There will be hair everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. You may even get it in your mouth or get a hair splinter. Make your peace with this now. Your bathtub may never be the same. Don’t send all that hair down the drain whatever you do. Pick it up with your hands and throw it in the garbage unless you want a hefty plumbing bill
Using quality equipment at home will save you a lot of time, money, and sanity in the long run. If you choose to groom at home, please invest in professional equipment. This is especially true if you want to use clippers. The old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ applies here. Clippers that are not well-made tend to run hotter and they do not cut through hair as well. This increases the chances of giving your dog clipper burn or cutting your dog. Expect to pay approximately $150.00 for a quality clipper. After a few grooms, they will pay for themselves so don’t get sticker shock.
What is a hair matt? Well, it’s when the hair gets tangled onto itself and it forms a clump. Sometimes those clumps are tiny and other times they cover the whole entire dog. Matts can be extremely painful and can cause skin infections. If it is close to the skin, do not use scissors to cut it out. You can severely injure your dog if he zigs one way and your scissors zag the other. This type of injury usually ends up in an emergency trip to the vet’s office. A matt that is close to the skin should be shaved out. Combing and brushing out the matt is extremely painful and further damages the hair. Before you bath your dog, make sure your dog is completely free of matts. After a matt gets wet, it tends to be more difficult to remove.
These include and are not limited to clipper burn, scratch marks from using a brush that is too sharp, cuts from scissoring, cuts from the hand clippers, cutting a nail too short, eye injuries, ear injuries, musculoskeletal injuries from being improperly restrained during grooming, etc. These only cover the dog! When you groom, you run the risk of getting bit, cut, scratched, or getting a musculoskeletal injury (or injuries). Bad things can and do happen when you try to cut hair on a moving target. Please seek medical care for both you or your dog if an accident occurs.
I know the signs of stress
Licking of the lips, yawning, tension, shaking off, and sideways glances are just a few of the signs that your dog demonstrates to show he is under stress. It is up to us as dog owners to know these signs so that we can properly intervene. If your dog is displaying these signs, he’s in some distress. Take control of the situation immediately to diffuse the problem.
Relieving himself in the tub
I am not saying it will happen. I am also not saying it won’t happen. I am just saying just emotionally prepare yourself if it does.
Your dog may worship the ground you walk on but that doesn’t mean he won’t turn on you like bad cheese when you attempt to groom him. However, this doesn’t mean he isn’t a good dog. He just doesn’t love you grooming him. To get you to stop, he may thrash like an alligator in the tub or just peacefully resist you by refusing to move. He may even growl or bite. These changes in behavior can be a little disconcerting but it is something that may happen so be prepared and keep calm.
Grooming is tiring work for the groomer and the dog. From start to finish with no breaks in between, a typical groom can take anywhere from one to four hours depending on the breed and condition of the coat. The longer it takes, the more difficult it may be to get your little critter to cooperate. If you have the basics done, I wouldn’t fret over the minor details of a groom if everyone’s patience has worn thin. Dogs can pick up on a tense groomer. Don’t push your luck.
If you still are willing to try and groom your dog at home even after reading this killjoy of a blog post, then I salute you. You are a brave soul because grooming a dog isn’t for wimps. You have to have the patience of a saint, a steady hand, an artistic eye, a heart that is willing, and a solid mental fortitude to be a dog groomer.
Welcome to the club my friend. Your grooming table awaits.
After you spen all that time grooming make sure you've got an awwwsome collar! Show off a bit with a hot dog collar and shop by theme here
About Our Guest Blogger
Colleen Fitzpatrick is a former dog groomer turned writer from Upstate New York. She loves all dogs but is particularly fond of basset hounds. She is passionate about animal rescue and hopes to foster dogs once her children are a bit older.