The Kennel

golden retriever getting a bath

Grooming: To DIY or Not to DIY?

Pet Care

Before you decide to groom your dog yourself, it’s best to weigh all your options because dog grooming is a skill that requires understanding, patience, and the right equipment. Here are a few questions to answer before you try to DIY or hire a groomer.

  • What kind of coat does your dog have? The breed of your dog will indicate the type of coat your dog has. Categories include wiry coat, curly coat, short coat, and double coat. Knowing the type of coat will help you choose the right products and equipment.
  • What equipment do you need? Start with a breed-specific shampoo, brushes, and combs. Beware of chemicals that can affect your dog’s skin, always use shampoos and other grooming essentials that are approved for dogs. You’ll need a calm place away from distractions, a tub, and a safe way to secure your pet so they don’t slip or escape.
  • Is your dog nervous about being groomed? If so, you need a strategy to introduce the experience of being groomed gently and patiently. You’ll need to be calm, positive, deliberate, and reassuring. Scolding is a no-no. The best strategy is to start getting your dog accustomed to handling and grooming as early as possible in their life.
  • Are you okay with cleaning sensitive parts of your dog?  Trimming toenails and cleaning ears are important parts of the process. If you or your dog is uncomfortable with this aspect of grooming, the DIY route may not be the best.

Still reading?

If you’re having 2nd thoughts about the DIY path, that’s completely understandable. Videos on YouTube can make it look easy, and that’s not always the case. So, as you consider dog groomers, here are some questions to answer before hiring.

  • Do you want to bring your dog to the groomer – or have the groomer come to you? Some dogs experience so much stress on the way to a groomer that arranging for a grooming right in your driveway makes more sense. Also, being around other dogs can be very stressful so going to a salon might not be ideal for them.
  • How often does your dog need to be groomed? Some dogs just naturally get dirtier than others and may need to be bathed and groomed more often. Sometimes pet parents want to groom more often during summer months to keep their dog more comfortable. Think about the right frequency for your dog and calculate roughly how many times per year he or she will need to be groomed. This will make cost calculations easier and more accurate. NOTE: At Canine Company, we generally recommend 4-6 weeks between haircuts for dogs. Going 8 weeks is usually too long. 
  • Are you open to options? There’s nothing wrong with trying different approaches to grooming. You can experiment with different companies but remember – it’s better to commit to a regular routine with a groomer so both you and your dog have a consistent, positive experience.
  • Do you need your dog groomed now – or can it wait? Dog groomers are often individual practitioners or small, mom-and-pop shops and sometimes they don’t have the personnel, vans, supplies, and bandwidth to handle customers’ needs. And if your dog has a close encounter with a skunk, responsiveness is important.

We all love our dogs, and some pet parents think that grooming their dog is the best way to stay close to them. But it’s important to remember that regular brushing is a great way to bond with your dog, and professional pampering is an experience that both of you can rely on and look forward to. 

Happy cuddling!

Get a Mobile Spa grooming session for your dog

  • Convenient scheduling.
  • Our groomers will arrive at your home and evaluate your dog’s individual needs.
  • The Mobile Spa experience includes Bubble Bath, Brushing, Drying, Nails, Eyes, Ears, Mouth, and coat glosses.
  • Additional services: Tooth brushing, de-skunking, de-shedding treatments, and more.

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