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. Getting to the groomer on a regular basis is ideal but for for the majority of us that doesn't always happen.
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 the 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. Often, the end result is a bad experience for you and your dog!
When choosing clippers it is not only the size of the motor that matters, but also what you want the unit to do. If 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 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.
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 completely 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. Make sure the table has a rubber, non - slip mat or surface and that your dog is safe and secure, another set of hands is useful in this situation!
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.
A great way to keep the blades lubricated on your clippers is to invest in some clipper oil. We can also send the blades away for sharpening once they become blunt. This is inexpensive and will extend the life of your clippers.
Remember, if you don't achieve a great cut first attempt, your dogs coat will grow back and you’ll improve each time!
Tips to make Grooming your Dog Easy
- Make brushing or combing your dog a regular job. Depending on the age, breed and coat type of your dog commit to a session several times a week
- Use the correct tools. Select the most appropriate tool for your dogs coat
- Make sure you have a safe, non slip, secure table or area to groom
- Make it a fun experience! Use positive reinforcement or distraction aids if your dog finds this stressful. Reward your four legged friend with a treat or a play session with their favourite game
- Know your limits! Get a professional groom whenever you can. Regular brushing and bathing in between will make this last
- We recommend bathing your dog when necessary, don't overdo it
- Wash their bedding when ever you bath them
- Clean your tools at the end of the grooming session
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