DIY Dog Grooming at Home | Basic Dog Grooming and How to Cut a Dog’s Hair
Grooming, Trimming and Brushing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
No, I’m not a professional dog groomer, nor do I play one on TV. I do, however, bathe, groom, and clip Dexter at home. This article is to share with you my techniques and what has worked for my dog grooming at home. If you are looking for a more professional look, I would highly recommend taking your dog to your local groomer or even taking a few pet grooming courses yourself. If you don’t have a groomer you love, ask your friends for recommendations.
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How Often to Give a Dog a Bath
It depends. That’s a great answer to almost any question. But it really does. If you are using a natural dog shampoo that is free of harsh chemicals and preservatives, you can feel comfortable bathing your dog as often as needed. For Dexter, during allergy season, he tends to get a bath every two weeks. During the off-season, it’s more like every three to four weeks.
How Often to Brush a Dog
Ideally, this would be daily! Brushing and combing your dog daily will not only assist in keeping your dog’s coat tangle-free, but it is also a great way to examine your dog. Dog grooming isn’t just about getting a clean and shiny dog; it’s also a way to bond with your dog and check him over for lumps and bumps. If you brush your dog daily, you are unlikely to have any tangles or mats to deal with. If your dog is uncomfortable being brushed or touched, read my article Stress-Free Dog Brushing.
Dexter’s Daily Brushing Routine
When brushing your dog, it’s important to go slowly and to be gentle. You can talk to your dog and even give your dog a healthy treat during the process. You want grooming to be enjoyable for both you and your dog.
When I brush Dexter, I start at the top of his head and work my way down. I typically rotate between a steel dog grooming comb and a slicker brush. The first big part for Dexter is his big, fluffy ears. It’s important for long-haired dogs like Dexter to get every nook and cranny so that they do not develop mats. I gently lift Dexter’s ears up as I comb underneath his ears. If I do find a snaggle, then I hold the mat at the base and start at the end and work my way up to the base. After working the underside of his ears, I do the outside of his ears. I do this the same way, from the top down, unless there is a mat or tangle.
Next, I work my way from under his neck and chest area. After his chest, I ask Dexter to lie down and roll over to his side. I then proceed to brush under his armpits, belly, legs, side and hips. When manipulating his legs to brush under them, I am careful to make sure I am gently moving his legs in a natural fashion.
How to Trim a Dog’s Furry Feet
Some dogs, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, have what are referred to as slippers on their feet. Some people call them Grinch feet. The breed standard suggests keeping the Cavalier’s slippers intact on top. However, it’s important to keep the underside of a dog’s foot clean and fur-free. This excess hair can actually knot up inside the paw pads and cause slipping and injury.
I do not follow show standards, and I do trim the top of Dexter’s feet, too. He’s a pretty active boy and his furry feet act as sponges! If you decide to keep the tops of your dog’s feet furry, it’s important to brush the fur between the pads regularly, so they do not develop mats. Simply place your finger in between the toes and bring the fur upward to comb.
For Dexter, I ask him to lie down and flip him to one side. I then gently pick up one foot as I take the clippers and move the edge of the clipper inside the toe pad and scoop the fur out. Be careful not to dig too deep with the clippers; you don’t want to cause a burn or rash.
Learn how to trim your dog’s nails in this article.
Do You Groom Your Dog at Home? Tell me in the comments.
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