Home Maintenance Grooming

Just like humans, your dog’s hair needs regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.

If you have a short haired pooch like a Labrador or Jack Russell Terrier, a daily wipe of any build-up around the eyes & ears, and quick brush with a rubber curry brush once a week is generally all that is required.

However, for many other dogs, they need regular maintenance to keep their hair free of knots and debris. Just like humans, our dogs hair should be brushed and combed regularly. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend dogs with 1cm of hair be brushed once a week, 2cm of hair twice a week, and so on. Dogs with very long hair will require a big commitment of daily brushing, combing and conditioning to keep them maintained.

Below are some tips on maintenance to be done at home in between their visits to a professional groomer.

  1. Start young and build a routine. Dogs are smart, and will learn routine very quickly, especially when started from a young age. Brushing and combing should start from the first week that pup joins the family.
  2. Use the right equipment. For 90% of dogs who require haircuts, we recommend a firm slicker brush and a metal comb. You want the slicker brush to be able to get through your dogs coat, and not just glide along the top. Use the brush on your forearm first, so you can feel for the correct pressure to use on your dog. If your not sure on what equipment is best, or unsure how to use it correctly, just ask your groomer and they will point you in the right direction.
  3. Once brushed with the slicker brush, follow through with the metal comb to ensure all knots have been brushed out – right down to the skin.
  4. Don’t forget high movement areas and places harder to reach. High movement areas include around the neck and ears, armpits, tails and knees. It is also important to comb between toes, behind and inside the ears, and your dogs belly.
  5. Teach your dog to stand for their home grooming sessions. Dogs that lay down for grooming is like asking your hairdresser to cut and colour your hair whilst wearing a hat. Standing allows you reach everywhere with properly and allows the hair to fall naturally to be brushed and groomed with ease.
  6. Brush and comb with the hair, not against. This will help prevent pulling at the hair or damaging the hair follicles.
  7. Wipe away any build up from around the eyes and ears daily. Dog specific wipes can be bought from most pet stores, or unscented baby wipes or a damp cloth works just as well. For super hairy bottomed dogs, they may need their hygienic areas cleaned regularly also.
  8. When bathing at home, make sure to brush and comb first to remove all knots. Once wet, knots will only tighten as they dry so it is important to remove these first.
  9. Use a good quality dog shampoo and conditioner. Read our blog here to find out more about quality shampoos. Shampoo twice, then condition once. This will ensure your dog is cleaned well, then moisture is added back into the coat to protect it from becoming brittle and breaking. Conditioning well also helps to prevent your dog from getting too oily in between baths. There is no set rule on how often you can bath your dog. It can be done as often as you like, so long as your using good quality products, conditioning well after, and keeping the hair brushed and tangle free.
  10. Once dry, spritz with a very light mist of conditioning spray or detangling spray, and brush with your slicker brush to help make your pooch nice and fluffy again. Very thick or double coated dogs should be dried with a blow dryer on warm setting to ensure they are completely dry right to the skin to prevent skin issues from dampness.

Whilst it may seem like a lot of work, once you have formed a routine, it should only take around 5-15 minutes a day depending on your dog’s size to keep them maintained.

If you’re a little time poor, many groomers offer bath and brush services and sanitary tidy options for the in-between maintenance. Speak to your local groomer about the options they offer.

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