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How to groom your dog at home

With more time up our sleeves than ever, services we would normally outsource have suddenly become our next DIY project. Dog grooming is one of those tasks that we ‘never really had time for’, in fact there’s an entire burgeoning industry based on this very job, with clippers in toe waiting to primp and prep your pet so they can live their best life.

With owners forking out between $50 – $90 to groom their pet (dependant on the size of the dog), there can be huge cost savings made from knowing how to groom your own pooch.

Here are some tips and common mistakes to avoid making when grooming your dog:

Bath time

Finding the right shampoo for your dog to keep them smelling fresh and clean, without washing away much-needed oils and drying out their skin is important. Your vet can recommend the right type of shampoo and also the frequency you should be washing your dog to maintain a healthy coat. Generally speaking, you only need to bath your dog if they smell or have rolled around in dirt and mud. Greyhounds in particular, do not need to be bathed as often as other dogs as they have short hair and only a small amount of oil in their skin which causes the ‘doggy smell’.

When bathing your dog:

  • Start by running warm water in the bath, the steam will also help warm up the room, so your dog isn’t cold
  • It’s a good idea to use a rubber mat in the bath to avoid any slips or injuries
  • Wet your greyhounds body first and leave the head dry as this will be cleaned last
  • Use a small amount of soap and lather into the dogs coat
  • Wet and lather soap on your dogs head, be careful to avoid getting water or shampoo into its eyes
  • Rinse off all of the soap, and keep rinsing until you have washed away all of the suds. Leftover shampoo and cause dry skin and irritations.

Trimming nails

It’s important to trim your greyhounds nails (including dewclaws) every 2-3 weeks to prevent pain, injury or infection associated with ripping nails that are too long.  Always keep an eye on the length of your greyhounds nails, if they touch the floor when your dog is standing on a flat surface, they are too long and need trimming.

We know trimming nails can be daunting for you and your greyhound, here are a few tips on how to make it a more relaxing experience:

  • Try taking your dog for a walk or run to burn off any built-up energy beforehand
  • Use quality clippers appropriate for your dogs size
  • If your greyhound has clear or white nails, shine a torch onto the nail so you can avoid cutting the quick (the pinkish nail bed with sensitive tissue and nerves)
  • If you’re not confident about using clippers, try filing the nail back instead

Cleaning ears

It’s a good idea to clean your dog’s ears when you clip their nails (every 2-3 weeks), with cleaning solutions that are readily available at most pet stores. If your dog has allergies, their ears will need to be cleaned more often, particularly in Spring, when pollen may present an issue.

  • Pour the cleaning solution onto a cotton ball or cotton pad, place it in your dog’s ear and wipe the area gently.
  • Mop up any excess gunk that may be loosened from the ear with a cotton ball
  • You may want to finish with a dry cotton ball to ensure you have wiped up any excess moisture from the ear