How to Care for Your Dog at Home Without Injuring It

When your dog gets a little smelly, shaggy, or long in the nail, you know it’s time to groom him … but it can be difficult to find the money or time to take him to a professional. Good news: if the fur situation is not out of control, you can take care of the fur yourself. Half-Fortune News: This is not highly recommended. Here are some things to consider in order for your solution to go as well as possible.

Assess your dog’s specific needs

Don’t try to tackle everything at once, especially if some needs are significantly more pressing than others (for example, if your pet’s coat is not very matted, but his nails are long, just use nail clippers, not clippers.). Too many simultaneous actions are bound to stress your pet, so let’s minimize the time spent doing this.

“A pet grooming session should always start with a close look at your pet’s overall health and current skin / coat condition,” said Michelle Wildman, director of differentiated experiences at Pet Supplies Plus . “Then, in fact, the grooming process has to start with safe nail clipping and ear cleaning. Each groom should thoroughly wash the bath and apply a quality shampoo that is appropriate for your pet’s skin type and helps to improve the condition of his skin and coat. “

If you examine your dog and see that he needs a full haircut, but you are not ready to do it yourself, make sure you talk to your groomer about how you want the final style to look and if it is possible. with the current condition of your pet’s coat. Whether you do it yourself or go to a professional, be realistic: your pet may never look show-ready. Do not bore them with the desire for something unattainable.

“Sometimes, if the coat is too matted, it would be painful to get the pet to endure a full comb, so a close shave is best for the pet despite the ‘look’ after that,” Wildman said.

Be patient with your puppy

“Many people think that grooming their dogs is easy until they try it at home themselves. Grooming a dog takes a lot of hard work and dedication. People think that we groomers are just playing with the puppies all day, but this is much more than it sounds, ” said Ashley Sacco, a groomer in St. Louis. It won’t be fast, it will take practice and you and your fur toddler will learn on the go.

“Owners can run into problems if home grooming can be anything like an ugly home haircut or skin problems due to improper grooming of the dog. I’ve seen some bad home care cases where people cut dogs with scissors and had to get the dog to the vet urgently. Using sharp objects on moving targets can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Dogs are unpredictable; you never know what can happen when working with live animals, ”said Sacco.

Wildman said the same: “Taking care of pets can be very dangerous because pets are very unpredictable. They can move without warning, which could lead to a scissor or scissor accident. “

Do not make quick movements, do not get upset if your dog is distracted or nervous, and do not continue moving if at any moment you feel like you are losing control of the situation. Saving money and time doing big housework is great, but not if it jeopardizes your pet’s safety.

Keep track of your pet’s coat between haircuts.

Even if your dog hates bathing, it’s important to keep it clean. This is especially true before you take care of them. Sakko says she washes each dog twice and makes sure they are completely dry before trying to trim their fur.

Cleanliness and grooming are important, even if you are not preparing for a lot of personal care.

Sacco said: “Invite the dogs when they are young so that they understand that grooming is a way of life, not something they are afraid of. I recommend that puppies visit the groomer often so they learn to trust the groomer. A dog that only comes to the groomer twice a year to shave the dirt thinks we are trying to harm it when in reality we are just trying to help. The dogs that often come to the groomer end up loving it and wagging their tails throughout the groomer. “

This is also true for home care. Don’t wait that long to groom matted hair or long nails, as this will be infrequent and scary for your pet. Addressing these problems will often prevent them from getting worse and keep your dog from being intimidated.

“At home, owners should brush their pet’s coat daily with a tool that is suitable for grooming. They can also brush their teeth and trim their nails. When you go bathing at home, make sure you have the right shampoo for your pet, as well as the right combs, brushes, and other tools to fully groom him, ”said Wildman, who, it should be noted, recommends leaving the grooming entirely to professionals. Sacco did too, and noted that professional groomers take continuing education lessons and remain at the pinnacle of their craft.

But if you insist …

Make sure you have the right tools for the job

Invest in the tools you use to do this. Sacco says any successful groomer has high quality shampoo and products, including professional equipment such as tables, dryers, clippers, scissors, combs and brushes.

Here’s a pet drying brush on Amazon that has three advantages: it’s relatively inexpensive, prevents direct heat from getting too close to the pet that can’t tell you when it’s in pain, and looks funny, sort of like a spacesuit.

Here is a peanut butter mat that can be sucked into the tub to distract your dog while brushing and grooming.

Look out for this thing, which you can dip your pet’s paw into to clean it up quickly and easily. Instead of scissors, which we’ve found to be dangerous, try this high-end buzzer. You can also purchase hanging harnesses that keep your dog steady, as well as muzzles, but think carefully if you want your pet to associate you with them, which can be intimidating and limiting.

There are many specialized dog grooming products available, some of which are more niche than others. Collecting an arsenal of tools can be expensive, but you end up saving money – and not putting your dog in danger, which is key.

Sacco even has a phrase that summarizes this idea: “Humanity is above vanity.” Remember to exercise caution and patience. A bad haircut is temporary, but a bad experience can stay with your dog forever.

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