How to Groom a Dog at Home

Visiting the dog groomer can be very expensive - a bath, brushing, nail trim and anal gland expression can cost $150 or more for some difficult-to-groom dog breeds. And when pet owners need to save money on pet care, trips to the dog groomer are often discontinued.

But regular dog grooming is a vital part of good pet care, so instead of spending money on a visit from the mobile pet groomer or a trip to the local dog groomer shop, many dog owners are deciding to invest in a few basic dog grooming tools and dog grooming supplies to groom their dogs at home.

Learn How to Groom a Dog at Home

Dog grooming is actually fairly quick and simple for many breeds, while for other dog breeds, bathing the dog and brushing out the dog's undercoat can be very time consuming. For the dog owner who is stretched for time, consider tackling the following dog grooming tasks individually over the course of a few days.

Brush the dog. For short-haired dogs like the American Staffordshire Terrier or Miniature Pinscher, brushing the dog's coat will be fairly simple. But for dog breeds with long fur or a thick undercoat, like a long-haired Chihuahua or a Siberian Husky, this dog grooming activity can be very time consuming. Save time by purchasing the proper dog grooming equipment (i.e. an undercoat rake for a Siberian Husky, or a slicker brush for a Pit Bull).Express the dog's anal glands. Regular manual anal gland expression will help dogs to avoid impacted anal glands and abscessed anal glands. Dog groomers will frequently express a dog's anal glands as a part of full-service grooming.Bathe the dog. Place cotton balls in the dog's ears. Use a gentle moisturizing pet shampoo and follow with dog conditioner to help improve a dog's dry, flaky skin. Rinse well to avoid a dog with itchy skin. Towel dry the dog's fur and brush the dog's coat. If the dog is a long-haired breed, avoid hair breakage by postponing brushing until after the dog's coat has dried.Clean the dog's ears. Trim the hair inside the ears. Apply an ear cleaning solution to a cotton swab and clean the outer part of the dog's ear. Saturate a few cotton swabs and clean the nooks and crannies of the dog's ears. When cleaning a dog's ears, only clean areas that are visible to avoid ear injury.Trim the dog's nails. Use traditional nail clippers or use a dremel-style nail file, like the Peticure pet nail trimmer. If using pet nail clipper scissors or guillotine-style nail clippers, use a coarse grain nail file to smooth sharp edges after clipping the dog's nails.More Dog Grooming Tips and Tricks

When learning how to groom a dog at home, be confident and reassuring to the dog. A nervous dog groomer will make the dog feel uncomfortable and nervous as well.

Also, finish the dog grooming project with something fun, like a bit of doggy nail polish or a new dog bandanna.

Dog owners should also do a bit of research before grooming a dog. What's the proper way to clip a dog's nails? How do you know how to express a dog's anal glands? Dog owners should get answers to these questions before attempting to groom a dog at home.

In addition, do a bit of homework on dog grooming equipment. In particular, research the different types of dog grooming brushes and their uses. Using the right grooming tools will make the process of grooming a dog much easier for both the dog and the human.

Read "Grooming Double-Coated Breeds -- How to Groom a Dog's Undercoat" if you have a Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Malamute, Pomeranian or another double-coated dog breed that sheds a lot.