Dog Grooming 101

As difficult as it might be to believe, most dogs really enjoy being groomed.  They are social pets that love to spend that sort of quality time with their owners, and they appreciate the praise (and treats) that they are sure to get from participating in a good grooming session.  

So, how often and when should you groom your dog?  Here’s what we recommend along with some obvious signs that a grooming session is long overdue: 


  • Fur Maintenance:  You should try to brush long-haired dogs every day to remove excess fur and prevent matting.  You can rub smooth-coated dogs with a grooming mitt to massage their skin and remove mites.  While brushing, you should also go ahead and check for fleas, ticks, mites and other bugs that might be hiding in their coats.


  • Teeth Cleaning:  To maintain your dog’s oral hygiene, try to brush their teeth with a toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste to prevent decay and disease.  If your pet doesn’t like the brush, there are also certain chew toys and bones that can help clean their teeth, too.


  • Bathing:  Regular baths remove dirt and dandruff and will keep your pet smelling nice.  Just look for shampoos that match your pet’s hair “type” (i.e. long, short, straight, curly) for best results.

Every 2 Months

  • Manicures:  Trim your dog’s nails with nail clippers and file (if they let you) for a smooth finish.  To do this at home, cut to the curve of each nail, and steer clear of the pinkish vein.

Every 3 Months

  • Haircut:  When your dog’s bangs are too long, or its feet and legs start to look a bit shaggy, or their hair has just completely lost its shape, it’s time to get out the scissors (or clippers).  For an at-home clip, you can Google “how to groom a (breed name)” for step-by-step instructions.

When to Groom at Home

  • When you want to bond with your pet through regular grooming sessions.
  • When you have the proper tools and supplies at your disposal.
  • When you feel comfortable using the cutting shears, nail clippers and other grooming tools.
  • When your dog is calm and cooperative.

When to Go to a Professional Groomer

  • When you don’t feel confident about handling your dog in this manner.
  • When you don’t want to invest in quality grooming equipment.
  • When your dog is unable to sit still for grooming sessions.
  • When you want your dog to have the look of a professionally groomed purebred.

Obvious Signs Your Dog Needs Grooming

  • When shedding is out of control.
  • When your dog just can’t resist rolling around in something gross or unsanitary.
  • When those annoying bangs keep getting in their eyes.
  • When their fur starts to mat.

Regular grooming will keep your dog happy and healthy while promoting an even stronger bond between the two of you.  So, don’t wait until things are too far out of control; pamper your pooch because you love and care for them. 


Featured photo credit: simell1968 via Pixabay, cc

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