In most homes there is only one star and that’s the dog. Like all stars, they need a little pampering to keep looking great. Of course like any Hollywood star you could have your own pet stylist, but taking the dog to the groomer regularly can be both expensive and time consuming.
Clipping a dog at home is not as difficult as many people think and with a little time, patience and practice your dog will soon look great.
Get the Right tools for the job
Compared with human hair, dog coats are very thick and dense, so whilst you might have seen cheap clippers or been tempted to use the house hold hair clippers on your dog, the chances are they won’t be anywhere near strong enough. Signs that clippers you are using are not powerful include the blade getting stuck in the fur, the clipper overheating or the clippers simply not cutting at all.
When choosing clippers it is not only the size of the motor that matters, but also what you want the unit to do. So say you just want to trim around the face and the feet of your pet, then a clipper with motor between 5-12 watts will be fine. If you want to give your pet a full clip, then look for a unit that has a motor that is at least 20 watts. If you own a thicker coated dog like groodles or poodles or if you have several dogs then look for one that is 40 watts.
Get out the knots and Tangles
Once you have you have your clippers, it can be tempting to get stuck into it straight away and whilst you can cut a dog with a dirty coat, it will quickly dull and blunt the blade. Even with the most powerful set of clippers, they will be unable to cut through thick mats and knots. They can cut beneath them but this will leave an uneven patch on your dog. Unless you want to clip the dog right back, it's best to get the knots out first before clipping. There are detangle sprays available that make knot removal quicker and easier.
Wash, dry then cut!
Once the knots are out, wash your pet using a good quality shampoo and if you have a long or double coated breed like a Shi Tzu then it’s worth using a conditioner. Get the pet dry and then you’re ready clip. Get your pet up on bench or table as this is better for your back and helps to keep the dog still. Always cut in the direction that you would pat or stroke the dog and you may want to use a guide on your clipper that will assist with getting an even length on the coat. Remember you can always clip more off, but you can’t stick cut fur back on so take a little off at a time. Remember, if you don't achieve a great cut first attempt, your dogs coat will grow back and you’ll improve each time!
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