Your dog is going to get dirty no matter how careful you are! If you want to make sure that you can do everything possible to keep him clean and healthy, pet grooming is one of those essential tasks that you can do right from the comfort and safety of your home. However, dog grooming can often be a lot easier said than done, especially if you’ve never had a dog before!

Tips for safely grooming your dog at home:

Whether you’re a newbie or just a dog owner that is getting back into dog grooming after a bit of a break, here are some of the top tips to grooming your dog at home to maximize comfort and even help you both enjoy yourselves a bit more.

● Desensitize him to the brush and other cleaning tools: If your dog has never seen a brush or smelled shampoo before, it’s going to freak him out the first time that you use it! Make sure you desensitize him to it by allowing him to sniff both liberally and then get him used to how the brush and shampoo are going to feel when you use them. Your dog will be uncertain at first, but will adjust if you do it nice and slow, at your dog’s speed. Then he won't fear either!

● Start early and make it a habit: If you get your dog as a puppy, the earlier you start grooming and washing him, the better! This basically makes it into a habit instead of just something that you do randomly. This, too, will help him to understand that it’s just a routine thing instead of something to be fearful of.

● Stay calm and positive no matter what: Even if your dog makes a mess, scratches you, gets water and fur everywhere and so on, always keep a positive tone and stay calm. Your dog doesn't understand these inconveniences, remember. He is going to be fearful or getting groomed again by you if you yell and scream at him for “making a mess”. He’ll associate the fear and your anger to the grooming, not the mess! Proper training will help him keep still when grooming, too.

● Check with your vet on the tools and products you use: Not all dogs react well to all brushes and shampoos. Check with your vet to see just what the best products are for your dog breed and your actual dog, in particular. Make sure that you always follow your vet’s advice, too, on products and tools. The one ones can cause an allergic reaction (always serious in dogs) or can hurt their skin and damage their fur.

Need some more advice? Check in with us to help you out with your pet grooming at home for the best stress-free results for both you and your dog! While grooming may not be something that you are used to doing for your dog, it’s a great opportunity to bond with him and help him to enjoy his own personal massage right there in your home!