Here’s how to groom and trim your dog’s fur at home - and how often you should do it
As the UK lockdown continues, you may have noticed that your dog’s fur has grown a little long and is becoming unmanageable.
If you’ve now reached the stage when you would normally take your pet to the groomers - but, unfortunately, you can’t - you may have to do it yourself.
Here’s what you need to know about grooming your dog’s fur at home by yourself, including making sure you have the right clippers and doing it safely.
How often does my dog need grooming?
According to animal welfare charity, Blue Cross, for a short haired, smooth-coated dog, grooming should be done at least once a week.
A rough or long-coated dog will need to be groomed much more regularly, and will often require clipping to keep the fur at a manageable length.
“Clipping can be required anything from every four to 12 weeks, with regular – usually daily – maintenance brushes and cleaning in between,” explains the Blue Cross.
“Terrier types and some other breeds may need ‘stripping’ rather than normal grooming to remove dead hairs in the coat as these dogs don’t shed hair as well as others.”
Which fur clippers should I use?
If you choose to invest in your own set of dog fur clippers, then you need to ensure that you do plenty of research before grooming your dog.
“Get specific instructions on the type of breed you have, use dedicated equipment with safety guards and, if using scissors, make sure they have rounded ends when tackling sensitive areas,” the Blue Cross said.
Keep your dog calm and under control when clipping them - it may be handy to have a second pair of hands to help out if you live with someone else.
Tips for grooming
Here, PETA explains what you should and shouldn’t do when grooming your dog yourself.
- Groom your dog regularly-Be patient-Choose a safe, well-lit place for grooming-Use appropriate dog-grooming equipment - depending on your dog’s fur and skin type, a special brush might be necessary. Research online, or ask your vet what kind of brush is most appropriate for your dog’s coat. Make sure the nail clippers, scissors, trimmer, etc. are all high-quality and appropriate for your dog. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for suggestions-Be mindful that long-haired or double-coated breeds require extensive maintenance-Know your limits
-Rush-Restrain your dog by gripping their fur-Use scented shampoo - this can irritate dogs’ sensitive skin and noses-Bathe your dog too often-Overwhelm your dog by trying to do too much at once-Cut nails too short-Forget to clean your dog’s ears-Neglect your grooming tools - toenail clipper blades should be sharpened regularly and replaced at least every few years. Dirty or dull blades won’t cut well and can pull and tug at your dog’s nails-Give up