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15 Pro Tips for DIY Dog Grooming

Updated April 2024
Life's Abundance

Grooming your dog at home can be a fun, cost-effective bonding experience.

Ever tried wrangling a wet, soap-slippery dog during a home grooming session, only to end up looking like you've taken a bath instead? Let's give a round of applause to those magician-like professional groomers who transform our four-legged friends from scruffy to fluffy without breaking a sweat.

But, hey, sometimes life happens, and you find yourself reaching for the shampoo bottle at home. Whether you've got a mess that needs attention right away or just embracing the DIY dog grooming spirit, we’ve got a treasure trove of tips for grooming your dog at home.

At Life's Abundance, we believe every pet grooming session can be a spa day (yes, even with the clippers). We aim to empower pet parents like you, armed with towels, a trusty brush, and our botanical Bath Fresh Mist that makes tackling grooming adventures easy–all from the comfort of your home!

What Do I Need To Groom My Dog at Home?

Before we get into the sudsy depths of DIY dog grooming, let's make a pit stop at the most crucial step: assembling your grooming toolkit. Here's what you'll need to ensure a smooth bathtime:

Now, let's work up the suds and the fun with these 15 tips for grooming your dog at home. And who knows? By the end of this, you might just add 'home groomer extraordinaire' to your resumé!

Before Grooming

  1. If your furry friend gets stressed during grooming, give them a cup of room-temperature chamomile tea with honey about 30 minutes before bath time, followed by a carb-rich treat like our Antioxidant Health Bars. The glucose in the treat will deliver the calming tea straight to your dog’s brain. (Make some extra tea for yourself if you're nervous too!)
  2. If you don’t have a waterproof apron to protect your clothes, be sure to change into something that can get wet. Preferably it will have pockets to stow savory-smelling dog treats while keeping your hands free.
  3. Using a high-quality cleanser, like our Revitalizing Shampoo, makes a difference. The luxurious lather won’t strip your dog’s protective oils or leave a soapy residue on their coat. The natural fruit extracts have a soothing fragrance that both you and your dog will appreciate.
  4. Long-haired breeds should be brushed with a fine-toothed comb first. Otherwise, you could end up making knots in their coat even worse.
  5. If your dog especially seems to dislike outside baths, it might be a good idea to try the bathtub. Many dogs respond much better to lukewarm water.

During Grooming

  1. Start by wetting your dog at their neck and then move backward. Then, get those suds going! Use a gentle massaging motion and give soothing words of encouragement. (Research shows your voice can be soothing to them.)
  2. Wash their face last. So you can start on one side, then move to the other, and then down their legs and tail.
  3. Make sure you don’t miss any commonly missed spots, like their fuzzy underarms and in between their toes.
  4. To begin rinsing, start at your pup’s head (avoiding the eyes). Soak a washcloth and wring it out just above their head to keep it gentle. Use a washcloth to wipe their muzzle and around the eyes.
  5. Continue rinsing by moving backward. Rinse one side of their body first, then the other, before thoroughly working through their chest, underarms, belly, and legs.
  6. After rinsing, use your hands like squeegees to remove excess water. This also allows you to feel if you have left any soap behind. Rinsing all the soap off completely is important, as any soap left behind can make your dog itchy. Let them shake all the excess water off (ideally outside).

Life's Abundance

Take your dog outside and let them shake off excess water

After Grooming

  1. Now you’re ready to dry your dog using towels. If your dog has long or cottony fur, try using a patting motion rather than rubbing to avoid matting the fur.
  2. Once they’re dry, follow up with a skin and coat conditioner, like our Bath Fresh Mist. This conditioner helps keep their exterior hydrated, healthy, and smelling fresh.
  3. Don’t forget about the ears! Many breeds of dogs need to have the hair in their ears cleaned regularly. This helps fight off bacteria, dirt, and grime trapped inside the ear canal. Our Ear Care Formula gently and safely removes dirt and debris while nourishing the tender skin in this area.
  4. To finish the grooming session, remember to offer your dog their favorite treat. This helps seal the experience in your dog’s mind as a positive one.
  5. Bathe your dog no more than every 2-3 weeks. In between baths, you can use Bath Fresh Mist to neutralize odors and condition the skin. Just spray and brush it in. It’s that easy. You’ll love the smell and your dog will love the attention.

Remember: Make DIY Dog Grooming Fun!

So that’s a wrap on turning your pup from shaggy to chic right from your bathroom (or backyard)! With these pro tips and some patience, you’ve become a good pet parent AND a grooming guru. At Life’s Abundance, we believe every dog deserves their day in the grooming spotlight. And remember, the journey from a towel tornado to tail wags is all part of the fun!

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The 10 Breeds That Shed the Worst Plus Dog Shedding Tip
5 Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make