Dogs are perhaps the most popular choice when it comes to keeping a pet at home. Keeping a dog also comes with its own set of responsibilities. In addition to health check-ups and proper diet, regular grooming sessions are also quite important. Grooming can be done either at home or professionally. There are many professional grooming centres offering a wide range of services at attractive rates. Along with grooming centres located just across the street or around the block, there are many mobile grooming service providers as well.
When it comes to grooming, it is the sole prerogative of the pet parent concerned as to whether to groom at home or to get it done professionally. For pet parents with time constraints but money to spare, professional grooming is ideal. On the other hand, for the budget-conscious, grooming at home is by far the better alternative.
Grooming your dog at home has many benefits for all involved. As it is a one-on-one session between your dog and you, grooming at home leads to better bonding between your dog and you. Spending some quiet moments with your dog can greatly alleviate your stress levels after a hard day at work. Grooming, when done at home by a loving pet parent, can be quite therapeutic for the pet.
When grooming your dog at home, you will require the following:
- Dog hair clippers
- Dog hair trimmer
- Brush – can be either pin brush, slicker brush or bristle brush
- Comb – finishing comb or de-matting comb
Always remember the basic difference between a clipper and a trimmer. While ca clipper is a larger-sized instrument used for cutting long hair, a trimmer is comparatively smaller in size and used for styling and adding detailing to the haircut.
Selecting the Right Clipper
Select the most appropriate clipper for you dog, keeping in mind his breed, size as well as coat size. As per your preference, you can either opt for a battery-operated version or a plug to use variety. Generally, the battery-operated version is preferred by most pet parents as the lack of a power cord adds to the ease in use. Irrespective of whether you are using a battery-operated version or the plug to use variety, always ensure that the clipper is turned off when you attach or detach the clipper blade.
Procedure to Adopt
A step-by-step guide to clipping your dog’s hair at home involves the following:
- Before you begin, take time to ensure that your dog is comfortable and not stressed out over anything. If you do sense that your dog is upset for any reason, either take him out for a brief walk or give him some treats. Proceed only when your dog has calmed down completely.
- Begin the clipping process by brushing your dog. Brushing ought to be done in a thorough manner so that no tangles remain. Depending upon the breed, you can choose from slicker brush, pin brush or bristle brush. While breeds with shorter hair might only require the use of a brush, longer-haired breeds might also require a comb as well.
- Now, start using the clipper. Do read carefully the enclosed instructions manual that came with the box of clippers at the time of purchase. Usually, the ideal way is to begin clipping from the shoulders, gradually moving towards the tail as you clip.
- Make sure that the clipper blade is laid flat against the coat of your dog. In an ideal scenario, the clipper should glide effortlessly over the hair. In case some resistance is encountered due to tangled or matted hair, move the clipper over the same place a couple of times to ease out the knot of hair.
- The length of hair to be retained depends upon your individual preference. Ensure that at least half an inch of hair remains. Clipping too close to the body exposes you dog to the elements, making him prone to infections.
- Clip the tail and paws with care.
- Trim the chest hair as well, if needed.
- Any hanging or extra fur should be clipped.
- Using a small trimmer, carefully clip the hair inside the ears.
- While trimming the hair around the ear, hold the tip of the ear between your fingers while clipping. This ensures that only the fur is slipped and the ear itself is spared.
- The face and head require extra attention at the time of clipping. With spokes pointing towards the back of the head, place the clipper on the top of your dog’s head. Once the clipper is safely in position as explained, slowly pull the clipper back, away from the upper brow.
- The muzzle should ideally be clipped by beginning at the nose and proceeding in the direction of the mouth. Turn your dog’s face towards the ceiling. While he is looking up, place a guide comb at the chin, spokes in the direction of the throat, and slowly move the clipper towards the throat. This method helps in clipping the underside of the muzzle as well.
- When clipping the region between the eyes, keep the trimmer or the guide comb flat on the forehead. With the spokes lying towards the nose, proceed carefully in the same direction. Clipping in this sensitive region requires much care and caution, as any sudden voluntary or involuntary head movement of your dog might grievously injure his eyes.
The above-mentioned steps are a general guide on how to clip your dog at home.
Clipping your dog’s hair at home is quite easy, once you get the hang of it. First-timers can greatly benefit by looking up how-to videos and reading write-ups online prior to commencing clipping at home.