Before trimming, bathing your dog is something I recommend you do.. Using your dog grooming scissors and blades on clean hair will extend their lifespan, as cutting through greasy, gritty hair can dull the bevel more quickly. Only use shampoo, conditioner or other products that are specifically designed for use on dogs. Products intend for humans can cause pain if they get in the eyes, will dry the skin out and may contain ingredients that can be harmful to your pet.
Self-serve Dog Washing
Some cities have self-serve dog wash facilities, where you can bathe your own dog for a small fee. They will usually provide some products, however you may want to bring your own if your dog’s coat has special requirements (dry or sensitive skin, for example.) Most will only allow bathing and drying to be done on site, so you will still need a space at home to do your brushing and trimming.
Bathing Your Dog at Home
If you choose to bathe you dog at home, small dogs can be bathed in the sink, while bigger dogs can be done in the bath tub with a hose attachment on the shower head, or outside with a garden hose if the weather is nice enough. If you’re bathing a big or wiggly dog, put some towels down on the floor in advance. Gather up everything you may need before you start, because if you step away to grab something, your dog is likely to seize the opportunity and make a break for freedom, soaking everything in the process!
Read the directions on the shampoo to know if it has to stay on the coat for a certain amount of time or if it needs to be washed more than once. Make sure you rinse your dog very thoroughly, as residue in the coat can cause it to tangle up again. Afterwards, squeeze as much of the water out of your dog’s coat as possible, before thoroughly towel drying your dog.
You can use either let the fur air dry or use a hair dryer on a warm setting to dry it, just be careful it is not hot enough that it will burn the skin. Dryers made specifically for dogs will often not have a heating element, or just a very low one, to avoid this risk.
Now your pooch will be ready for a cut, which is the topic of our next blog post – cut and style dog grooming tips.