a cute little terrier breed dog taking a bubble bath with his paws up on the rim of the tub

8 Easy Steps to Groom Your Dog Like a Pro

Have you ever picked up your pooch from the dog grooming salon and wished you could create those same kinds of results yourself at home?

Well, you can!

With the right approach, the correct tools for the job and a little practice, you can pamper your pooch like pro.

And you can do it to, in 8 simple steps:

Step 1: Create Your Pooch Pampering Tool Box

You’re going to need the following tools and you’ll need them in easy reach;

Depending on your dog’s breed and coat type you might also need;

  • A de-shedding tool like FURminators are excellent for smooth coated dogs like Dalmatians, and a
  • Dematting tool or a detangling brush used for picking out mats and tangles on dogs with long coats or double coats.

lovely pet. yorkshire terrier is calmly resting on folded bath towel among various cosmetics.

Step 2: Decide Where You’re Going to Groom Your Dog

You may need to think about this and decide which is going to be the best place to bathe and groom your dog.

The bathtub? Shower? Sink? Choose a place that is comfortable for your dog but also comfortable for you to work in. For example, a Chihuahua doesn’t need to be bathed in a big bath tub when a sink will do. You’ll also save your back from aching as you’ll be able to stand instead of bending over. A hand-held shower head does come in useful!

You’ll also need a non-slip surface to put your dog on while drying and grooming her. Again, a bath mat on a table might work for small dogs. But if your dog is a larger breed, choose a spot that gives you plenty of room to work.

adorable cute young puppies outside in the yard taking a bath covered in soapy bubbles

Step 3: Prepare Your Dog For a Bath

The first thing you’ll need to do is give your dog a good brush to get rid of any excess dirt, tangles, or knots. If your dog is double coated, make sure you brush out her undercoat too. If you find any mats in the fur, remove them with a dematting tool. You’ll often find mats under your dog’s armpits. When the brush is passing easily through her coat, it’s time for a bath.

girl owner is combing out the fur of retriever puppy after shower

Step 4: Bathtime

The next step is to bathe your dog. A hand held shower head make this job so much easier but if you don’t have one, a cup or a jug will do.

Set the water to a comfortable temperature for your dog – lukewarm is good. With the shower head or jug, completely saturate her coat with water making sure that she’s soaked to the skin.

Next, apply the shampoo. There are hundreds of different types on the market but we suggest you use shampoo that’s made of natural products, not something that’s full of perfume and additives. Apply the shampoo as per the manufacturer’s guidelines and massage it into your dog’s fur and skin. Take care around her head and be careful not to get it in her eyes, ears nose or mouth. Start on her back, then round to her underbelly and chest, down each leg and her tail before going up her neck to the back of her head. Work the shampoo into her coat really well.

Now it’s time to give her a good rinse. This time start at the head, being careful not to get any shampoo in her eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Go down her neck, back, underbelly, each leg and tail. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.

Once you have rinsed her well, apply the conditioner. Some conditioners need to be rinsed out, some need to be left in so make sure your read the manufacturer’s guidelines. Apply it and rinse it off in the same order you did the shampoo.

dog in bathtub while owner washing.

Step 5: Dry Your Dog

Your dog will most probably help you here by having a good shake! Using the towels, rub her down really well to remove all of the excess water from her coat. If she’s double coated, make sure you get underneath the topcoat and dry that out too. Then, take your hair dryer on a cool/medium heat and dry her coat. Use a brush to move the fur so you can dry it from the base of the coat. Start a her head, moving down her neck and chest, then down her back and underbelly before moving on to her legs and tail. Pay close attention to the armpits – fur that hasn’t been dried properly can quickly get matted in these areas.

cute small dog shaking at the beach with closed eyes

Step 6: Clipping and Scissoring

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try styling your dog yourself. Don’t expect her to look like she’s come from the grooming parlor on your first attempt though. Styling takes a bit of practice!

It’s a good idea to read about how to groom your specific breed of dog before attempting it. There are many dog grooming and breed specific books that will tell you exactly how to clip and scissor your dog to get the desired look.

 a white pomeranian smile is cutting

Step 7: Nail Clipping

Once your dog is groomed you can clip her nails. Clip nails after a dog has been bathed and styled, for two reasons;

  1. Because the water from the bath softens the nails, making them easier to cut
  2. It’s easier to see the nail once the excess fur has been removed from the foot

Take your nail clippers and snip away the end of the nail. Be careful not to cut off too much as you might cut the quick (the soft inner part of the nail that contains nerve endings and blood vessels) and cause her to bleed. This is easier on dogs with light nails as you can normally see the quick.

dog nails being cut and trimmed during grooming

Step 8: Applying the Finishing Touches

All that’s left to do now is apply the finishing touches. Run a comb through your dog’s fur one last time to make sure there are no tangles, knots and to make sure her fur falls correctly. If you want, give her a spray with some doggie perfume and you’re all done!

dog is lying on back on the bed - selective focus

In Conclusion

Grooming your dog at home doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s easier than many people think! Just take your time, and make the process an enjoyable one for your dog. Take regular break if needed and give her plenty of treat and praise along the way. And with a little practice, you’ll be grooming your dog like a pro!

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