How to groom your dog at home

With a visit to the groomers off limits, now’s a great time to get clued-up on how to pamper your pooch at home. From scruffy schnauzers, to tangled terries - Dr Scott’s joining us from his home with his dog Skully, to share his best grooming tips.

WHY ARE WE HAVING TO GROOM OUR DOGS?Most dog grooming businesses are currently closed due to the impact of COVID-19, so now is a great time to get clued-up on how to groom your dog at home.

Dr Scott says "Most of us are now having to clean and groom our dogs ourselves, which is fine, as it can be a fun and challenging task! However it’s good to know some of the basic tips. Of course if you don’t feel confident in some of the areas, you needn’t worry as it shouldn’t be urgent to attend to right now. However if it is, such as your dog’s toenails curling under, then do give your vet a ring."

DR SCOTT'S DOG GROOMING TIPS

Eyes

1. PICK A SUITABLE PLACE IN THE HOUSESomewhere they can’t slip and that allows them to run away safely if they’ve had enough!

2. BATH YOUR DOGWash them regularly with warm water. Make sure you use suitable shampoo and conditioner, depending on your dog. After taking your dog for a walk, using wipes to clean their paws can be used.

Dr Scott says: "Warm water is ideal, if it’s nice weather, bathing your dog outside will make it easier to clean up. There are different types of shampoo out there if you need a particular one depending on your dog. For example, white fur dogs or dog’s with sensitive and itchy skin. With the coronavirus outbreak, if we are avoiding touching other dogs, and continue to not allow people to touch our dogs - then we can stick to washing them every 12 weeks. However if needed, we can wash them more regularly between every 6-8 weeks."

3. CLEAN THEIR EYESUse a small piece of cotton wool with water to get the discharge away from their eyes. Wipe in a downward motion and make sure to do this daily.

Dr Scott says: "Dog eye wipes are another good option to get rid of the discharge to stop it from building up. But in the current crisis, they might be hard to get hold of - so a simple piece of cotton wool with water will also work."

Trimming Nails

4. BRUSH YOUR DOG'S COATLittle and often is best as it allows them to get used to being handled. It also helps remove any pollen from their coat.

Dr Scott says: "Brushing your dog's coat regularly is crucial to get rid of any knots and mats that may build up. There are a range of different brushes and combs, some for long haired and short haired dogs."

5. TRIM YOUR DOG’S FURStart with a dry, clean dog. Only use the tips of shears or scissors to trim your dog’s feet, face and tail, which will prevent you from cutting your dog if they move suddenly. Make sure you don’t trim around their eyes. When trimming ears, always have your other hand on the edges of the ears so you know where you are only cutting the hair. If your dog’s fur is matted, never try to cut it with scissors and use clippers instead."

Dr Scott says: "Scissors are better for long haired dogs. Clippers are best for dogs with shorter hair. You can also use a combination of the two."

6. CLIP THEIR NAILSThey should be clipped every 3-6 weeks. An easy way to see if your dog's nails need clipping is to look at them when your dog is standing straight – their nails should not touch the floor. If they are, they may need trimming.

*Ideally this should be done by a groomer/vet.

Dr Scott says: “There are two ways to tackle your dogs nails, either trim them with a clipper or file them down with a nail grinder. If your dog's nails aren’t really long and you’re not too confident, then don't worry as unless it’s urgent, they should be absolutely fine."

Checking teeth

7. TEETH & MOUTHStart teeth cleaning when they're a puppy and brush their teeth everyday to get them used to it. Be sure to buy a dog toothpaste as human ones aren't suitable. Dental chews and treats are also a good way of helping to keep your dog's teeth clean.

Dr Scott says: “Keeping your dog's teeth clean is important, as ignoring this can lead to plaque build-up and dental disease. If needed, phone your vet to tell you the best way to do this, as different breeds show varying jaw alignments and how the teeth meet."

8. GIVE TREATS!Treats can be used as rewards if they behave well whilst being groomed!