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Pet Wellness

How to Groom Your Dogs at Home

Photo: Courtesy of Anthony Duran

Since going out is still risky, pet grooming has turned into a difficult chore. Here’s an easy guide to start grooming your dog at home.

We’re living in unprecedented times. Amid the uncertainty, we shouldn’t forget about our four-legged friends at home. They’re affected, too. It’s essential to maintain a routine for their grooming needs. Keeping their ears, coat, nails, and teeth in good shape is a big part of a dog’s health. If you can’t get to a groomer, there’s a lot you can do at home. Here are some tips to start grooming at home if you can’t make it out right now.


Different dog breeds have different grooming needs, especially depending on their coat type. Some require daily, weekly, or occasional brushing. Some may need more frequent bathing than others. It’s always best to check with your veterinarian before trying something new on your dog.


Hold the ear in your hand. Look and feel the outside to check for any scratches, bumps, or other issues. Next, check the inside. If their ears look dirty, use a clean cloth, cotton ball, or cotton swab. Moisten the material with ear wash to remove the dirt or wax. However, if you decide to use a cotton swab, be extremely careful to not put the swab into your dog’s ear canal.


Use sharp trimmers appropriately sized for your dog. Hold the paws gently and make sure to praise your dog. Look at the nail surface — the black dot is the quick. It’s a vein and clipping it will hurt your dog. Stop clipping when you see it. Keep styptic powder on hand in case you make a mistake.

Try clipping one nail per day and keep the sessions short and fun. Most dogs will adjust quickly to weekly nail trims. Reward your dog with a great treat for a job well done. Trim the nails weekly, or at the very least, monthly. The more frequently you trim your dog’s nails, the more the quick will recede, making it less likely that you will clip it.


Apply a small amount of canine toothpaste to either your finger or a dog toothbrush. Let them taste it first. Get your dog accustomed to the various types of brushing: from touching and opening the lips to lightly touching the teeth with your finger. These steps could take days or weeks. It’s important to be patient with your dog.

Working from the outside of the upper-middle and upper teeth, move outwards to each side. Repeat on the bottom teeth. Get as far back as possible on all sides, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle.

Never use toothpaste intended for humans. Use only veterinarian-approved toothpaste for dogs. Check the ingredient list to ensure there is no xylitol. Xylitol, a common ingredient in human toothpaste, is potentially fatal to dogs.

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