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Pro Tips for Pet Grooming At-Home

Pets are more than just animals; they're cherished members of our families, we don't have to tell you if you've made your way here. What better way to show our fur fam some love than by pampering them with a little at-home grooming session? Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice groomer, these pet grooming hacks will have your pet looking and feeling their best in no time.

Prep Like a Pro: Before diving into the grooming process, set the stage for success. Brush your pet's coat to remove any tangles or mats, making the grooming experience more comfortable for both of you. Additionally, gather all the necessary tools and supplies, such as brushes, combs, nail clippers, and pet-safe shampoo, to keep everything within reach.

DIY Detangler: Dealing with stubborn mats or knots in your pet's fur? Try this simple DIY detangler solution. Mix equal parts water and animal friendly conditioner in a spray bottle, then spritz onto the tangled areas. Gently massage the solution into the fur, allowing it to soften the knots and make them easier to comb out.

When brushing your pet, remember these steps:

  1. Choose the Right Brush: Different types of brushes are designed for different coat types. Select a brush that is suitable for your pet's fur, whether they have short, long, curly, or wiry hair. Slicker brushes are great for removing tangles and mats, while bristle brushes work well for distributing natural oils and removing loose hair.

  2. Establish a Routine: Make brushing a regular part of your pet's grooming routine to keep their coat healthy and free from tangles. Aim to brush your pet's fur at least once a week for short-haired breeds and more frequently for long-haired breeds or pets prone to matting.

  3. Start Slowly: If your pet is not accustomed to being brushed, introduce them to the brush gradually. Start with short brushing sessions and gradually increase the duration as your pet becomes more comfortable. Use treats and praise to reward positive behavior and help create a positive association with brushing.

  4. Brush in the Direction of Hair Growth: When brushing your pet's fur, always brush in the direction of hair growth to avoid causing discomfort or pulling on the skin. Start at the head and work your way down towards the tail, using gentle, even strokes.

  5. Pay Attention to Problem Areas: Pay special attention to areas where tangles and mats are most likely to occur, such as behind the ears, under the legs, and around the tail. Use a comb or detangling brush to gently work through any knots, taking care to be gentle and patient.

  6. Check for Signs of Fleas or Skin Irritations: While brushing your pet's fur, take the opportunity to check for any signs of fleas, ticks, or skin irritations. Look for redness, inflammation, or signs of scratching, and consult your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.

  7. Use Treats and Positive Reinforcement: Make brushing a positive experience for your pet by offering treats and praise throughout the grooming session. This will help keep your pet relaxed and cooperative, making the experience more enjoyable for both of you.

Make Bath Time a Stress-Free Experience: Bathing your pet doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. To make it a stress-free experience for both you and your pet, place a rubber bath mat or towel in the bottom of the tub to provide your furry friend with better traction. Fear of slipping can be one of the most stressful parts of dog bathing and can lead to injury. Use lukewarm water and a gentle, pet-friendly shampoo to lather up their coat slowly and softly, being careful not to get water in their ears or eyes.

Don't Air Dry: Pets can tend to slip and slide on hard flooring while also tracking water throughout the home which poses a risk for family members slipping as well. Use a high-velocity pet dryer or a hairdryer set to a low, cool setting to quickly dry your pet's coat. For smaller pets or those who are anxious around loud noises, consider using a microfiber towel to gently pat their fur dry as opposed to rubbing.

Nail Care is Essential: Keeping your pet's nails trimmed is essential for their comfort and overall health. Here are a few tips to help make trimming pet nails easier:

  1. Get Your Pet Accustomed to Handling: Start by getting your pet accustomed to having their paws handled from a young age. Gently touch and massage their paws regularly to help desensitize them to the sensation and make them more comfortable with the process.

  2. Use the Right Tools: Invest in a good quality pair of pet nail clippers that are specifically designed for your pet's size and nail type. Guillotine-style clippers are often preferred for smaller pets, while scissor-style clippers are better suited for larger breeds.

  3. Trim a Little at a Time: When trimming your pet's nails, take it slow and trim a little bit at a time. Start by trimming just the tip of the nail to avoid cutting into the quick, which can be painful for your pet and cause bleeding. If your pet has dark nails and you're unsure where the quick is located, err on the side of caution and trim smaller amounts.

  4. Use Positive Reinforcement: Make nail trimming a positive experience for your pet by offering treats, praise, and rewards throughout the process. Consider using a favorite toy or special treat to distract your pet and keep them calm while you trim their nails.

  5. Choose the Right Time: Pick a time when your pet is relaxed and calm for nail trimming. Avoid trimming your pet's nails immediately after exercise or during times of high energy, as they may be more restless and less cooperative.

  6. Have Styptic Powder on Hand: Accidents can happen, so it's important to have styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally cut into the quick and cause bleeding. Styptic powder helps to stop bleeding quickly and effectively, allowing you to provide immediate relief to your pet.

  7. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you're uncomfortable or unsure about trimming your pet's nails, don't hesitate to seek professional help from a veterinarian or professional groomer. They can provide guidance and assistance to ensure that your pet's nails are trimmed safely and properly.

6. Finishing Touches: Once your pet is clean and dry, add the finishing touches to complete their grooming session. Brush their coat one final time to remove any loose fur and distribute natural oils, leaving their fur shiny and smooth. Don't forget to give them plenty of praise and treats throughout the process to reinforce positive behavior (maybe treat yourself while you're at it!)

By incorporating these pet grooming hacks into your at-home routine, you can keep your bestie looking and feeling their best between professional grooming appointments.

Need help grooming a large pet? Pet with skin issues? Pet with anxiety?

We can help! At MOSA, our staff is highly trained and experienced in working with unique pet clients.

17 views2 comments


Great information. Thank you.

Any tips for pup parents with a female who is still intact? My pup Emma (Mosa client) is still intact. Don't hate: she has a heart condition and can’t go under anesthesia safely to be spay.

The problem is that when in heat, Emma works so hard to keep herself clean. That means that her face and legs get knotted and nasty and she can't be combed or brushed. The groomer is therefore compelled to shave her down. I absolutely don't blame the groomer bc there are so many nasty knots and very few options.

Post professional grooming (at Mosa!), Emma, she essentially looks like a cute schnauzer-ish hound dog instead of a standard schnauzer!


Replying to

We would recommend a puppy pamper to kept her away from area when not supervised. Also banding of her face hair to keep out of the way could be a helpful option. Also your groomer I’m sure would be happy to discuss combing techniques if needed.

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