Knowing how to properly groom your dogs at home is part of being a dog owner. If you are worried that you are not up to the task, let me tell you this learning how to groom your dog.

Step 1: Brush

Using your brush, start from the head and work your way back. Be sure to remove as much loose fur as possible.

Step 2: Nails/Ears/Eyes

Trim your dog’s nails first, using Kwik-Stop or any other type of styptic powder to stop any bleeding that may occur.

Ears can be cleaned using an ear wash applied to a gauze pad. Wrap the pad around your index finger and swipe out any build up with your finger. you can use the same finger method using a Tear-Stain Remover pad to clean any discoloration around your dog’s eyes as well.

Step 3: Prepare Your Dog

When you are ready to bathe your dog, put them in the bathing area (a tub, a shower, etc) and secure them with a leash.

Have your bathing supplies there before you bring in the dog so the dog is not left on the leash unattended.

When you are ready to bathe, you can place two large cotton balls in your dog’s ears to stop the water from getting inside. Be sure not to push them deep into the ear canal. You want them in just enough so they will not fall out.

Step 4: Wet

Soak your dog with water from head to toe, ensuring the water reaches the skin. Watch out for shaking, you may get wet too!

Step 5: Apply Shampoo

Using your shampoo, lather your dog starting from the top of their shoulders, working backwards to the tail and feet.

If you are using a flea shampoo, carefully shampoo the face and head and work backwards. Fleas tend to migrate to the head and will go into a dog’s ears and nose when flea shampoo is applied.

Step 6: Massage

Work the shampoo down into the skin and massage it all over your dog’s body.

The more you massage it in, the more dirt and oils you will loosen up. Be sure to get your dog’s tail, undercarriage and paws.

Use this time as an opportunity to bond with your dog and to inspect their bodies for any lumps, bumps or skin concerns.

Step 7: Rinse completely

Shampoo that is left on the skin can really dry it out and cause irritation and itching, so be sure that after you rinse your dog you do not see anymore suds in their fur. If you do, rinse again until the water washes away clean.

Step 8: Condition

This is optional, but it will help replace the natural oils you just washed away so your dog’s skin stays moisturized. It will also help de-tangle your dog’s fur. Lather and rinse in the same way you used the shampoo.

Step 9: Dry

Use a towel and dry your dog thoroughly then let them air dry.

You can use a hair dryer set on a warm (not HOT) setting and blow it backwards through their fur, but be sure that their skin does not get hot as they can easily burn.

Senior dogs have skin that is more sensitive than younger dogs, so blow-drying is not recommended. If you are going to blow dry your dog’s fur, be sure to use a conditioner as blow drying can also dry out their skin.

Step 10: Brush

Smooth out your dog’s coat with a quick brush and some great smelling finishing spray so your dog looks and smells his best!

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