The DIY Dog Grooming Guide

Alpine Dog Co. ™

Can’t make it to the groomer as frequently as your dog needs grooming? We get it! Here’s your guide to dog grooming on your own from home.


You know that feeling when your dog jumps up or steps on your foot and the excruciating pain of long nails drives you crazy? How about when their muddy paws or hair find themselves on your brand new white couch (yikes). Ever had a dog that stunk up a room, and you had no idea how to fix it?

Here’s the good news - we’ve created a resource you can turn to when your dog is in dire need of a cleaning! This grooming guide is for all the struggling fur-parents who have no idea where to start when it comes to DIY dog care.

Although cleaning your pup might not be as simple as going through a car wash, we promise that by the end of this post you’ll be well equipped to easily groom your dog all on your own!


Step 1: Cut Those Nails

I think we can agree that cutting nails with a manual clipper never goes well, right? Whether you’re cutting the nails too short, you’re unable to get your dog to sit still, or the process takes way too long - both you and your dog aren’t feeling too chipper by the end.

We’ve experienced this ourselves, and it's why we now offer the Claw Crafter Cordless Nail Grinder. This device is quiet and quick, created with 2 speeds and 3 settings.

Once you have your Claw Crafter Cordless Nail Grinder, the next step is to grab some peanut butter and saran wrap from your kitchen. Before you call us crazy, here us out! This trick will keep even the wildest dog sitting pretty while you cut their nails.

Put the saran wrap around your forehead, next take a butter knife and lather some peanut butter directly on the center of your saran wrap. Finally, sit on the ground and allow your dog to lick the peanut butter while you face down towards their feet. If the forehead thing freaks you out, try a wall in your house that you can sit beside. We promise, your pup will be so distracted they won’t even know you’re using the grinder on their nails.

Prevent pain and damage to your dog’s paws by trimming your dog’s nails before they touch the ground. Most dogs will need a nail trim every 3-4 weeks, but some city dogs can go longer when they're walking on constantly walking on concrete - it can act as a natural nail file. 


Step 2: Brush Your Dog’s Pearly Whites

Even our canines need their teeth brushed in order to maintain good breath and healthy gums. How often should you brush their teeth? Similar to humans, vets recommend daily brushing for dogs. When choosing a toothbrush and toothpaste, make sure it’s dog-friendly! The bristles are softer and specially angled for a pup’s teeth. Finger brushes can work well for dogs under 30 pounds, for larger dogs a longer handle can give you better reach.

To get your dog used to brushing their teeth, apply some flavored toothpaste to your finger and let them explore by smelling and tasting the paste. Next, apply some toothpaste to the brush and gently move in circular movements - aiming to remove that stubborn plaque. As soon as you wrap up, give your dog lots of love so they associate a positive outcome when it comes to dental hygiene! If your dog is really against it, talk to your vet about buying some dental wipes. They're basically wet wipes formulated for your dog's teeth that even the most stubborn dogs can cope with, as it involves using your finger and a wipe on the teeth and can be much less uncomfortable. 


Step 3: Brush Your Dog’s Coat

No one likes dog hair all over their clothes and house. Here’s the thing - dog shedding can actually be managed with brushing! Even if you have a short-haired dog, it’s essential that you get in the habit of brushing your dog’s fur weekly (or even better, daily)!

Longhaired dogs need pin brushes. As the name implies, these brushes have long, round-ended stainless-steel or chrome-plated pins to brush both the undercoat and topcoat.

For our short and medium haired pups, you’ll want to go with a classic bristle brush or deshedding blade

If you really want to up your brushing game, you can invest in a slicker brushes for removing mats and dead hair or a rubber curry comb to polish your dog’s coat.

Remember to brush BEFORE your bath, and again once your dog is dry. That will remove the most amount of unwanted loose hairs. 


Step 4: Bathe Your Dog

Every breed has a different schedule for bathing depending on their natural skin oil and fur type. In general, long-haired dogs rarely need more than two to three baths a year, and short haired dogs do well with a monthly bath!

Before you pull out your shampoo from the shower, head online and purchase a shampoo made for dogs. Our hair is really different from theirs, and a mild shampoo formulated to be gentle on a dog’s coat is ideal! Once you’ve got your dog shampoo in hand, place your pup in a bathtub or kiddie pool and follow the instructions on the back of your shampoo bottle. There's many options on the market, but you can find a good list here based on the needs of your dog’s skin.

Pro tip! Place cotton balls in their ears or use drying drops at the end of the bath. Our pups are super prone to ear infections, keeping water out will save you a trip to the vet!


Step 5: Clean your Dog’s Ears & Eyes

Using the drying drops that we chatted about in the last step on a regular basis is a great preventive tool to keep ear infections at bay. If your dog gets those little eye boogers or crusty gunk on their eyes, wiping a moist cotton ball with water over the area should do the trick. If your dog has tear stains, use a formulated drop that can help treat the area over time - this problem can also be helped with a change in diet!

If you can, clean your dog’s ears at least once a month and keep your dog’s eyes wiped clean weekly.

Congrats! You now have all the steps to keep your dog squeaky clean right from your home. We hope these 5 steps make your grooming journey a little easier. If you ever have any questions about your grooming regiment, feel free to reach out to us.

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