Updated: Apr 10, 2020
With the current situation of covid-19 a lot of professional dog groomers have had to temporarily close down. You may be struggling to keep on top of your dogs' tangles so here are my top 10- scissor free- tips for keeping on top of grooming at home.
1. Have everything organised and laid out before you begin. You'll need treats, your choice of comb or brush, detangler, shampoo, conditioner, face cloth, a dog towel or hair dryer and your dog's toothbrush.
2. Treats go a long way. Make your grooming session an enjoyable experience by using treats and lots of positive reinforcement. You can also use a lick mat with your dogs' favourite treat as a distraction or smear peanut butter or cream cheese on the side of the bath!
3. Brush your dog BEFORE you bath him. The tangles are a lot harder to get out once the coat is wet. Tips for brushing a long haired coat can be found here: https://www.wikihow.com/Brush-a-Long-Haired-Dog
4. Use Original Mane 'n' Tail Detangler Spray to help brush out any knots. This was created for horses but safe for dogs and humans! This will help brush out stubborn knots and leave the coat shiny and smooth. Always test on a small area before using and condition afterwards using a dog safe conditioner as the detangling spray can strip their coat of natural protective oils.
5. Use baby powder to untangle knots. If your dog is prone to getting a tangled coat you can sprinkler on baby powder to help brush out the knots. Bonus- your dog will smell amazing!
6. Section the coat and start from the bottom. Once you have worked in the detangler, you can start the brushing process. Start brushing from the bottom of the coat and work your way in towards the roots untangling each section as you go. Starting from the roots can make the knots worse and they will get tighter.
7. Fully rinse out any shampoo. If you think you are finished rinsing, rinse again! Any left over shampoo can lead to irritation and itchiness. Always use a gentle, dog friendly shampoo. Be careful not to get any water or soap in your dogs eyes or ears. Washing your dogs face should be done slowly and gently- use a sponge or wash cloth to rinse out shampoo on the dog's face.
8. Start with towel and if you want to, slowly introduce the hair dryer. However, by now your dog might be losing patience so it could suit you better to allow your dog's coat to air dry. This will also give you both a break before brushing out your dogs coat again!
9. Use coconut oil. Coconut oil has many health benefits for dogs and humans. Feeding your dog coconut oil can improve digestion and give your dog healthy skin and a shiny coat. As oil is so calorific you should feed it in small quantities. You can use coconut oil to clean your dogs teeth and it can improve your dog's breath. Coconut oil can also be applied topically to help heal skin conditions.
10. Know your limits!! Now is not the time to experiment with clippers! Do not try to use scissors, nail clippers or hair clippers if you are not confident in doing so. If your dog is really unhappy and showing signs of distress and you can not make it a positive experience you should seek professional help.