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Dog Grooming Tips

6 Useful DIY Dog Grooming Tips

Does your dog need a haircut now that the warm weather is here? Experts have a lot of great tips and advice to share for grooming your dog (there are even dog grooming schools you can attend)!

Here are some of the best DIY dog grooming guidelines to make your dog look like she just came back from the salon of a professional groomer for a fraction of the price.


Your canine's coat type will determine what kind of tool you'll need and how often you should brush her. Dogs with short, smooth coats should be brushed once a week with a bristle brush.

Dogs with short, dense coats (curly, wavy, and double coats) should be brushed a few times a week with a slicker brush to remove tangles and mats. Examples of such situations are Bernese Mountain dog shedding and other pups with similar fur volume.

Finish with a bristle brush to remove loose hair. Dogs with long, silky coats should be brushed several times weekly with a slicker brush to remove tangles. Follow with a bristle brush. You can also use a steel comb, a favorite tool of professional groomers.

With patience and positive reinforcement, you'll get the hang of DIY dog grooming in no time. Your dog will surely appreciate the extra attention!

Clipping And Trimming

Clipping your dog's coat with dog clippers can be the most intimidating part of the grooming process. Do some research to determine the best type of clipper or scissors for your canine's coat. The Wahl pet grooming tools site has a great finding aid for this.

Tire your dog out with a walk, and calm him with some petting before you start. Brush or comb your dog before you use the trimmer.

The most challenging part of grooming a dog is keeping them still. You may want to invest in a dog grooming table for a secure, elevated, and controlled environment.

Experts recommend starting with the body, moving on to the paws and tail, and then doing the head and face last. Be firm, but gentle.

Remember that some trimmers may get hot after some time of usage, so be sure it's not too hot so you can avoid burning your canine's skin.

Nail Trimming

dog getting its nail trimmed

Active dogs that run around outside a lot should only need a nail trim once a month. Less active dogs may need a trim more often. Positive reinforcement and treats can help your dog overcome her fear of getting her nails trimmed.

If you're afraid of cutting too close to the quick (the vein running into the nail), pay attention to the texture of your dog's nails before you cut. The area will be softer than the end of the nail.

Your dog will also tell you with a yelp or growl if you've gone too close. Have styptic powder handy in case you cut the quick.

Getting your furry friend's nails trimmed may be challenging, but making it a habit will be worth it. Don't forget to reward your dog after every trimming session.


A dog should be bathed every three months, although some dog breeds may require more and some will need less.

Bathing Your Dog at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Bathing your dog at home is easier than you think! Follow these simple steps for a fun DIY grooming session:

  1. Gather your supplies. You'll need dog shampoo, conditioner, towels, a brush, cotton balls, and treats. Have everything ready before bath time.

  2. Brush your dog to loosen dirt and tangles. Get them excited for their bath with praise, pets, and treats!

  3. Fill the tub with a few inches of lukewarm water. For small dogs, you can use a sink or bucket. Test the water to ensure it's comfortably warm.

  4. Gently place your dog in the water. Speak in an upbeat, encouraging tone to keep them calm.

  5. Lather up! Apply shampoo and work it into their coat, paying extra attention to dirty areas. Rinse thoroughly with water to remove all shampoo residue.

  6. Apply conditioner, especially for long or curly coats. Let it soak in for a few minutes before rinsing.

  7. Gently lift your dog out and wrap them snugly in a towel. Rub them down to absorb excess water before unwrapping them.

  8. Brush your dog again to detangle its coat as it dries. Give dog treats and praise for their excellent behavior!

  9. Let your dog air dry completely before bath time is over. Keep them in a warm area away from drafts.

Use lukewarm water and dog shampoo, not human shampoo. Check out our recipes for homemade dog flea shampoo if needed. If you're using a human blow dryer on your dog, make sure to use the low setting.


While dogs seldom get cavities, they do get tartar buildup, which causes gum disease. A good grooming tip is to brush your furry friend's teeth as often as once a week to avoid expensive dental treatments at the vet's office later.

Use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs. Never use human toothpaste. You can also make toothpaste with baking soda, salt, and water. Wrapping gauze around your finger can substitute for a toothbrush.

Ear And Eye Cleaning

dog getting its eyes cleaned

Some dogs with long, heavy coats can benefit from trimming excess hair around the ears and eyes. All dogs need occasional ear cleaning and eye cleaning. Use witch hazel, mineral oil, or olive oil on a cotton ball for the ears.

Avoid cotton swabs, as you should never put anything down the ear canal. Dogs with floppy ears may need more frequent cleanings than other dogs. Use a cotton ball moistened with water for eyes, including tear stains. Experts recommend keeping soap away from the eyes.

There you have it! 6 DIY dog grooming tips that will make your dog look like it just came from professional dog groomers, save you money, and keep your dog healthy.

During the grooming session with your dog, inspect your canine's hair and skin to check for ticks or fleas. Should they have it, we have some homemade flea shampoo recipes you can try.

If you love hounds and home products, our Time Spent With Dogs Is Never Wasted wall clock will brighten your space. Check out our lovely dog merch and apparel collection today.

DIY Dog Grooming FAQ

How often should I bathe my dog?

Bathing your dog regularly is essential for their health and hygiene, but be careful not to overdo it! As a general rule of thumb, most dogs only need a bath once every two to three months. Bathing too frequently can dry out their skin and coat.

However, if your dog gets dirty or smelly between baths, you can bathe them more often. When in doubt, check with your vet for a recommendation based on your pup's breed, coat type, and activity level.

How often should I brush my dog?

Brushing your dog several times a week is ideal for distributing natural oils, removing loose hair, and keeping their coat clean and tangle-free. For long or thick-coated breeds, daily brushing is best. Brushing also allows you to check for skin problems and bond with your pup. As with bathing, be careful not to overbrush, especially for dogs with sensitive skin.

Can you de-shed a dog too much?

While deshedding tools can effectively remove loose hair, over-deshedding can potentially damage the coat and irritate the skin. As a rule of thumb, limit deshedding sessions to 1-2 times a week for most dogs.

Be gentle, especially on sensitive areas, and check that the tool is not pulling on the hair. If done correctly and in moderation, deshedding at home should not harm your dog. However, professional deshedding services may be needed for heavy shedders a few times a year.

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Andrew Jonas - December 20, 2022

Most dog owners probably don’t have the time or money to go to a professional groomer every time your pup needs a cut or shave. Luckily, there are plenty of easy and affordable DIY dog grooming tips that can help get their pet looking its best without costing an arm and a leg. From shaving down their coats to cutting out mats and tangles, these tips will make life easier (and less stressful) for both pet owners and their furry friend!

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