Dogs are probably the most popular choice when it comes to keeping a pet at home. While other pets such as birds or fish require almost no grooming, dogs and cats have to be groomed on a regular basis to maintain their optimal health and emotional well-being. Grooming a dog can either be done at home on your own, or at a professional salon. While home grooming is generally preferred, for dogs with a nervous disposition and by pet parents who are budget-conscious; professional grooming is a better alternative for those with time constraints.
Grooming a dog at home has many benefits, both for the dog as well as the pet parent. Home grooming sessions lead to greater bonding between the pet parent and the dog. Better bonding, in turn, leads to reduced stress levels and contained blood pressure for the pet parent. Grooming, when done at home, can be quite a therapeutic experience for all involved.
Home Grooming Essentials
With many websites offering a wide range of grooming essentials made specifically for your particular dog breed, grooming at home has perhaps never been easier. Available just at the click of a button, you can choose from a wide array of shampoos, conditioners, clippers, trimmers, dog scissors from the comfort of your home.
Grooming essentials required for home grooming are:
- Dog hair clippers
- Dog hair trimmers
- Brush – can be either a slicker brush, pin brush or a bristle brush
- Comb – a de-matting comb or a finishing comb
Always keep in mind that there is a difference between dog hair clippers and dog hair trimmers. While a clipper is larger in size and used to cut hair that is longer, a trimmer is comparatively smaller and used for detailing and styling. Many pet parents tend to unknowingly make the mistake of meaning a clipper when they refer to a trimmer, and vice versa.
Selecting the Right Clipper
Select the most appropriate clipper for your dog, based on the requirements posed by his breed, coat type as well as size. You can, as per your preference, choose either a battery-operated one or opt for a clipper that is of the plug and use variety. Irrespective of which clipper you decide on – that is, either battery-operated or plug and use – always make sure that you attach and detach the blades of the clipper when it is turned off.
A step-by-step guide for clipping your dog at home requires:
- Ensure that your dog is not agitated or upset. Calm him down before you begin to clip.
- Brush your dog thoroughly. Brushing removes any tangles and matted hair, making clipping easier. As per the breed of your dog, you can use a slicker brush, bristle brush or a pin brush. Breeds with longer hair might also require the use of a comb to remove tangles.
- After your dog is relaxed and brushed down, proceed with the clipping. Start using the clipper as per the instruction manual enclosed with the clipper at the time pf purchase. For first-timers, watching how-to videos online as well as reading articles posted on various websites gives a fair idea of what to expect when clipping your dog at home. Usually, the best approach is to begin clipping from the shoulders, proceeding gradually towards the tail.
- At all times, make certain that the clipper blade is laid flat against the body of your dog. The clipper should move smoothly and effortlessly over the coat. In case the clipper gets stuck somewhere, due to matted hair or entanglement, go slow and move the clipper over the same place a couple of times to ease out the entanglement and matted hair.
- How much to clip is a prerogative of the pet parent concerned. Do ensure that at least half an inch’s length of hair is left behind. Clipping too close to the body of your dog will expose him to the elements and cause skin infections.
- Check and clip all traces of hanging fur or extra fur.
- Clip the tail and paws with great care and caution.
- If required, trim the chest hair as well.
- Using a small trimmer, trim the hair inside the ears of your dog. Take into account any sudden head jerks and proceed with utmost caution.
- While trimming the hair around the ears, make certain that only the fur is clipped and not the ear itself. To ensure this, hold the tip of the ear between your fingers as you clip.
- The muzzle requires extra care and added attention when clipping. Beginning at the bridge of the nose, proceed towards the mouth. Point the muzzle of your dog towards the ceiling. While your dog is looking up, place a comb at his chin with the spokes pointing towards the throat, and move the clipper towards the throat, thereby trimming the underside of the muzzle as well.
- When clipping between the eyes, keep the trimmer or the guide comb flat against the forehead, with the spokes lying towards the nose. Once the clipper is in position, proceed carefully towards the nose. Clipping between the eyes requires great care, as any sudden head jerks by your dog might cause injury to his eyes.
- Similarly, clip the face and head with due care. Always, keep in mind the movement of the ears, nose and eyelashes. With the spokes pointing towards the back of the head, place the clipper at the top of your dog’s head. Now, slowly pull back the clipper away from the upper brow.
Clipping your dog’s hair at home is quite easy, once you get the hang of it. Do remember to apply blade oil or clipper spray once all the hair has been removed from the clipper.