doing any sort of styling (anything other than zipping off all your dog’s hair to a uniform length) you’ll need a comb to help you guide the shears.
- Thinning Shears – Again, these are for cases where you’re not just zipping all the hair down to one length. Thinning shears work well for thinning a thick coat (obviously) as well as for blending and finishing if you don’t got the “uniform buzz” route.
- Standard Shears – These are simply hair cutting shears. These are generally used for cutting the hair around the face, ears, and pads.
ABC’s and 1,2,3’s of Grooming Your Dog at Home
So now that you know what you’ll need for grooming your dog on your own, let’s talk about how to do it. You can’t just pounce on your dog with clippers in hand and go to town. There are steps to get your dog looking like a little Dapper Dan (or Danielle, as the case may be).
The first thing you want to do is bathe your dog. Bathing him gets all the dirt and oil and general built of crud of life off of his coat. This helps ensure long blade life of both your clippers and your shears because there will be no extra gunk in the hair to dull the blades. It also ensures that the clipper blades don’t get caught in his hair and pull. After you bathe your pooch, you can either blow dry his coat or towel dry him as much as possible and then allow him to air dry the rest of the way. I give my guys a once over with the towel and let them air dry because the blow dryer terrifies them.
After he’s all dry, it’s time to clip. If all you’re doing is clipping him to a uniform length, start with his head and work your way down. I generally start at the brown and clip backward down the head as well as lay the clippers flat on his ears and trim from the base to the tip. From their I continue down the back, legs, and belly, always being sure to clip WITH the grain – NEVER against. Clipping against the grain can cause the hair to pull, which is painful for the pooches.
You’ll finish off your home grooming session with scissors. Using these, you’ll do any blending you might need to if you’ve decided to get fancy. Otherwise, if you’re like me, you’ll use them to trim up the paws and around the ears and the eyes.
Grooming Your Dog at Home is Easier Than You Think
Grooming your dog at home is a fairly straightforward endeavor. In fact, it’s only as difficult as your dog is squirmy, which brings me to my final thoughts. If you’re considering grooming your dog at home, you need to take his overall demeanor into account. I only recommend grooming your dog at home if he is very chill or at least follows commands well. Trying to clip the hair of a squirmy, fearful dog is a recipe for frustration or possible injury. So if your dog has the right temperament, consider grooming your dog at home and save some green.