Cool Ideas

Cut Pet Grooming Costs

Sooner or later, your four legged friend is going to require some grooming—yet another expense that comes with the responsibility of having a pet. And since it’s important you groom your pet on a regular basis, those costs can quickly add up. However there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars at the local pet boutique. If you arm yourself with the right tools and follow these tips, you can groom your pet at home with ease.

pet grooming
  • Brush regularly: When it comes to your dog’s coat, tangles are more than just an unsightly problem. Mats can actually be painful for your pet, as well as trap unsanitary debris. Depending on your dog’s breed, you should be brushing at least once a week, if not daily. On the bright side, most dogs enjoy brushing and it’s a great way to bond!

    What you’ll need: There are quite a few brush types, so make sure you pick the right on for your dog’s coat. Bristle brushes can be used for all coat types, and vary according to the space and length of bristles. Generally, the longer the coat, the more widely spaced and longer the bristles should be. If your dog has coarse hair, opt for stiffer bristles. Wire-pin brushes are ideal for pets with medium to long hair and/or curly or woolly coats. Finally there are sticker brushes, which are helpful to remove mats and tangles.

  • Bathe with care: You’ll need to bath your dog anywhere from once a week to once a month, depending on your dog’s breed and level of outdoor activity. Make sure you choose a shampoo that is made specifically for dogs, as people shampoo can strip your dog’s coat of natural oil and cause dry and itchy skin.

    What you’ll need: Since many dogs are not a fan a bath time, we recommend investing in a detachable shower head with a long hose. This will provide the most efficient way to get your dog wet enough to lather, and then rinse.

  • Clip their nails: Overgrown nails break easily and below the quick (the blood vessel in the toenail), which can be very painful to your dog. Long-term overgrowth can lead to difficulty walking, pain and soreness, and eventually contribute the arthritis, which is why it’s important you clip your dog’s nails on a regular basis. Since knowing exactly where and how to cut can be tricky, we recommend that you have your vet show you how to do it the first time before you try it on your own. Most dogs do not enjoy this, so if possible, begin cutting your dog’s nails at an early age so it can get more comfortable with the process. Figure out what position works best for your dog while clipping, and if necessary, only do one paw at a time and reward them with a treat after.

    What you’ll need: There are three primary types of nail trimmers: guillotine style, Miller's forge and large nail trimmers. The guillotine style is the most popular, especially for small dogs because of the ease of placing in the nail (the nail is passed through a metal hoop, and as the handle closes the nail is clipped). Miller’s forge trimmers resemble scissors, with blades that have semi-circular indentions. They are best for small and medium sized dogs, and are stronger than guillotine clippers. Finally there are large dog nail trimmers, which are like Miller’s forge but with thicker and stronger blades that separate far enough for large nails to fit.

  • Clip their hair: If you have the confidence and skill, giving your pet a haircut is the biggest grooming cost-saver. It’s best to get some education before attempting to do this on your own, whether it’s through an online tutorial or in-person demonstration. Make sure your pet is clean and have all the tangles and mats brushed out before you start, and that the clippers are on the desired length setting.

    What you’ll need: A good pair of clippers and clipper coolant. Compare the sound level of various clippers, and get the one that makes the least noise, as the louder the buzzing the more scared your pet is likely to feel. Make sure your clipper blades are sharp since dull blades will pull your dog’s hair more. Always use a clipper coolant or lubricant on your blades to keep them from getting too warm, and frequently turn them off throughout the haircut and touch them yourself to make sure they are not too hot.