How to Groom Your Dog From Home

dog grooming from home

Bending over the tub can be a real backbreaker, not to mention the clogged drains in the tub. Whether you have a short-haired, typically low maintenance breed or a long-haired dog who requires ongoing and regular coat attention, all dogs can suffer from dry skin, overgrown nails and matted coats. We’re here to help you!

When grooming from home, consider doing so at a time when you are most relaxed. The less nervous that you are, the better for your dog. Animals can sense when you’re approaching with apprehension. If you are making the choice to do some home grooming, we’re hoping this tool list will help you.  Remember, you’ve got this! Be confident as best you can and let’s get your dog comfortable.

Home Grooming Tips

  1. Keep your sessions short
  2. Have plenty of treats readily available
  3. Teach cooperative care techniques for handling
  4. Have all the necessary tools best for your breed of dog and their temperament

Check out my Amazon Storefront for all kinds of tools that can help!

Bathing Your Dog

  1. Avoid dry skin by bathing no more than once per month
  2. Consider a portable tub. These are great for taking the anxiety out of the experience for both the dog and the handler. Also, you can get all the way around the dog, 360 degrees.
  3. Always comb out your dog’s hair before you bathe in order to prevent matting of the coat.


Bathing Tools

  1. Giving your dog a massage while you bathe can de-shed at the same time when you use a grooming glove.
  2. Use non-toxic all-natural ingredients for your shampoo choices. Never use “people” shampoo!
  3. Consider a two-in-one product that has shampoo and conditioner together in one. Better yet, go for the dry shampoo for dogs, in between grooms.

Here’s a list of all kinds of great, all natural grooming products. 

Combs and Brushes for Long-Haired Dogs

Brushing the coat to keep the skin and hair healthy is more important than adding water and soap. Brush – brush and BRUSH some more to help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Keep in mind, brushing only removes tangles from the top of the coat, which can leave the knots underneath the surface. Be sure to invest in a good comb that gets down to the bottom of the coat.

  • A flat spine comb. We like this one here!
  • Use a gentle pin brush while the dog is still wet. (Adding a conditioner while the dog is wet can assist in working through knots and matted fur!)
  • Choose a pin brush that has rounded ends at the end of the bristles to prevent brush burn or skin irritation.
  • Keep up with those tear stains and the eye junk with this product here. Better yet, you can really keep up using this kit from Envy Eye.

Brushes for Short Haired Dogs

  • Consider the Zoom Groom made by Kong. This tool also massages as it cleans which dogs really appreciate!
  • Consider a de-shedding tool such as the Sleek EZ here.

Scissors and Clippers

After you’ve washed, dried and brushed, if your dog still has a matted coat or their hair is hanging in the face, you may need to invest in a pair of safety scissors that have rounded edges. Using safety scissors can help minimize the danger of using sharp instruments, especially when you aren’t a pro or well practiced!

Keep in mind, we really don’t recommend that you cut your dog’s hair at all, but if your dog can’t see, here are a few trimming tips:

  • Comb the bangs all the way forward and to the front.
  • Sandwich the bangs in between your thumb and forefinger and measure, creating a line that divides.
  • Cut only the bangs that stick out past your fingers.

Pet Clipper Kit

We really would rather that you don’t clip your dog’s hair from home. However, if your pup’s fur is matted and causing severe discomfort this may be your only option. When a dog becomes matted this can cause major behavior changes such as irritability or even depression. Not to mention skin irritations and health problems. 

You really don’t need an advanced set of clippers, a standard kit from Wahl which includes a variety of guards comes with a “how-to” guide and styling tips. Be sure to move in the direction of the hair growth to prevent skin burning and always work with the plastic heal of the clippers flat against the dog’s body rather than from an angle. Especially when working near the ears, elbows, and tail areas. You really want to avoid touching thin skin next to the clippers moving blades.  Be careful near skin folds and flaps!

Nail Trimming

This process creates a lot of anxiety for so many people – and dogs. Remain calm and consider the following tools:

  • Make a scratchboard
  • Use nail clippers with a non-slip grip and safety guard. We like these by Epica.
  • Consider a cordless dremel if you would rather not risk cutting the quick in the nail.
  • You may need to spend time getting your dog used to the sound of the dremmel. We cover cooperative care techniques to teach you how to desensitize with our various education programs.
  • Have some Kwik Stop Styptic Powder around, just in case of accidents.

Pro groomers make the talent, patience and skill of dog grooming look easy, but it most certainly is not for most people and their dogs. We hope these tips will help for those dedicated pet parents who are keeping up at home in between grooms, or those who can’t take use pro grooming for any reason.

About Wag n Tails Seminars

We offer seminars on a variety of topics from dog grooming to understanding dog body language. We also discuss how to properly use positive reinforcement in dog training and how to be consistent with rewards.

Our seminars are interactive and informative with plenty of hands-on activities. We discuss different dog behaviors and how to structure training around them. We also talk about how to deal with specific issues such as dog nutrition, your dog’s body language, enrichment, treat retreat, barking, aggression, and much more! 

Learn more here

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Christine Fox

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