Dr Katrina’s Top 5 Tips on How to Groom Your Dog at Home
For me, one of the more challenging aspects of owning a border collie is managing his coat – as beautiful looking as it is, it’s a thick double coat and requires a lot of grooming. Over the years, I’ve learnt a few tips to make the grooming process easier and quicker and here are five of them that have helped me and will hopefully help you too.
1. Use treats, lots of treats
From an early age, you should teach your puppy or dog that grooming is a pleasant experience and reinforce this throughout their life. Use treats to reward calm behaviour whenever they are being touched and brushed.
Houndztooth’s all-natural training treats are 100% Australian-made and sourced, and they make the perfect rewards when grooming your dog at home.
Training Treats Ocean Trout
Training Treats Lamb
Training Treats Beef
2. Use a conditioning spray
Like one of Houndztooth’s goat milk-based Conditioning Spray and Deodoriser (my favourite is Hugo’s Blend No.1 with peppermint and lemon myrtle essential oils).
These sprays offer many benefits;
- Conditions the coat and skin, and helps maintain optimal shine
- It helps combs and brushes slide easily through the hair to detangle knots, and mats and remove loose hair
- Minimises hair breakage
- Reduces tugging and pulling, which makes the experience a lot more pleasant for your dog
- Leave-in so no need to rinse out
- Can be used on dry and wet coats
- Smells fantastic
Hugo’s Blend No.1 Value Pack Shampoo and Conditioning & Deodoriser Spray
3. Groom, your dog BEFORE bathing them
Brushing your dog before washing them, allows you to remove loose hair and deal with any mats or tangles, which are often hard to remove when wet. Remember, mats form when loose hair gets tangled, so you want to remove as much loose hair as possible when grooming. Be sure to brush them again after they are bathed and dry ( don’t brush when wet, as brushes can pull at the wet hair and skin).
4. Teach them to stand on a table or bench for grooming
This will make grooming a lot more comfortable for you as you do not have to bend down constantly. It also makes it a lot easier to reach areas like your dog’s beard, stomach, armpits and skirt. The table needs to be stable and support their body weight, and depending on the table surface, you may need to put a non-slip mat on top. Never place a puppy on a table elevated off the ground unless you have someone to hold them, and don’t leave any dog unattended on a table. Large dogs are still best groomed on the floor if you don’t have a large table or they are uncomfortable standing on an elevated surface.
5. Invest in the right tools
Using the right grooming tools can make an incredible difference to your grooming experience. There are many breeds of dogs and varying coat types that require different brushes and care. Research your breed to find out what professional groomers recommend for your dog. For my border collie, I use a slicker brush, an undercoat rake and a metal comb.