Is there a more beautiful sight than the sight of a happy, furry dog approaching you, eager to play?
However, those sights wouldn’t have been so magical if their fur wasn’t so well kept and maintained.
We also take showers daily, so why wouldn’t we brush and groom our dog at least once a week? It seems like the right thing to do.
Now, dog fur comes in many shapes and sizes, but let’s focus on those that are more high-maintenance (since it’ll be easier for you to do this with the dog breeds whose fur is short and coarse).
So, if you want to give your furry little friend a bath and you’re an owner of a thick-coated dog such as a Siberian husky, or a hypoallergenic breed, such as a poodle or a Goldendoodle, take a look at these ten tips.
We promise your dog will be sweeping people off of their feet with their beauty and furriness when you use these useful tips!
1. Brush, Bathe and Clean
One of the most important steps before any grooming is to adequately bathe your dog.
Brushing is essential for dogs with long hair or fur. Here’s a great brush we always recommend for dog owners: FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs
Their hair can get matted together and for this reason, it is suggested to brush your dog at least once every day.
Before turning the shower on, remember to use scissors to cut any potential mats your dog has.
Put the dog in the bathtub (make sure to fill it only ankle deep), get its fur wet and slowly shampoo it from the head to the tail. We recommend using a sensitive skin dog shampoo for puppies and then change it to an adult dog shampoo when they get older.
Once you’re done, rinse the shampoo off.
Mind not to get soapy water into the dog’s eyes.
When you carefully dry the fur (using a towel and gently tapping the body of the dog), brush the dog once again.
Shower Hack for Dog Owners:
Spread peanut butter on the walls of the shower (wherever the dog’s head is facing).
This will keep your fur baby distracted and still while your dog is licking the thick peanut butter.
It’ll make the bathing experience enjoyable for both you and your dog.
2. Brush Their Teeth & Clip the Nails
Since you made sure your dog’s fur is clean, as well as its ears (also very important), you should brush its teeth too.
Use a soft dog’s toothbrush and gently brush the plaque off the base of the dog’s teeth.
The most important things to remember when it comes to brushing the dog’s teeth is to brush gently and slowly and to use a dog’s toothpaste.
Normal toothpaste that humans use can upset your dog’s stomach especially since they typically swallow a bit of toothpaste while you’re brushing their teeth.
Moreover, keeping long nails can lead to many painful problems to your little pet, so make sure to clip the nails the right length – not too long, and not too short as it will lead to bleeding.
3. Use the Right Clippers
Once you choose the cut for your dog (if you’re unfamiliar about the cuts, you can easily look them up online), it’s time to choose a professional groomer as that would be the best scenario.
However, if you want to do everything by yourself, you can try.
First of all, you should invest in quality scissors or clippers.
Even though it is tempting to buy the cheap ones, getting the ones that are better will prove better for your dog.
All the clippers that come in the package are numbered, and that number indicates the length of hair your dog will have after the grooming process.
If you’re doing it alone for the first time, you can start with the 10s and 15s, but you could also add the 5s and 7s.
Mind that you leave the bigger numbers to professional groomers.
4. Exercise with Your Dog Prior to Grooming
Since trimming and grooming take a certain amount of time, if you’re not sure that your dog will be steady during the whole process, try to tire it out.
Take it to the park or for a run as this will more likely lead to a cooperative atmosphere.
5. Carefully Trim the Face
Once you’ve introduced the clippers to the dog (by turning them on in front of it, so the clippers don’t scare it a lot), start with the head, as it is the most difficult part and yet the part through which your friend will be the steadiest.
The first thing you should do is carefully trim the area from the open ear to the eye, and then shave the area between the eyes.
If your dog is a puddle, this might be tricky but very doable.
If your dog is a Goldendoodle, start with the head hair, because you want to make it the same length as the hair on its neck. After doing this, proceed to the neck.
6. Proceed to the Body
Quick note: Before proceeding to the body, poodle owners should carefully trim the paws of the dog in accordance with the cut they want!
For all the other long and thick-haired dogs, proceed to the body of the dog, perhaps the easiest part of the whole process.
Make sure you cut the same length through the neck, back, sides, chest and the belly.
You should stop clipping at about half an inch above the elbows of the legs, and repeat the same process to make sure everything is perfect.
7. Reward Your Dog
Since to get to here probably took some time, make sure to give a reward to your dog for behaving nicely.
The best reward at this moment will probably be dog cookies or the excellent Ivory Coat dog food.
A light snack is something your dog loves, and it doesn’t require much moving.
When you bought their love for just a little bit more (and when they are still eating the snack), you can start finalizing the process.
If you, as previously mentioned, have a poodle, then you probably finished trimming the paws, and you should continue with the body, doing it the same way as in the previously mentioned tip.
If your breed is a husky or a Goldendoodle, finish off with the paws. Make sure you properly clip everything, not missing a hair.
9. Final Touches
Now you’ve got your dog completely trimmed and groomed.
Use a blow dryer if you need to groom it just a bit more, and a brush to take all the extra hair off the body.
If you want to go all the way, putting some dog perfume or a cologne seems like a logical step (yes, these exist!)
10. Take Your Dog for a Walk
It doesn’t matter that you took your dog for a walk before grooming it, it’s time you did something for yourself now.
If the furry little dog isn’t tired (and since he spent this much time doing practically nothing, he isn’t), take it out to celebrate his new hairdo!
The whole bathing and grooming process might sound like a terror, but it’s actually not that difficult.
If you have someone to keep you company and help you out a bit, it’s even easier.
If you make a mistake, you can always take it to the groomer to correct it, but why not try it yourself?
Have any dog grooming tips? Share in the comment below.