These 7 At-Home Grooming Tips Will Have Fido Looking and Feeling Paw-fect
What’s the craziest thing you do for your dog?
Do you sleep on the edge of the bed so your pup can spread out and get comfy?
Do you let Fido eat off your plate because you just can’t tell him no?
Do you wake up early every morning to cook your pal a hot breakfast? (Guys, this is a real thing — I know because my mom does it.)
Then you, my friend, might be an overly devoted (or just devoted enough?) dog owner.
And that’s OK! Spoil your pets! Feed them treats even when you know they faked that bathroom break just for the reward! Give them so many belly rubs your hands fall off! Subscribe to Audible for Dogs just so your fur baby doesn’t feel lonely when you leave for work every day! (OK, maybe not that last one.)
The one thing you really don’t have to be doing for your precious pooch, though? Spending anywhere from $30 to $100 on grooming every four to six weeks.
Instead of dropping copious amounts of cash on that grooming service that terrifies your dog anyway, learn how to groom your dog at home. You could save hundreds of dollars per year.
7 DIY Dog Grooming Tips That Will Save You Money
If you have a prize-winning show poodle that’s esteemed for his beautiful, poofy hair, this might not be the money saving hack for you.
But if your dog is an averagely excellent dog that just needs to be able to see through its bangs, these tips and tricks for grooming your dog at home will keep your pup looking fresh and clean — and save you money in the process.
And don’t worry: While your first few attempts at cutting your dog’s hair might be a little unsightly, you’ll get better each time you try. (Just don’t try anything too fancy at first. Trust me on this one — one time my dad tried to give our Shi-Tzu-Poodle mix a mohawk and she ended up looking like a forlorn Mr. T.)
Follow these steps to keep your dog’s coat healthy — while keeping your wallet healthy, too!
1. Brush Your Dog
Before you do anything else, brush your dog’s fur thoroughly. Brush out loose dirt and extra fur, and then try to get out any matted spots. If you can’t comb through the tangles, take a pair of scissors and snip them out.
You should also brush your dog between baths and fur trims — but as a good dog owner who knows the value of a good brush and scratch session, you’re already doing that, right?
2. Bathe Your Dog
You probably already have a bathing routine down for those times when the mud puddle in the backyard looks a liiiiitle too enticing. Just make sure to scrub your dog down thoroughly before each haircut — and don’t forget to wash behind the ears!
If you’ve never bathed your dog at home, Petco offers a helpful guide to getting your pup squeaky clean.
3. Invest in a Set of Dog Clippers
After your dog is clean and dry, it’s time to do something about the extra fluff that’s weighing him down.
A pair of dog clippers can be a great investment. Instead of paying $45 every few weeks to have your dog’s fur trimmed at the groomers, pay half that price one time for a set of clippers like these and learn how to work them yourself.
4. Learn How to Cut Your Dog’s Hair
Here’s the thing about grooming your dog at home: You don’t have to be a professional.
A professional dog groomer has to know how to cut hundreds of different fur types and lengths — you only have to know one. (Or two, or three — or four? — wait, how many dogs do you have?!)
You can find specialized grooming instructions for a bunch of different dog breeds here. Take a few minutes to study the best method for your dog’s particular breed (or compare notes if your pup is a mix), and then put that information to work!
Once you have the technique down, you’ll just keep getting better at it with a little time and practice.
5. Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Again, the right tool for the job will be a one-time investment that will pay off in the long run — especially if you have a small indoor dog whose nails tend to grow long (and sometimes in a painful way) without the opportunity to wear down naturally.
For under $15, nail trimmers like these will get the job done. Then, follow these tips for trimming your dog’s nails in a safe and healthy way.
And don’t forget the treats! (Lots and lots of treats!)
6. Clean Your Dog’s Ears and Eyes
It’s easy to forget about the ears and eyes when you’re grooming your dog — but it’s important that you give these areas some attention, too!
These tips will help you clean your dog’s eyes and ears safely and without any pain — and with tools you already have on hand.
7. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
While you should be brushing your dog’s teeth every day, make sure to at least brush them every time you go through their hygiene routine.
Pick up a doggie toothbrush like this one, and then make sure to get toothpaste that is specifically formulated for dogs (poultry flavored, yum!). While human toothpaste might work for you, dogs don’t know not to swallow it. Your pup might end up with an upset stomach — and you might end up upset about the barf stain on your new rug.
Now that you’ve got your supplies ready, Banfield Pet Hospital has some great tips for brushing your dog’s teeth at home (with minimal trauma and maximum treats).
On top of being good for your budget, grooming your dog at home is a great opportunity for you to build trust with your dog and to ensure that you’re always in the know about any health changes or behavioral differences.
And just like that, with an initial investment of about $50 for supplies, you’ve saved hundreds of dollars a year on grooming fees. Not that your dog isn’t worth every penny — we just like to take advantage of savings wherever we can!
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.
Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Howl-out to the most ridiculous dog she knows — Elphie.