Techniques for Dog Grooming at Home in Oklahoma City, OK

It’s been months of quarantining, social distancing, and isolation for all of us, and for months you’ve had to avoid even taking your dogs to the groomer. Now your favorite, furry, four-legged  friends are looking a bit rough. What can you do about it at home?

Dog grooming at home in Oklahoma City, OK

Tips for Grooming Your Dog at Home in Oklahoma City, OK

While having professional dog grooming services done by a grooming professional is the best route to go for keeping up with your pet’s hygiene, there are ways you can keep your dog clean at home while waiting to see a groomer. But what if you’ve never groomed your dog at home before and you don’t know the best way to go about doing it?

Below are some practical tips for dog grooming at home:

No Scissors

The first and most important thing is to NEVER use scissors to groom your dog at home. Unless you are a professionally trained groomer with a long history of safe grooming encounters, put the scissors down.

The number one home-grooming related injury veterinarians in Oklahoma City, OK treat are large lacerations from poorly wielded scissors, often used to try trimming a knot or remove a mat. Grooming with scissors requires a level of skill and care only bestowed on the most talented of groomers. It’s best to not try to replicate what they do.

Use the Best and Simplest Tools Available to You at Home

The simplest at-home dog grooming tools include:

  • Good shampoo
  • An accessible tub
  • Brushes or combs
  • Nail trimmers
  • Maybe a set of electric clippers with a guard on them

These are all safe, relatively straightforward grooming tools that can help get your pet back in shape, and fit to be seen in public (from a distance, of course!)

Shampoo and a Tub

The least technical part of dog grooming at home, though not necessarily the easiest, is bathing. All you need is a basic dog-specific shampoo with a scent you enjoy. There are a multitude of options available on the market, so you can pick one to suit your pet’s needs if there are any.

Its important to avoid making bathing a traumatic event. If your dog is scared of the shampoo, or the tub, or running water, consider using a waterless shampoo product instead. If they really need a full bath, then make it as happy an experience as possible. Offer lots of treats and happy noises, a slow gentle coaxing into the tub, etc.

If that doesn’t work out, don’t force it- you and your dog will both end up unhappy. Instead, consider wiping them down with a wet washcloth.

Brushes or Combs

A simple brush or comb will help you detangle knots, remove shedding hair, and get your pets coat looking glossy and shiny again. Any basic brush or comb will work.

Try to avoid wiry brushes that might poke or scratch your pet’s skin. Pick something that has thicker bristles, or bristles with plastic caps on the ends. Never brush harshly. Use smooth, gentle strokes as you would with your own hair.

Nail Trimmers

Nail trimming is probably the most dreaded, most traumatic part of any dog grooming experience for both animal and human, even at home. If your dog in Oklahoma City is already known to be afraid of the trimmers, it’s important to start from square one. Teach them that the trimmers aren’t a scary thing, but don’t use them right away.

How to Help a Dog Who’s Scared of Nail Trimmers

Keep them out and visible in a highly traveled area. Any time your dog is near them, any time they look at them, give them a treat, praise them, turn those scary nail trimmers into a cool and exciting thing. Give it time, don’t try to rush it. Only move to the next step when your dog is comfortable with the sight of the trimmers.

The next step is to pick them up but still don’t use them. Just continue with the same trend. Every time you pick them up, give your dog treats, use your happy voice, get excited. Continue with the same trend- waiting until your dog is relaxed. Then proceed, with the exact same techniques, and add the next few steps.

Bring the trimmers near your dog, make physical contact (but not with their feet yet). When they’re not bothered by the trimmers touching them, then start handling their feet while you hold the trimmers, but don’t trim nails yet. When your dog is finally comfortable with you handling their feet while the trimmers are in your hand, then you can try trimming (but keep going with the treats and happy voice).

Remember that this process will be slow. It could take days to weeks to months. Be patient.

Electric Clippers

To reiterate, if your dog has longer hair that needs a trim, stay away from the scissors. Instead, consider investing in a handheld trimmer that has a depth guard on it. Make sure to acclimate your dog to the trimmers first. Make sure they’re comfortable with the noise and vibration, and with sitting still while you use them.

As with the nail trimmers, treats and happy voices can go a long way.

Use the guard on the trimmers to make sure you don’t get too close to the skin. If you’re not used to handling trimmers, it’s really easy to cause significant razor burn or even skin lacerations. Pay attention to problem areas, gently trim away any knots and mats.

Talk to a Vet in Oklahoma City, OK About Any Dog Grooming at Home Questions

Keeping up with your dog’s grooming needs is one of the most important things you can do to help them look and feel their best. Hygiene plays a big role in your pet’s overall health, as well, which is why it’s important to keep your dog as groomed as possible.

While going to a professional groomer is the best option to do this, sometimes you’re not able to get to the groomer as often as you’d like or as often as your pet needs to. Sometimes you may have to groom your dog at home a bit until you’re able to take them to an actual groomer. The tips mentioned above can help with successfully doing this for your pet.

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About Hefner Road Animal Hospital

The bond shared between people and their companion animals is a bond that endures. At Hefner Road Animal Hospital, we have seen this firsthand since our veterinarians began serving the Oklahoma City community in 1998. It is our privilege and our pleasure to be able to contribute to that bond by delivering excellent veterinary medical care and compassionate service to area families. Many of our staff members have been with us since the very beginning and are dedicated to making our animal hospital a place of healing, comfort, and respect for animal welfare.