An owner brushing and trimming the fur at home

How To Groom Your Dog At Home?



Anna Maria , 12th March 2024

Dog grooming is one of the necessities of owning a dog. Maintaining their coat and keeping them generally clean and tidy ensures that they are feeling their best both physically and mentally.

As many dog owners would attest, “A clean dog is a happy dog”. It also offers the added benefit of keeping your home environment free of stray pet hairs and other parasites.

However, relying on professional dog groomers to always do the task for us is not always possible. Whether it is our busy schedules or some other reason, it is sometimes more practical to do the dog grooming ourselves even though it can be quite a hassle.

In this article, you will learn about the steps involved in grooming your dog at home and get answers to some of your concerns about home dog grooming.

What Are The Tools You Need To Groom Your Dog At Home?

To properly groom your dog, you have to make sure you have everything you need.  Depending on the breed and size of your dog, the following tools will make dog grooming at home much easier for you and safer for your pet.

1. Brushes/Combs

Various kinds of dog grooming brushes

Several types of brushes are specific to a coat type.

  • Slicker Brush – Brush with densely packed wire bristles perfect for removing tangles and mats for medium to long-haired and curly dogs.
  • Bristle Brush – Brush with tightly packed natural or synthetic bristles best for short-haired dogs.
  • Rakes – Designed for double-coated dogs and shaped like a big razor, these brushes have a pair of metal pins at the tip to better remove loose, dead undercoats.
  • Pin Brush – Brush with widely spaced metal pins best used to smooth the hair and remove dirt.
  • Grooming Gloves – A glove with raised ridges on the palm side that can remove loose hairs while petting your dog.
  • Comb – Great for general tidying up and removing dirt.

2. Shampoo/Conditioner

Choose a dog shampoo that is appropriate for the right breed. Whether your dog has sensitive skin or a thick coat, there are a variety of products that can suit your dog’s needs.

3. Scissors

The most commonly used scissors for dog grooming are straight scissors which are perfect for general cutting and shaping. Thinning scissors, on the other hand, are used to soften and blend the hair. Scissors used for dog grooming are usually ball-tipped to prevent injuries.

4. Clippers

Electric clippers or hair trimmers are designed for dogs should be used. It is more appropriate for their thicker coats and more efficient in giving your dog a proper trim.

5. Nail Clipper/Nail File

Untrimmed nails can eventually lead to injury and pain. Choose the right nail clipper or nail filer depending on the size of your dog.

6. Toothbrush

Regular oral hygiene ensures that your dog has healthier gums and teeth. Just make sure to use products that are exclusively made for dogs.

7. Cloth/Cotton

Used to wipe away dirt on the coat, eyes, ears, and sensitive areas.

Steps To Complete Dog Grooming At Home

1. Brush the fur.

Brushing is one of the most important tasks in dog grooming. Before you put your dog in the tub, make sure to brush out their coat to remove any tangles, matting, and dandruff. Brushing them several times a week will also stimulate the blood vessels underneath the skin and evenly distribute the natural oils in the coat.

rushing the fur to keep it smooth and shiny

2. Bathe.

Place your dog in the tub and soak the coat with warm water. You can place cotton balls on their ears to prevent waterlogging. Apply shampoo and lather their coat to remove dirt and oil. Rinse with warm water and dry them out completely with a towel and hairdryer.

If you are planning to trim their coat, bathing them beforehand will ensure a smoother cut and will not clog the electric clippers.

3. Clear the eye area.

With a damp cloth, wipe away debris and tear stains around the eye area.

4. Clean the ears.

Check your dog’s ear once a week to check for excess dirt and wax. Use a damp cloth or cotton ball to gently wipe the insides of the ears.

For a more thorough cleaning, you can apply a good amount of ear solution to the canal, as recommended by your vet. Massage the solution gently for several seconds and let the dog shake it off with their head. Dry the insides with a towel.

Inspecting and cleaning a dog’s ears.

5. Brush the teeth.

Use a special toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs to clean their teeth. You can also use a baby toothbrush if you do not have a dog toothbrush. Simply expose the teeth and gums by lifting the lips and brushing gently.

6. Trim the nails.

Position yourself behind your dog and grab their paws gently. Place your thumb and forefinger firmly on the paws to expose the nails. Trim the very tip with a nail clipper making sure not to go all the way to the quick where the blood vessels are located.

If you accidentally clip too far to cause bleeding, you can apply pressure with your finger or with a styptic pencil to stop bleeding.

Trim the nails carefully to prevent bleeding.

7. Trim the fur.

If you think your dog needs a bit of trim, clip the fur after you’ve bathed and dried them. Tie and leash your dog first before proceeding to prevent them from moving around a lot. You can use some scissors for a simple trim around the legs, sides, and face.

For a more extensive cut, use electric clippers to remove matting and tangling. Clippers are recommended to be used on long-haired dogs and not on double-coated dogs. Start trimming around the neck and gradually move downwards towards the direction of the hair. Make use of the removable guards to better control the length.

What Are The Advantages Of Grooming Your Dog At Home?

It is no secret that dog grooming requires a lot of patience and perseverance on your part. Professional dog groomers train for months before they get certified, and if you are just a newbie dog owner, taking the task of grooming your dog can be quite challenging.

So, I have listed below some of the issues you might face but also cite some advantages regarding dog grooming at home.

1. Money-saver

The number one reason why many dog owners choose to groom their dogs is because it is much cheaper than going to a professional. If you have a large dog or even a medium-sized dog that has thick hair, you will find that the cost of going to the groomer several times a year can add up to a pretty hefty amount.

2. Familiar surroundings

Many dogs dread going to the groomers because of the noise and the touch of unfamiliar people. When done with patience and the right tools, dog grooming at home can cause less anxiety to your dog.

3. Foster a deeper connection

Dog grooming at home is a great time for you to bond with your dog. The more they get used to being brushed and washed, the more they feel comfortable being in your presence.

4. Personalized attention

You are more knowledgeable about your dog’s qualms and preferences. You can easily adapt and adjust to your dog’s grooming needs based on what makes them feel more comfortable.

Are There Disadvantages of Dog Grooming At Home?

Yes, there are minor reasons but with practice, dog grooming can be fun to do at home.

1. Requires practice

While bathing your dog requires no particular special skills, trimming their fur and nails may necessitate more practice. You should seek advice from dog groomers or view online tutorials to familiarize yourself with the more tricky aspects of grooming.

2. Lack of expertise

You may not achieve the same results from dog grooming on your own as you would with a professional. Mistakes can sometimes arise, which you may be unable to fix properly.

3. Stressful

Doing dog grooming at home can be stressful and time-consuming. Not many dogs like being groomed and it may test your patience especially if you are a newbie dog owner.

4. Tool investment

You may have to purchase several tools such as clippers, scissors, and brushes before you find the right one that fits your dog’s needs.


As you gain more experience in dog grooming on your own, you will discover that it is not as difficult as you thought. All you need is a little patience and practice, and you’ll discover that it can be a great bonding experience with your furry friend.

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