Dog grooming for beginners


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Dog Grooming for Beginners

Owning a pet is not just bringing an animal to your home. It is like adopting a child. You should take care of your dog as you take care of your child.

Most people think they are done if they provide food for the dog. Some people don’t even care to look at the quality of the food and health of the dog.

A responsible and caring dog owner will go to any length to make sure his dog leads a healthy life. He knows how to take care of his dog and indulges in regular grooming.

New dog owners may find it difficult to groom a dog in the beginning. Dog grooming involves a lot of patience, attention, and concentration.

Most of the dogs don’t like to be groomed. Due to this reason, beginners find dog grooming a laborious process.

But if you learn the required steps and tricks of dog grooming at home, you would start enjoying the entire process.

Experts have devised a few steps and tricks to groom a dog. Before learning dog grooming tips for beginners, let us learn the basics of dog grooming.

What is a Dog Grooming?

Dog grooming essentially involves cleaning your dogs. Cutting the nails, brushing the teeth, combing the hair, bathing, etc. are part of dog grooming.

You can either groom your dog at home or take the help of a professional. Learning the steps to groom your dog helps in enhancing the bond between you and your dog.

Hence, you should groom the dog on your own unless it requires special grooming by a trained expert.

Why you should Groom a Dog?

Grooming for dogs is important because it improves the appearance of a dog. It also helps in assessing your dog for skin and coat ailments.

If your dog is experiencing any discomfort or pain, grooming is the time to find the exact reason. Your dog will respond or react whenever you touch the affected area while grooming.

This helps you to examine the dog’s condition and improve its health.

Dog Grooming for Beginners

Let’s not waste any more time and get into the action. Below are some steps for the beginners to learn dog grooming. Follow them to know how to conduct yourself while grooming your dog and finish the job without much hassle.

Preparing the Ground

First thing you should do when you decide to groom your dog is to collect all the tools. Clippers, sprayer, bathtub, hair cutter, strong leash, towel, etc are some of the tools that you should have while grooming your dog.

Prepare the area where you want to groom your dog. Bathroom, storeroom, or anywhere outside the home are preferred areas.

Keep the tools within the reach of your hand. Leash the dog and tie it to strong support if necessary.

Tool List:

Looking for Mats and Tangles

Mats and tangles are commonly seen on the bodies of dogs. More the hair, the higher the chances of seeing mats and tangles.

You should get rid of these mats and tangles before bathing your dog.

Using a detangle solution would ease the process of removing mats and tangles.

In case of strong tangles, you can use a tool like a matting rake to remove them.

On some rescue dogs when they're brought in, the mats might be so bad that you may have to shave them down with the grooming clippers.

Trimming and Clipping

If your dog has a lot of on its body, you must trim them before the bath. Dog breeds with long hair usually grow a large amount of hair around the belly, chest, pads of feet, and hocks.

You should use specially designed scissors to cut hair. Dog-grooming shears also come in handy while working on the hair of your dog.

Be attentive while using these tools as they may slice or cut the skin of your dog.

Brushing and Combing

Brushing and combing the dog after trimming allows you to remove hair that you have cut. You choose a brush or a comb depending upon the size of the hair on your dog.

Several brushes are available in the market. 

For beginners, brushes called Furminators are considered to be handy and easy to use. (see above tool list!)

Make sure you use soft-bristle brushes to not cause any harm or discomfort to your dog. Start from the head while combing and gradually move to the rear portion of the dog.

Move the comb from top to bottom to remove the excess hair. Be careful with the comb while using it near eyes, nose, and mouth.


Once you finish with trimming and combing, move to bathe your dog. The bathroom is a good place to bathe your dog but if you bathe it outside, it would be less messy and fun.

Some dogs may love bathtubs and others just like to shower. Experiment with different options to assess what your dog likes and stick to one form of bathing.

Use dedicated bathing products like dog shampoo or soap while bathing your dog.


Dry your dog using clean and dry towels. You may have to need more than one towel for a hairy dog. Make sure you keep more than one towel beside you while drying your dog.

Use cotton buds or balls to dry the ears and other non-reachable parts. Once finish drying with a towel, use a blow-dryer to remove moisture from the hair and body of your dog.

If you don’t have a blow-dryer, make your dog stand under the sun for a few minutes.

Cleaning Ears

Ears are the most complex parts of a dog. They need special care and cleaning. Dedicate extra time to clean the ears of your dog.

Dog ears collect dirt, moisture, and wax over a period. 

If you let them stay in the ears for a longer duration, your dog may start scratching the ears causing rupture of blood vessels. In addition, ears may emit a foul smell if you allow the wax to collect in the ears.

Use soft cotton buds or balls to clean the ears. Using ear solution and massaging the base of the ears would make the cleaning of ears quick and easy.

Trimming Toenails

Long or overgrown toenails may obstruct your dog’s walking. It may even cause a collection of dirt in the feet eventually leading to infection.

You may even get scratches or hurt while playing if your dog has long toenails. All most all dogs hate trimming of toenails. It also the most difficult part of dog grooming.

Hence, use a good quality clipper and take all the time to trim the toenails.

Never hurry or get angry with your dog while trimming toenails because it may make your dog anxious.

Be gentle and keep talking with your dog to distract its attention while clipping the toenails.

Brushing Teeth

Oral care is important for all animals including dogs. The food stuck in the teeth greatly affects the health of your dog. Use toothpaste and toothbrush specially designed for the dogs to clean the teeth.

Clean teeth and mouth always keep your dog healthy and active.


Be up to date with dog grooming. Groom your dog whenever necessary. Give your dog treats whenever it behaves well during grooming.     

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.

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