Keep your furry friends looking, and feeling good, between grooming appointments with a regular home grooming regimen. When it comes to remaining well-groomed, not all dogs are created equal.
A Dog’s Home Grooming Needs Depend on Hair and Fur Length
- Dogs with long hair require regular professional grooming.
- Short-hair dogs do well with a good bath and nail trim.
Coat Maintenance Tips for Home Grooming
Unfortunately, the current state of things makes keeping up with regular grooming appointments even more difficult. While we encourage you to do what you can to continue seeing your groomer, here are some helpful tips to keep your dog’s coat healthy and looking good at home!
Grooming your dog regularly will help you get the most out of your grooming appointment too, and make the grooming experience more enjoyable for your dog.
Step 1: Buy the Proper Home Grooming Tools
Here’s the dynamic duo of home grooming tools for dogs:
This is where we see many dog owners go wrong—they often don’t buy the right home grooming tools. If your dog has a long coat of any kind, you will at least need a slicker brush and metal comb.
This dynamic duo will keep your dog’s coat flawless between appointments. Having both for your home groom are equally important.
Step 2: Brush Your Pooch Out
Starting with one end of your dog, firmly, but gently, work your way through the hair. Each stroke should be made gently, from root-to-tip of the coat, with your slicker brush.
Care Tip: Don’t forget about the tail, ears, and face! Keep in mind that the tail and ears can be sensitive areas, so brush gently and with caution.
What’s a Double-coated Dog Coat?
A double-coated dog coat is a coat with two layers. One layer is the undercoat; it’s dense, wooly and short. The other layer is the topcoat; it has long, protective guard hairs. A husky, for example has a double-coat. If the undercoat is thick, the dog appears more fluffy. Dogs with thick undercoats usually more difficult to groom because it’s harder to get to the base of the fur, and there’s just more hair to get through!
Tips for Home Grooming Double-Coated Dogs
If you own a double-coated dog, run what’s called a “grooming rake” through the dog’s coat. The rake is especially useful around the chest and rear end (the fluffy bits).
Care Tip: Please use caution, as some rakes can be sharp.
Step 3: Combing Through Your Dog’s Coat
Repeat Step 2, this time with your metal comb. Think of this step as “checking your work.” The comb should glide easily through the hair.
If and when you hit a patch that the comb is not easily running through, get back in there with your brush and work it out (gently). Keep working at it until the hair can easily be combed from the root.
Care Tip: Danger – Mats May Lie Ahead!
What to Do if Your Dog’s Coat is Matted
If you find an area that is too matted to brush through, please do not force it. We never want your dog to get to a point where they dread being brushed.
Mats unfortunately happen, and sometimes they require a short haircut or some gentle de-matting by a professional. Please do not try to de-mat or cut out mats at home!
The most important thing to remember for home grooming your dog is to make sure to brush and comb all the way down to the dog’s skin, and be thorough.
It is easy to assume you are thoroughly combing your dog, when in reality you are getting through the tip of the coat.
Brush and Comb Your Dog at Least Twice a Week
City Dog Vet groomers recommend repeating steps 1-3 at least twice per week to keep your dog’s coat free and clear of tangles. A groomed coat makes a world of difference for your dog. They’ll feel better and look their best. Once you and your dog get the hang of home grooming maintenance, it will become a breeze, and be a great bonding experience!