Dog grooming might not seem like a potentially dangerous activity. However, there are numerous safety concerns. Dogs are often squirmy and sometimes frightened during grooming. Coupled with the presence of sharp instruments and hot dryers, a dog’s natural tendency to squirm can be downright dangerous. If you don’t have much experience grooming your own dogs, it may be safest to take your pet to a professional groomer, as they have the right equipment and know-how.
If you do wish to groom your dog yourself, follow the safety tips below to reduce the risk.
Choose the Right Shampoo
Never use human shampoo or similar human products on a pet. These can contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, or those that cause irritation or allergies. Instead, choose a tearless shampoo formulated specifically for dogs. Fragrance-free shampoos are ideal, especially if your dog has sensitive skin or a tendency to develop allergic reactions.
Dry the Coat with Caution
If you have a short-haired breed, you can dry your dog with a fluffy towel and a blow dryer on a cool or low heat setting. A long-haired dog may require a low to medium heat setting. However, be very careful not to keep the dryer over one area for too long, and don’t hold the dryer too close. You can test the dryer on your own skin to see what’s tolerable.
Trim the Nails Carefully
Some dogs are a bit fussy about having their feet handled. Ideally, you’ll want to begin handling your dog’s feet when they are a puppy to build familiarity and trust. If your dog is already an adult and doesn’t like their feet handled, you should start slow. Give your pooch some peanut butter to work on and then pick up the feet one at a time, holding each for just a few seconds without trimming any nails. You can also let your dog sniff the trimmer (always use a nail trimmer made specifically for dogs) to become familiar with it. Gently touch the trimmer to your dog’s feet without trimming and provide a treat immediately afterward. Repeat this process each day until your dog gets accustomed to having their feet handled.
When your dog is ready for a nail trimming, give them a treat and then trim just a tiny bit off one nail. You might need to stick with just one or two nails per session for a while, depending on whether your pup gets jumpy. Only clip the tip of each nail, straight across. Only trim a little bit off at a time. Never trim past the curve of the nail, as this will cause bleeding. Always have styptic powder handy, just in case. If you do hit the quick of the nail, styptic powder will stop the bleeding.
Leave Fur Trims to the Professionals
It’s really best to avoid trying to trim your dog’s fur yourself. Dog owners rarely have dog grooming equipment like restraints in their homes, and one sudden movement of the dog when you’re wielding scissors can result in a serious injury. Instead, brush your dog daily—especially if you have a long-haired breed—to avoid matted fur and extend the time between trips to the groomers.
Avoid Bathing Too Frequently
Some dogs may enjoy baths, but you should take care not to bathe them too frequently. Excessive bathing will strip the natural oils from your dog’s skin. These natural oils are essential for a healthy coat. Too frequent bathing will cause the coat to become dry, itchy, and uncomfortable for your pet. As a general rule of thumb, bathing every one to three months is ideal.
High-Quality Dog Grooming Equipment From Direct Animal
The pet care experts at Direct Animal design and fabricate high-quality dog grooming equipment like dog grooming tubs, tables, and accessories, as well as kennels and cat condos. Choose Direct Animal for dependable quality and affordable prices. We invite you to contact us with your questions.