Best Practices on How To Groom a Dog at Home

how to groom a dog at home

Grooming your dog can cost you between $40 and $75 depending on the size of your dog, if you take it to a dog grooming salon. While not forgetting your location either, if you’re in a city or a small town, the prices can be different.

It is, however, possible to groom your dog from home and save some money but you must invest in a good dog grooming kit. Hopefully this guide will help you on how to groom a dog at home.

A dog owner needs to ensure his or her dog is groomed regularly. To be able to groom your dog from home successfully, you must start training it from when it is a three-week-old puppy because waiting longer may cause the dog to resist grooming especially clipping of nails and cleaning the ears. 

All dogs require brushing of their fur; however, training is more critical for your heavily furry friend who needs intense sessions of grooming compared to your short haired.

Why Groom Your Dog

  • The dog appears neat and presentable.
  • It helps improves the physical health of your dog.
  • It helps get rid of dead hair, dirt, and dandruff.
  • Brushing brings out the natural fur oils that will be spread on the dog’s fur, giving it healthy shiny sheen.
  • Regular grooming will help identify any possible abnormalities like dry patches, fleas, ticks, and skin problems as well as any issues with their eyes, teeth, ears and get them treated before they cause more severe health problems.
  • Grooming will keep your dog healthy and happy and helps save on veterinary bills.

how to groom a dog at home

What You Need For Grooming

Before you begin grooming your dog, you must make sure you have all the necessary tools that make a dog grooming kit. These will include:

  1. Brush and comb
    You should invest in a high-quality brush and comb. If your dog has long fur, invest in metal-pinned brushes but if your dog has short hair, buy a brush with rubber teeth.
  2. Scissors
    You need scissors that will cut your dog’s fur without snagging or pulling it. Invest in professional-grade scissors and make sure they are sharp at all times.
  3. Clippers
    You should avoid clippers made for humans but buy reliable and well-made electric dog clippers.
  4. Shampoos
    You should avoid using human shampoo but rather invest in a dog shampoo that is mildly scented and free from chemicals.

A detailed Guide on How To Groom a Dog at Home

Before you start to groom your dog, it is essential to know how to do it to get the desired results. Here is a guide on how to best groom your dog.


It is advisable to start by washing your dog before embarking on other forms of grooming. Washing must be done with a mild dog shampoo, and it would help to dilute it before so that it is easier to rinse off. Check the temperature of the water not to be too hot or cold.

Depending on the size of the dog, you can opt to wash in the bathtub or outside. Dogs shed a lot of hair during bath time. To avoid the hair from clogging your drain, wrap steel wool around the drain stopper to catch the hair and remove once done and throw it away.


Do not brush when the hair is still wet. Once the coat is completely dry, brush thoroughly to rid your dog of tangled, dead and matted hair. Start from the head and slowly move to the rest of the body. Make sure you take extra precaution when brushing the underside because of its sensitivity.

cute dog

Using Clippers

Using clippers to cut your dog’s hair is safer and faster than using scissors as long as they are sharp to avoid catching and pulling the dog’s fur. Clippers come with guards that will guide you on the length to cut. Start by cutting off tangled hair and be careful because some matted areas can be close to the skin.

As you clip the hair, watch out for any abnormalities on the skin that may need a vet. Work your way slowly from the head to the rest of the body. With prolonged use, clippers can become hot, so check their temperatures periodically to avoid causing a burn.

Using Scissors

These are ideal for trimming the hair around the face, legs, and ears. It is best to use the tips of the scissors because it is easier to pull them out should the dog make sudden movements. It is important to have someone help you hold the dog down, especially when trimming around the ears to minimize the risk of accidents.

What To Do and Avoid When Grooming Your Dog

There have been reports of dogs getting injured, killed, and even escaping from some pet stores. This can also happen at home if you do not know the best practices of home grooming. The following do’s and don’ts will ensure that your dog is happy and safe when grooming.

how to groom a dog at home

The Do’s

  1. Regular grooming – Regular washing and brushing of your dog’s hair is essential to avoid skin problems and mats. Certain breeds require more brushing like the Pomeranians to prevent tangling of the hair. Trim the dog’s nails regularly too. Overgrown nails can be risky to a dog’s well being and trimming them can be uncomfortable and stressful to the dog.
  2. Be patient – Dogs are susceptible to stress. Be calm, relaxed, and ensure you have allocated enough time to focus on the grooming process. Keep a keen eye on the dog’s reaction and signs of stress like whining, trembling, or panting and take a break if necessary. If your dog panics and can’t be still, consider doing small sessions weekly. As you groom, give praise to your dog and pet it as well as giving it treats. This makes the experience positive, and with time, your dog will be accustomed to the process and be more accepting.
  3. Pick a spacious and well-lit location for grooming – Seeing what you are doing is very important as well as ensuring your dog’s safety. Avoid tethering your dog while grooming as it can lead to accidents. Make sure the floors are non-slip so that your dog will not slip and fall.
  4. Have a proper dog grooming kit – Based on your dog’s skin and fur type, ensure you have invested in the right brush. You can research the best brush or ask your veterinarian advice on the best brush to buy for your dog. The nail clippers, trimmer, and scissors must also be of high quality and the right ones for your dog.
  5. Understand your dog’s hair – If your dog is long haired, regular brushing is recommended to avoid developing mats. Routinely, check your dog’s coat, especially behind the ears and legs for mats and trim them.
  6. Understand your limits – You must understand your dog and know how far you can go and what you can do comfortably without hurting the dog. If your dog is not calm, you can ask a friend to help you hold it down as you groom. If you are not sure how to groom, especially clipping nails, ask for help from your veterinarian.
  7. Brushing Your Dogs Teeth This is something you should start as a puppy, so they can get used to it. This is one of the major things that needs to be done, not many people think this is that serious. But just like a human, your dog needs their teeth cleaning or they will suffer with the same type of problems a human does.

how to groom a dog at home

What Not To D0

  1. Do not rush – Grooming with haste can be stressful for your dog and can in some cases, result in life-threatening mistakes. Be patient and relaxed.
  2. Do not grab your dog’s fur to restrain it. This is painful and will also cause skin irritation.
  3. Avoid using scented shampoo. This is because dogs can easily be irritated on their skin, nose, and even eyes by perfumed shampoo.
  4. Avoid regular washing of your dog. Too much washing will strip your dog the natural oils and may cause temperature-regulating issues as well as skin problems. Always ensure you bathe your dog with warm water and the surroundings are warm too to avoid sudden dropping of its temperature. Avoid blow drying, but instead, towel dries your dog.
  5. Do not overwhelm your dog with too much grooming. Check your grooming to do list and do one or two things at most and defer the rest to a later date. Doing too many things at one time will stress your dog, causing it to resist grooming in the future.
  6. Do not cut nails too short because it is painful. Dog nails contain blood vessels, and if cut wrongly can result in a lot of bleeding and pain.
  7. Do not use nail clippers with a guard but instead, use your fingers.
  8. Don’t forget to clean the ears using ear cleaner periodically to avoid ear infections.
  9. Do not neglect to care for your grooming kit. Ensure the toenail clippers, scissors, and hair clippers are sharpened regularly and replace them every few years.
  10. Do not give up. Grooming your dog at home may not be easy in the beginning, but with practice, it gets easier for both you and your dog. Keep researching on ways to make the experience better.

You are your dog’s guardian, protector, and advocate. Learning to become a knowledgeable groomer will help avoid injuries and fatalities that have become commonplace. Start slowly, and with the time you will become a confident groomer and save money as well.

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