From their coats and size, to environment and how dirty they get - every dog is different, and it’s important to know how to correctly groom them. Whether it's between trips to the groomers or a full clip and trim, our guide talks you through how to handle different coats and top tips on home grooming.
Benefits of pet grooming
Back to basics
A clean pet is a happy pet. Clean fur, healthy skin and clipped nails all make for a comfortable and well-behaved pet. Here are the top reasons for keeping your pet well-groomed:
Health checks: regular brushing helps prevent skin irritation and reduces the risk of uncomfortable matting and knots. Brushing also helps check for unwanted visitors like fleas or ticks.
Healthier skin and coats: clipping and trimming pet's hair reduces the risk of debris getting caught between paws as well as keeping coats clean and healthy.
Trim nails: regular nail trimming helps to reinforce healthy foot structure, comfort and reduces the risk of infection.
Bonding: creating a regular grooming routine will help you bond with your pet, allowing them to feel safe and comfortable around you.
Pet grooming kit
What do I need?
Grooming at home is a great way to bond with your pet and check for any potential health concerns. To get you started we've put together the essential grooming tools you'll need:
Clippers: for removing the bulk of your pet's coat such as back, neck and legs.
Trimmer: for hard to reach, smaller and delicate areas.
Scissors: to remove tough knots, gently trim delicate areas and for those finishing touches.
Brush or comb: On average your pet will need their coat brushed 2-3 times a week, not only does this remove knots and mats, it also helps stimulate their natural oils, for a healthy, shiny coat.
Shampoo and conditioner: For removing dirt, debris and odours during the washing process.
Nail clippers: for cutting the nails on their paws.
Doggy day spa essentials
How to groom a dog...
Dog clipping tips
Watch as Wahl walk us through their step-by-step guide to grooming your pet at home. Learn which body parts to tackle first, and follow their helpful hints with each step for the smoothest cut.
Maintaining dog clippers
Oiling your clippers before and after every use, will help to prolong their life and give a smoother cut for your dog.
Step 1 - Place 3 drops of oil along the top of the blade and 1 drop at either side.
Step 2 - Turn the clipper on to allow the oil to run along the blades.
Step 3 - Switch the clipper off and remove any excess oil with a clean cloth.
Know your dog's coat...
Thick double coats
The double coat is a soft fine layer of fur beneath a coarse layer of longer hairs. Opt for a metal pin brush to comb through any mats or dirt, as well as a powerful clipper to cope with the dense undercoat and coarse outercoat.
Example breeds: Husky, Retriever, Terrier, Sheepdog
Short and smooth coats
These breeds rarely require clipping as the hair is not prone to knotting. A trimmer or scissors would be suitable for general tidying around delicate areas, as well as removing mats or knots that can build up.
Example breeds: French Bulldog, Greyhound, Boxer, Pug, Dachshund
Silky dog coats usually feature straight or slightly wavy hair that is fine and soft. Regular brushing will help maintain this coat, whilst a trimmer can freshen up delicate areas.
Example breeds: Cocker Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier Setter, Afghan Hound.
These can be quite difficult to manage and require routine trimming to maintain the coat whilst reducing mats and tangles. Work through the coat from front to back, clipping away from the eyes and nose.
Example breeds: Curly Coated Retriever, Poodle, Bichon Frise, American Water Spaniel.
Medium to long coats
Medium to long coats usually have straight hair that is fine and soft, with a similar texture to silky coats. Use a rubber brush to maintain the coat, with a trimmer or scissors to tidy up delicate areas or longer hair growth.
Example breeds: Border Collie, Shih Tzu, Golden Retriever.
Wiry coats are a combination of soft, dense undercoat hair with a layer of longer wiry guard hairs on top. This coarse, wiry coat is water resistant but it can get dirty and matted. Use a metal pinned brush a couple of times a week, and clippers to keep on top of it.
Example breeds: Schnauzer, Otterhound, Fox Terrier.
Products to bark about
Top tips for dog grooming at home
To achieve the paw-fect groom, start by brushing out the knots and mats from the fur. This will stop them becoming more tangled and reduce the risk of creating more when shampooing. Start from the head and work down the body to the feet and tail.
Dogs need shampooing to get rid of dirt, clumps and debris. Use a dog-friendly shampoo and gently massage it into the coat, avoiding the eyes and any sensitive areas. Make sure you rinse thoroughly. Don’t bathe them too much, as this can remove essential oils.
Be prepared for the shake! Lie down some old towels for your pooch to sit on and towel dry them as much as possible. If your dog doesn’t mind a hair dryer, you can use a cool setting to dry off the worst of it. Or if it’s a sunny day, let them dry outside.
Firstly – only clip or trim on clean, dry hair. Next, turn on your clippers before putting them close to the dog to reduce any stress and to de-sensitise. Start at the bottom part of the neck, going in the direction of the coat. Make your way down the back, followed by the legs and neck.
For areas with skin folds or wrinkles, use your free hand to stretch the skin to prevent the blades from catching.
Use trimmers for delicate areas and for coats that don’t need much maintenance. Take your time, keeping your pup calm and still.
Paws: Stretch the toe pads and work the trimmer between each pad until there isn't any fur protruding out of the paw.
Ears: Stretch the ear out and work from the centre by stroking the trimmer to the edge.
Face: Place the trimmer above the eye and pull down lightly towards the nose.
Claws naturally wear down, but it’s good to keep an eye on them – especially the dew claw, which can overgrow. Never use dull clippers, as these can cause splitting.
For white nails – clip your dog's nails until you see the quick (the pink bit) but don’t hit this.
For black nails – clip a little at a time until you see a solid black dot on the tip.
Creating a safe environment
Let them relax
Not all dogs liked being pampered. Make sure your pup feels safe and secure, and make it a rewarding experience with treats. Avoid distractions that might make your dog flinch, and hold them gently if you need to and take your time.
Vacuums for pet hair
After a wash, cut and blow dry, comes the clean-up. Save time and energy with vacuums specifically designed to collect stubborn pet hair and fur.