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Pet Grooming: Shampoo and Brush Your Dog at Home


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Dog Grooming: Do-It-Yourself and Save
The price of everything seems to be going up these days. Wouldn't it be nice to keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your wallet? One way to do so is by taking a do-it-yourself approach with some of your pet services. Dog grooming at home is a great example. Groomers can charge $40 -$100 for full-service pet brushing and bathing. Over the course of a year, this can really add up. Why not try bathing and grooming in your home? Your dog will love being the center of your attention, and you'll love the savings.

Brushing and bathing are easy to do at home. You simply need to:

Acquire a Few Basic Supplies (Recommended Products below)
Prepare Your Work Area
Prepare Your Pet
Bathe Away

Prepare Your Work Area
Keep your grooming supplies and shampoos together in a handy plastic bucket. Gather towels and a pet hair dryer. This is also a good time to clean your pet's eyes and ears, so make sure these supplies are included in your bucket, too. Many pet owners opt to use a grooming table for brushing and after-bath drying, since it puts your pet at a convenient height for you.

Prepare Your Pet
Before bathing, make sure to brush out your dog's coat thoroughly to remove loose or dead hair. If your pet has any mats, a mat raking tool will help you remove them. A good brushing helps improve the effectiveness of the shampoo at reaching down deeply to your pet's skin. If you need help choosing the correct brushing tools, view our Dog Brush Selection Guide.

Next, clean your pet's eyes with a pet-safe eye cleanser. Then, apply a protective ointment to your pet's eyes to shield them against shampoo irritation. Many dog shampoos contain fragrances or detergents that can easily irritate your pet's eyes. Also clean your pet's ears. After they're clean, pack them with cotton balls to prevent excess water from entering the ear canal during bathing and rinsing. Excess moisture in the ears encourages bacteria and yeast growth, which can lead to recurring infections.

Now, with your supplies handy, and your pet prepared for bath, it's time to run the water.

Bathe Away
Use your tub, or use a tub made just for pets. You might want to try a pet sprayer, such as the Rinse Ace, which forces water down deep, to not only dampen the coat thoroughly before shampooing, but also to rinse out the shampoo completely after the bath.

Resist the urge to use your shampoo on your pet. Drs. Foster and Smith Advanced Formula Shampoos are veterinary formulations proven successful to meet the unique needs of pets, whether they be itch control, moisturizing, scale removal, soothing relief, or improved coat shine.

After wetting your pet's coat, work the shampoo down all the way to your pet's skin to boost the effectiveness of the active ingredients and to help massage away loose skin and hair. A tool like the Rinse Ace Bath Mitt has nubbed teeth to help you get down deep into your dog's coat.

Rinse your pet's skin repeatedly with clean water to remove all shampoo residue. This will help prevent skin irritation later. Drain the bath water and towel dry your pet. Then, finish drying your pet's coat with a pet dryer at a cool setting.

You can easily keep your pet clean between baths with the use of disposable bath wipes.

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