It is very important that you keep your dog grooming well so that they are comfortable, healthy and clean. Professional dog groomers, such as Happy Tails Bathing and Grooming in Branford, Connecticut can do a great job and make your dog look great, but they can be expensive. In this article you will be told exactly what you need to do to achieve great grooming for your dog at home.
It’s a common issue for pet owners. Should you wash your dog yourself, go to the groomer or use a self-service pet wash? Taking your dog to a groomer is easier than washing your dog yourself, but it’s also expensive. You have to fit into an appointment time, and your dog might not be overly fond of the groomer, making the whole experience stressful for everyone.
If you wash your dog yourself, you can save money, time and stress compared to going to the groomer. And you can do it when you need to do it instead of needing to schedule an appointment. After all, when your dog decides a mud romp is a great way to end the day, you might not be able to get an appointment with the groomer right away.
On the other hand, the whole process of getting your dog into the bathtub — and the cleanup process after — doesn’t sound like a good time either. What other option do you have? A self-serve dog wash can solve many of these issues.
How to Dog Grooming When Use a Self-Serve Dog Wash
You’ll be surprised at how simple a self-serve dog wash is to use. Once you try it, you’ll never wash your dog in the bathtub again.
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Here are the basic steps:
- Take your dog on a leash into the dog wash facility. Once inside, secure the leash to a hook to keep your dog in place.
- Cover yourself with one of the waterproof aprons. Your dog is the one getting a bath — not you.
- Carefully remove any matting or burrs in your dog’s fur before bathing.
- Allow water to get comfortably warm.
- Thoroughly wet and lather your dog with whatever shampoo you’ve selected.
- Rinse well to remove all shampoo from your dog’s coat. Shampoo left behind can make your dog itch, and it also attracts dirt.
- If desired, apply conditioner and rinse again if the conditioner you use requires it.
- Dry your dog with a towel or a low-heat blow dryer.
To make it even easier, follow these do-it-yourself dog wash tips:
- Brush your dog thoroughly before bath time — This will help remove loose dirt and hair, making the bath easier.
- Be sure your dog is tied securely once in the wash station — This is also a good time for a treat, so your dog begins to associate bath time with something positive.
- Be very careful not to get water in your dog’s ears — Not only is it irritating, but it can also lead to infection. Some people put cotton balls in their dog’s ears to help keep them dry.
- Wash your dog from the neck down — This not only helps keep water out of his ears, but it also ensures you don’t get water or shampoo in your dog’s eyes. To wash your dog’s face, use a wet washcloth. Use special wipes that are designed for cleaning the ears and around the eyes.
- Go slowly with the blow dryer — Keep in mind that some dogs are afraid of the noise of a blow dryer, so you may need to gradually introduce it. Turn the blow dryer on and give a treat, but don’t hesitate to switch to a towel if your dog seems overly stressed.
- Check the blow dryer heat setting — If your dog is okay with a blow dryer, ensure it doesn’t get too hot. Blow dryers at a DIY dog wash are designed for use on dogs, but you’ll still want to monitor the temperature.
How to Groom Your Dog Yourself and Save Money
Often just a bath and blow dry is enough when your dog is dirty, but grooming a dog consists of more than just giving him a bath. DIY dog grooming is not only a great way to save money, but it’s a perfect opportunity to create a closer bond with your dog.
First, you’ll need to be sure you have the right tools. If you’re new to grooming your own dog, you’re probably asking, “What do I need to groom my dog correctly?” Gather up essential grooming tools, including:
- Wipes for eyes and ears
- Nail clipper and/or grinder
- Emory board
- Styptic powder or corn starch
- Hair clipper if your dog required a hair cut
- Grooming spray
Once you have your tools, you can start the grooming process.
Clean Dogs Eyes and Ears
After bathing and drying your dog, it’s time to pay special attention to the face and ears. Some dogs, such as Poodles, are prone to staining around the eyes. You can use special wipes designed for cleaning the eye area to get rid of the stains. Do this carefully so your dog feels safe and secure.
While you clean your dog’s face, it’s a good time to check the health of his eyes. Gently pull down the lower lid. It should be pink, not red or white. If the color is off, consult your veterinarian. Also check for unusual discharge or crustiness around the eye area.
Next, you’ll want to clean your dog’s ears. You can buy special wipes designed for dog ears. Another option is to buy ear wash and use cotton balls to clean dirt and excess wax out of his ears. Always be careful when cleaning your dog’s ears. Don’t probe where you can’t see because you can do damage. Some dogs also need hair trimmed from the inside of their ears. Have patience if this is new for your dog.
If your dog spends a lot of time in the water, you will need to pay special attention to his ears. Put cotton balls in his ears to prevent water from entering the ear canal. When your dog gets out of the water, dry his ears carefully. You can also purchase a solution that helps dry ears.
While you are cleaning your dog’s ears, look for redness, swelling, discharge or odor. These can be signs of an infection. Other signs of infection include loss of balance, excessive head shaking, rubbing ears on furniture or walking in circles. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your vet.
Now, you’ll want to brush your dog. There are many kinds of dog brushes, but you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. Often the type of brush you need is determined by the type of coat your dog has.
Generally, a short coat only needs to be brushed once a week. A rubber-bristled brush will help remove dead skin, dirt and hair. If your dog has a dense coat, a slicker brush will be useful for removing mats.
Dogs with a long coat need a bit more attention, so plan to set aside a little time each day to keep your dog’s coat beautiful and healthy. Start with a slicker brush to remove mats and tangles. A little conditioning spray may help make this task easier, but daily grooming will also keep the matting at bay. Once you get the tangles out, use a bristle brush to remove dead skin, loose hair and dirt. Finish off with a spritz of grooming spray if desired.
Give Your Dog a Haircut
Once your dog is brushed, it may be time to trim carefully around his face and feet. Using scissors with a rounded or ball tip is a good way to prevent injury if your dog moves suddenly. If you plan to do more than just trimming, consider getting thinning or coat scissors, depending on your needs.
Trim Dogs Nails
After you tended to your dog’s coat, you’ll want to take a closer look at his feet. Unless he gets a lot of exercise, your dog will likely need a nail trim. Not trimming nails can result in feet that are painful to walk on, but this is easily avoided by clipping your dog’s nails a couple of times a month.
There are two types of nail clippers. One is a scissors type, and the other is called a guillotine. Most dog professionals prefer the scissors type of clipper over the guillotine clipper to help prevent injury.
Before clipping, gently separate the toes and trim away excess hair, which can dull your nail clipper. Then, clip the tip of each nail. You can smooth rough edges with an emery board or nail grinder.
If your dog’s nails are excessively long, trim them weekly until they are the proper length. Do NOT trim too much in an effort to shorten them more quickly. This can result in cutting into the nail bed, also called the quick. This is painful and causes bleeding. It can also make your dog fearful of having his nails trimmed in the future. If you accidentally cut too deep, use styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
Clean Dogs Teeth
An important part of grooming that many people forget is dental care. You should brush your dog’s teeth regularly. If this seems like too much of a chore because your dog is uncooperative, consider that dental disease can lead to heart, kidney and liver problems. Keeping up with this yourself can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Take it slow when it comes to brushing your dog’s teeth. Buy a pleasantly flavored toothpaste designed for dogs and just do a little bit followed by lots of praise and reward. Soon your dog will look forward to this time, and you’ll be able to brush his or her teeth every day.
Some breeds require a little extra care. Be sure to consider these needs when you set up your grooming routine.
- Wrinkles — Some breeds, such as the French Bulldog, Shar Pei, Neapolitan Mastiff and Pug, have wrinkled faces and bodies. These wrinkles are pretty adorable, but they also need special care. Dirt and moisture can become trapped in those skin folds and cause skin irritations and infections. During grooming, be sure to clean and dry each fold of skin daily to keep your dog healthy and happy. You can use special wipes or a washcloth and gentle cleanser. Make sure you rinse cleansers and shampoo very well because residue can also irritate the skin.
- Curly coats — Curls tend to hold on to fur, even after your dog sheds his hair. Accumulated hair form painful mats that pull on the skin. This is why daily brushing is important for breeds such as the Airedale and Cocker Spaniel. When bathing your curly dog, take extra care to rinse shampoo out completely. In the same way those curls trap loose hair, they can also trap shampoo. Shampoo that dries on your dog can cause skin irritation.
- Floppy or hairy ears — Most dogs only need their ears cleaned on a monthly basis. But dogs such as the Afghan Hound and Basset Hound, with floppy or hairy ears, need more frequent cleaning. This is because there is less air circulation, and the ear traps dirt and moisture that can lead to infection. Give your dog’s ears a wipe each week to remove dirt. If there is a lot of hair inside your dog’s ears, you can also consider plucking it with a special tweezers designed for dog ears. This is not typically painful and can make it much easier to clean the ears as well as spot signs of infection.
- Non-shedding dogs — Some dogs are popular because they don’t shed, or they shed very little. Examples are the Standard Poodle and Irish Water Spaniel. While this is great when it comes to allergies or housekeeping, it also means your dog’s coat will need a little extra care. These breeds will likely need daily brushing and occasional trimming to keep the coat tidy and prevent matting.
- Tear stains — Short-nosed breeds such as the Shih Tzu and Maltese tend to tear more than other breeds. This often leads to staining. While staining doesn’t really have to be treated, many owners prefer to keep those stains away. To prevent tear stains, rinse your dog’s eyes daily with a special canine eye wash product. You can also wash the fur around the eyes with the same product or a contact lens solution. You should also keep the hair around your dog’s eyes carefully trimmed.
Once you establish a routine, it will take much less time than you might think. And the rewards aren’t just monetary. You’ll also get more special time with your pet, and you’ll be more likely to notice any potential health issues. DIY grooming will keep your pet healthy, and both of you happy.
◊ In the above we have mentioned the basic content of the Dog Grooming Save You Money. For a more general look, please read the next update of the content Save Money on Dog Grooming, Dog Training & Dog Supplies.
Most of us pet owners are on a budget, but we don’t want to skimp on our pets’ health, hygiene, products or training. Canines require a lot of various dog supplies, and those vet bills won’t pay themselves, too. No one said being a dog owner would be cheap, but there are certainly some ways to save yourself a few bucks here and there if you’re being smart.
In the upgrade, I will guide you through a number of ways that for me has helped save quite a lot of money as a dog owner.
How to Save Money on Dog Grooming, Dog Training & Dog Supplies
1. Saving Money On Dog Training
Start ‘em young
Whilst it’s not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it’s certainly harder to undo bad habits your pooch has been taught over the years than to train him well in the first place. It’s not impossible, but it will take more time, effort and – of course – money.
Save yourself costly correctional training and any behavioral problems by getting your puppy or young dog into good habits right off the bat. Again, if you need help with training your puppy, we’ve got free resources and videos for you right here.
Read, watch and learn
You’ll see that we’ve got a big database of videos and articles on dog training where you can learn all the basics. If you want more, the internet is full of them and it’s a great way to start learning about training a dog. Best of all – it’s all free!
If you’re on a budget, I would not recommend spending money on dog training courses and schools, unless you want to go really advanced. The web is full of quality dog training videos and reading material, so take time to read articles, dog training books and watch training DVDs and online video tutorials. You might not even need to hire a trainer ever!
Only use a dog trainer for the tough stuff
You can significantly reduce the cost of training if you lay the foundations yourself. Save professional dog classes and your own dog training lessons for aspects of training that you’re finding very difficult or that are too advanced. Basics can be learned quickly.
Look for free or low cost dog training
Your local animal shelter probably runs low cost or even free lessons. If you have adopted a dog, then look for dog trainers that offer a discount in the first 6 months after adoption.
Also, similar to dog grooming, you can look for people are only getting into the field of dog training, starting a dog training business or otherwise are exploring this area. They may give you a huge discount or even offer their services for free.
Don’t buy gizmos
The market is flooded with unnecessary dog training aids that claim to be the “right” way to train your dog. Dog owners often try one method for a short time, hit a roadblock and move on to the next big idea. First of all, this confuses your dog; and second of all, that’s where most of the dog ownership money goes to, so try to avoid it.
Here are a few recommendations for your “dog training starter pack”
♦ Best Training Pads For Dogs Reviews
Buy only the most essential stuff for training your dog, and make sure that you get the best value for the price. Something that’s expensive isn’t necessarily the best. I recommend you check out our reviews on dog training supplies to see what fits best.
Attend a group class
Unless your dog has some specific behavioral issues you need addressed, chances are you don’t need to fork out for one-to-one dog training sessions at all. Those are usually meant either for dog owners who simply don’t want to ever train their canines, or for dogs that require for a professional to do a thorough job. These cases are rare.
Instead, I recommend you opt for dog training group sessions that are cheaper and give your dog a chance to socialize at the same time; it’s a win win. Look for these group classes of dog training on reddit, Craigslist, dog forums or just search online.
Another great way to get “free” dog training tips, advice and have fun at the same time while your pooch also socializes is to join Meetup.com groups for dog owners. Search those in your local area. For example, here are Meetups for dog owners in Austin, Texas:
- Austin Dog People
- Austin BarkHappy Users
- Labs and Golden Retriever Owners
- …and a lot more dog playgroup meetups
Put it into practice
Here’s the most important tip – whatever you and your dog learns from every single session, try to immediately put that into practice yourself with your pooch at home.
You’ll achieve those training goals with your dog much faster if you put the learning into practice between sessions without skipping a day. Go the extra mile and ask your trainer if there’s anything extra that you can do at home to maximize results. This way you’ll need significantly less training sessions and therefore less money spent on the service.
Treat your dog like a dog
Understanding your dog as a dog is really important. There are plenty of doggy books, DVDs and online resources available to help you understand canine behavior. The more you can work with your dog using his language, the easier and quicker training will be.
Owning a dog will never be like owning a cat. You’ll need to be there for him, and you’ll need to continue to learn. The more time you’re willing to sacrifice for this, the less money you’ll have to spend. Of course, it all gets easier with time, so don’t fret!
So that’s the cost of grooming and training slashed, but what about dog grooming and dog training supplies? Very often, dog owners may complain about the prices and how much dog products costs these days. Fortunately, there are plenty of savings to be made there too, so hang on before you head to the pet store and fill your cart.
2. Saving Money on Dog Grooming Supplies
Shop online first
What I found for myself is that 99 times out of 100, all dog grooming supplies will be cheaper to purchase online. In fact, it’s now a running joke everywhere that people go to stores to look at products and later buy them on Amazon. What can you do? It’s cheaper!
For example, if a dog grooming kit with all the essentials is $130 in your local pet store, I can almost guarantee you that the same product will turn up cheaper on Amazon, or any other online dog supplies retailer, because they can cut many costs that stores cannot.
I buy most of my things on Amazon, and it’s because as the biggest retailer, they offer cheapest prices, quickest delivery (free 2-day delivery with Amazon Prime) and no-fret refund policy. Their customer service is top notch and the company has been voted the most customer-centric. It’s why we usually link to Amazon from How Dog Care as well.
Naturally, it’s great to see and feel things for yourself in a local pet store, but be sure to check for better deals online before making a purchase. If you have a smartphone, you can shop online while you’re looking at the product on the shelf of your local pet store.
Buy the best you can afford
It’s easy to think in the short-term when spending on dog training supplies or dog grooming tools, but short-term gains generally mean long-term expenses. If you have to purchase new stuff because the cheap one breaks, it’ll cost you a lot more in the long run.
Again, reading dog supplies reviews from our site, or following the link to other dog owners’ reviews and reading what others have to say about a specific dog product, how long it lasted them, what quality is it and so on will help you save money in the long run.
If you want to save some money, you need to spend some time doing the research.
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Hit the coupon sites
As I mentioned before, internet sites like Groupon and RetailMeNot.com offer discount codes on dog training equipment, too. Sign up to get alerts for deals in your area.
This is becoming more common among dog owners. Can’t afford to fork out for a full-on dog training kit yourself? Then why not see if some of your dog owner friends want to share the cost with you? How about your neighbors?
Do your research
It’s important to research the products on the market, whether you’re shopping online or at your local pet store. Impulse buying can be costly, although if you follow advice from reviewers on this site or other dog owners’ reviews, it may be a safe buy after all.
Nevertheless, I always recommend doing your own due diligence; it’s easy to be wooed by “revolutionary” dog products that claim to have lots of features, only to find out that they don’t even work or are not the thing that was advertised.
When you’re shopping for your dog, stop and think – what do I need the tool to do? What is my budget? Check customer feedback and review sites to reduce the risk of buying equipment that isn’t up to the job. Video reviews are best so you can see the product.
Stock up on baking soda
Here’s a little trick. Raid your kitchen cupboard and add a little baking soda to your dog shampoo. It will make it go further, give it more cleaning power and you won’t need to buy a separate whitener. You can also use it to make your own dog toothpaste!
This one’s pretty simple – look for local pet stores and online dog supplies vendors that offer a reward scheme or loyalty cards. Clock up points and pocket the savings.
Pay with free gift cards
You can earn gift cards for pet supplies stores when you shop online, watch videos and complete surveys. Check out sites like MyPoints and SwagBucks.
With Amazon, you can earn discounts when you choose a 5-day no rush shipping instead of quicker delivery. So if you’re not in a rush, you can collect $1-$5 discounts per single order which you can use for future orders. Pretty neat.
Buy new on Amazon or eBay
As with dog grooming kits, items are generally cheaper on sites like Amazon and eBay than they are in your local store. The range of training kits is much greater too, giving you more chance of finding the right product for your specific needs.
There are hundreds of free, good quality dog training tutorials on YouTube. Be cautious though, there’s some rubbish out there too.
Borrow or trade
If you’re not sure what harness to go for, then maybe you know someone you could borrow one from. Try before you buy. You may even be able to borrow or trade gear to see you through your training phase.
Buy collars and harnesses that will grow with your pup
Think ahead. Your Pointer pup is the size of a Jack Russell now, but not for long. Try to by training equipment that can expand as your dog grows so that you don’t have to upgrade.
Make your own pet treats
Fido could get through a lot of training treats in the coming months. Cut your costs and know what your feeding by making your own. You could save up to 50%!
Buy tough toys
Remember the need to keep Fido stimulated? That requires toys – treat dispensers, footballs, rope toys, tug toys, cuddly toys, etc… It can get costly. Buy tough, durable dog toys that will take a beating and last more than a few months. KONG dog toys are best!