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How to Groom a Dog at Home

Importance of Dog Grooming

An important aspect of dog ownership is dog grooming.  Learning how to groom a dog at home properly is essential in maintaining the appearance of your dog well-respected, and particularly for establishing your dog’s hygiene and good health.

Learning how to groom a dog at home properly and routine dog grooming will guarantee that your dog remains clean and also free from dreadful diseases such as yeast infections that can induce itching as well as discomfort to your dog.

Make sure that you clean your dog’s ears frequently. Not taking care of your dog’s ears could cause a build-up of wax as well as more bacteria and dirt in the ears. This could potentially lead to an ear infection. When you see swelling or some unusual discharge and smell a pungent odor emanating from the dog’s ears, have your dog taken to the nearest vet for a checkup immediately. There is a possibility that a more serious problem is involved.

Dog grooming also involves clipping the dog’s hair as well as keeping the teeth clean through regular brushing to prevent periodontal disease. The nails of your dog are another significant aspect of dog grooming and would definitely require regular trimming to make sure that the nails remain short. Long and overgrown nails could become a problem, not only will it bring much discomfort to the dog, the nails can also rip your favorite cushion.

Dog Grooming Preparations

Before you carry out the dog grooming procedures in the next section, it is necessary to gather the essential dog grooming supplies and equipment. Find out what you would need to groom your dog at home. Here, we give you our suggestions on the list of basic dog grooming tools that you may require:

  • a working spraying nozzle used as attachment to the faucet
  • a basin or tub
  • dog shampoo
  • a blow-dryer
  • dry towel
  • electric clippers for dog grooming
  • sterile cotton balls
  • dog ear solution
  • a clean cloth
  • nail clippers for dogs
  • a pet toothbrush
  • dog toothpaste

You may want to designate a work place or an area within your house for dog grooming. Consider buying an apron or cover-up to prevent the dog’s hair and fur attaching themselves to your clothes during the dog grooming process.

Step-by Step Dog Grooming Basics: How to Groom a Dog at Home

After you have gathered all the important dog grooming tools that you require, you will be ready to start. Below is a summary of how to groom a dog at home. For more specific instructions on the various dog grooming procedures, click on the links to read the detailed articles.

  1. First, begin by looking closely at your dog’s coat for presence of tangles and mats. Untangle these knots and mats using a detangler solution. When the mats and knots are too stubborn to remove this way, try using a dematting rake to remove the stubborn mats. Be careful not to hurt your dog and yourself when using the rake.
  2. Brush your dog’s coat, beginning with the head of the dog then working slowly towards the rear. While you are working on the dog’s face, take good care as this is a sensitive area.
  3. Bathe your dog with tepid (lukewarm) water and then lather some dog shampoo on the dog. In a gentle manner, use the fingers to massage the body. Remember to always remove any mats and tangles on the dog’s coat before any dog baths. The mats can become worse when they are wet – that is why it is important to do a thorough job in removing mats during the first step.
  4. (This is optional) You may like to empty or express the anal sacs of your dog. You can, however, do it outside bathing. Many prefer having it done at bath time though. By doing so, one could conveniently wash all the bad smelling discharge immediately after expressing the dog’s anal sacs.
  5. After bathing, make sure you dry the dog with a clean towel then dry the dog thoroughly with the use of a blow dryer. Make sure you use cool air. Using hot air may scald your dog’s skin.
  6. (This is optional) Using a pet toothbrush, brush the dog’s teeth and then clean the ears of your dog. This procedure may not be required if you already have a separate dog grooming routine for cleaning your dog’s teeth and ears.
  7. When your dog is completely dry, you may consider clipping your dog’s hair or do some styling to it. The need to perform this step will depend on your dog’s type of coat.
  8. Trim the dog’s nails with nail clippers made for dogs. Do not clip the nails too far inwards as you can possibly cut the quick of your dog’s nails.
  9. Well done! You have completed the dog grooming procedures. Admire how good looking your dog is! Give yourself a few pats for a great dog grooming job done. Remember give your dog some treats as a reward for showing good behavior.

Some Final Tips on How to Groom a Dog at Home

Some breeds will require less time for dog grooming compared to other breeds. This will depend on your dog’s coat type, the size of your dog, how often your dog goes outdoors and whether your dog sheds a lot.

Remember – dogs will be a lot more cooperative during dog grooming if their owners make them feel comfortable and safe. Build a rapport with your dog and talk to them using a soothing and loving voice. Reassure and praise them often such as saying “Good Girl or Good Boy” when you observe good behavior during the dog grooming session.

Finally, learn how to train your dog for grooming. This not only saves you a lot of your time and energy grooming your dog, it will make the whole dog grooming experience enjoyable for you as well as for your dog.

Donald Lee is a dog lover and an online publisher for a dog grooming training website ( He lives in Singapore.




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