Dogs are perhaps the most popular choice when it comes to keeping a pet at home. While other pets – such as fish, cats or even birds for that matter – require almost no grooming as such; a dog has to be groomed regularly. Grooming sessions, especially when conducted within the safe confines of the home, greatly add to the emotional well-being of your dog. As the dog gets undivided attention from someone that means the world to him, a dog benefits the most when the grooming is done by the pet parent at home.
Before grooming at home, be sure to invest in the right grooming essentials specifically made for your particular dog breed. With a wide range of products available online, all that you have to do is log on to the internet. Go through the various clippers, scissors, trimmers, shampoos, conditioners, combs and brushes available online. Select whatever you deem to be appropriate for your prized pet and place the order. Almost all websites offer free home delivery which can be expected within a couple of days from the placing of the order.
For the purposes of grooming your dog at home, you will be requiring the following:
- Dog hair clipper
- Dog hair trimmer
- Brush – a brush can be either pin brush, bristle brush or a slicker brush
- Comb – an ending comb or a de-matting comb
Always, keep in mind the basic difference between a clipper and a trimmer. While a clipper is a fairly large-sized instrument, a trimmer is much smaller in size. Similarly, while a clipper is used to cut longer hair, a trimmer is used for styling and detailing of small hair.
Prior to beginning the grooming session, care must be taken to see that the dog is at ease and not unduly agitated for any obvious or hidden reason. If the dog is indeed upset, give him some treat to calm him down. You can also take him for a brief walk outside.
The main things that are taken care of during a grooming session are:
- Bathing. A bath once a month usually suffices for most dogs.
- Brushing. While shorter-haired dogs require less amount of brushing, longer-haired dogs might have to be brushed more often. Brushing with a good brush helps in reducing tangles and matts in the coat, also effectively distributing the body oils across the coat as well.
- Paws & Nails. Extra hair at the paws should be trimmed regularly as it can cause the dog to slip on hardboard floors. Nails should also be kept to a proper length.
- Closely inspect the eyes of your dog when grooming. Signs to look out for are – tearing, eyelids sticking together, bulging. Also, check if the inner eyelid is a healthy pink. Red or white inner eyelids signal that all is not well with your dog.
- Always carefully clean the area in and around the ears, as it is a common ground for flea and tick infestation.
- Clean your dog’s teeth with the help of toothpaste, baking soda or plain water.
- While a haircut forms an integral part of the grooming process, not every grooming session requires a haircut as such.
Grooming at Home with a Clipper
Always select the most appropriate clipper for your dog based on his breed, size and coat type. As per your preference, you can either use a plug and use variety or opt for a battery-operated version. Regardless of which variety of clippers you end up with, ensure that the batteries are detached or attached only when the clipper is turned off.
A step-by-step guide to clipping your dog’s hair at home involves:
- Proceed with clipping only when your dog is calm.
- Begin with brushing your dog. A good brushing down removes all tangles and mats from the body. Longer-haired dog breeds might also require the use of a comb as well.
- Now, begin using the clippers as per the instruction manual that came along with the clipper at the time of purchase.
- Start clipping from the shoulders, proceeding towards the tail as you clip.
- At all times, the clipper blade should lie flat against your dog’s body.
- The clipper blade should move effortlessly over the coat. In case any resistance is encountered, go over the same area many times to ease out the knot.
- The length of hair to be retained depends upon the pet parent concerned. However, make sure that at least half an inch long hair is left behind after clipping. Cutting the hair too short can expose the dog to the elements, causing skin infections.
- Clip the tail and paws with care.
- Remove any hanging or extra fur.
- Trim the chest hair, if required.
- With the help of a small trimmer, cut the hair inside the ears.
- Around the ear trimming requires great care as any negligence can clip the ear itself. Proceed with utmost caution.
- When clipping the muzzle, begin at the bridge of the nose, proceeding in the direction of the mouth. Turn your dog’s head to the ceiling. While in this position, place a guide comb at his chin with spokes in the direction of the throat. Now, move the clipper towards the throat, thereby trimming the underside of the muzzle as well.
- Between the eyes clipping should be done by taking into account any sudden head jerks of your dog. Place the clipper flat on the forehead, spokes pointing to the nose. With the clipper lying in this position, move towards the nose.
- Clipping of the head and face also requires great caution. Always, keep in mind movements of the nose, ear and eyelashes. With the spokes lying towards the back of the head, place the clipper on top pf your dog’s head. Now, slowly pull back the clippers away from the upper brow.
Clipping your dog’s hair at home is quite easy, once you do develop a knack for it. With experience, comes perfection.