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Preparing yourself for grooming

Preparing yourselfPreparing yourself is an important of grooming. When you prepare yourself in addition to preparing your dog, your grooming session can almost always be counted on to go smoothly. If unprepared, grooming frequently goes poorly, resulting in frustration for both you and your dog.

Preparing yourself for grooming has several parts. You should have the proper supplies on hand, sufficient knowledge, and sufficient time before you begin to groom your dog.

Basic Supplies

Many people can get by with a few basic grooming supplies. The most basic supplies are a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste, dog-specific shampoo and a towel, a soft brush, cotton balls, nail clippers, and styptic powder.

Dog-specific Toothbrush: a dog-specific toothbrush usually has two bristled heads, one at either end of the brush. One head is larger than the other, to accommodate different breeds. The smaller brush head can also be used to reach the back teeth on large-breed dogs.

Dog-specific Toothpaste: this toothpaste comes in various flavors, including chicken, beef, and mint. Never use your toothpaste to brush your dog's teeth. The foaming agents and some of the chemicals in your toothpaste will make your dog feel uncomfortable and may make him ill.

Dog-specific Shampoo: many good dog-specific shampoos are available. A mild shampoo is sufficient for day-to-day grooming. Many shampoos are designed for specific coat colors and types, skin types, and medical conditions. Ignore them, although you may need one or more of them later for special grooming events. You might consider buying flea shampoo as well, if you do not use topical flea treatments. Human-specific baby shampoo can be used on your dog, but it is not recommended for regular grooming.

Towels: If you don't mind sharing towels with your dog, feel free! However, it might be simpler to have towels for grooming that can be washed and returned to your grooming supply storage area, so clean towels will be at hand for bath times. Large towels without a deep pile are good for grooming your dog and less likely to retain dog hair after washing.

Soft brush: a soft brush can be used to groom your dog's face, legs, and feet without discomfort. This kind of brush polishes your dog's coat. It is not good for detangling long coats.

Cotton balls: use cotton balls to clean your dog's outer ear canals. The lowly cotton ball can also be used to apply treatments to your dog's face or teeth or even to separate your dog's toes for polishing nails (if you're so inclined). Keep plenty on hand!

Nail clippers: many styles of nail clippers are available. For small breeds, scissors-type clippers may be best to prevent unfortunate accidents. Guillotine-style and pliers-style clippers are appropriate for larger breeds as they require less effort to cut through thicker nails. Nail grinding tools are also available, are only recommended for experienced groomers.

Styptic powder: styptic powder is used to seal the nail when the owner has cut into the "quick" causing the dog to bleed.

Other Grooming Supplies

If you have a dog with a long coat, you will need additional basic grooming supplies:

Spray bottle: long coats should never be brushed or combed while wet. Use your spray bottle to moisten the dog's coat if brushing between baths. Fill the spray bottle with plain water or a solution of water and conditioner.

Slicker brush or pin brush: these brushes are used to separate matted hair or to remove dead undercoat.

Steel comb: several sizes of steel comb are available. Depending on your dog's breed, you might want to have more than one size on hand. These combs should be used to detangle coats in most situations.

Scissors: long coats can develop tangles and mats. Burrs and other debris can become embedded in the dog's coat. Two kinds of scissors will address these problems. You should have one pair of medium-sized blunt-tipped scissors to deal with larger clumps of hair. The other pair should be smaller with a pointed tip, to get between toes or to take care of smaller bits of hair. Scissors should be used sparingly because coat takes a while to grow back.


Prepare yourself for grooming by gathering sufficient knowledge. Even if you know how to give a bath or how to clip nails, learn the details. Familiarize yourself with any warnings that are printed on grooming product labels.


Set aside sufficient time so that both you and your dog can relax during the grooming process. Try to set aside about an hour for less complex grooming jobs, particularly if you have a long-coated dog. Set aside two hours for grooming and bathing. If you can do it all in less time, that's great! Just remember, take time to relax and pet and praise your dog, ensuring that both of you will treasure your time together.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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