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How You Can Start Dog Grooming at Home on a Tight Budget

Posted by MoneyKey on April 28, 2019

While we would all go to the ends of the earth to make our furry companions as happy as possible, bringing them to a lavish groomer to be pampered for an afternoon doesn’t come cheap. This may seem particularly outside your means if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Even looking for cheap dog grooming may not be enough to stay within the confines of your budget. If you’re having trouble putting together a thorough budget in the first place, take a look at our ultimate budgeting guide to help you better manage your finances.

Either way, you don’t have to let your tight budget stop you from giving your dog the best care possible! Grooming your dog at home will keep them happy, healthy, and will be far easier on your bank account than running to the groomer every time your dog needs a bath.

Take a look at these tips to get started!

Learn the specific dog grooming needs of your dog’s breed

a pug that has specific dog grooming needs

The first thing to remember is that when it comes to dog grooming, it’s important to understand the specific grooming needs of your dog. Not all dog grooming tips apply to every breed. They all have different physical traits, behavioral traits, and are susceptible to different health issues. For example, French bulldogs have distinct face folds that need special attention, particularly in humid climates. It’s important for you to clean and dry each fold individually, and make sure you don’t see any signs of irritation. Otherwise, bacteria can fester and turn into a bigger problem. If you were following grooming tips for a breed that didn’t have this issue, you’d potentially be missing a crucial step in the dog grooming process.

Use cornstarch in the dog grooming process

Cornstarch isn’t just something you use to fluff up your omelets! It’s a multi-purpose tool whose uses go way beyond cooking, and is even used by professional dog groomers.

To begin with, cornstarch can be used remove tangles from your dog’s fur, and even treat cuts. When you try to give a bath to a dog with excessive tangles or mats in its fur, you typically just end up tightening them and further irritating the skin. To help loosen matted fur, use cornstarch to loosen your dog’s tangles before giving them a good brushing.

Its dog grooming uses don’t stop there. It’s also a great tool help rid your dog of that distinct doggy smell. While it can be hard to completely get rid of, cornstarch can be used in a dry bath to freshen up a particularly smelly dog. It does a great job of soothing any itchiness your dog may be experiencing, and can absorb any excess oil when it’s applied properly to their skin. Best of all, it’s an inexpensive household item you may already have lying around!

It’s important to remember that cornstarch isn’t a remedy for serious ailments. If your dog’s poor body odor continues to persist, there’s a chance it may have an infection, in which case it’s best to bring them in to the vet.

Brush their teeth

It’s hard to miss the unmistakable stench of smelly breath when you get close to greet your pup. While you can give your dog treats designed to freshen their breath, it’s best to deal with the problem at the source. It’s also important to remember that simply freshening their breath won’t prevent tooth decay as much as a thorough brushing will.

dog biting into rope

You’ll need to start by getting a soft toothbrush and dog-specific toothpaste. Sharing your own toothpaste with your dog is a risky gamble that isn’t worth taking. While we know not to ingest toothpaste, there’s no way to relay this information to your dog, so you’ll need to buy toothpaste that’s safe for them to ingest.

While dog-specific toothpaste can cost as little as $6, you can cut back on this cost even more by making your own diy dog toothpaste at home. Many of these recipes are flavored to make this process a little more enjoyable for even the fussiest dogs. If you’re still having a tough time getting your dog on board, there are other ways to take care of their oral hygiene. While brushing is recommended, there are toys designed to clean your dog’s teeth.

Brushing and bathing your dog

Every dog loves a good brush, but its importance lies beyond giving your pup an enjoyable scratch. Giving your dog a thorough brush will help to pull out a significant amount of grass, dirt, and whatever else is caught in its fur.

dog grooming by giving a dog a bath

The type of brush you’ll need will be dependent on the length of your dog’s hair. If your dog is thick-haired, you’ll want to use a rake to penetrate its thick coat and remove any excess undercoat that’s lying dead. If you’re looking to remove mats from your long or curly-haired dog, you’ll need to use a slicker brush. Do some research to figure out what your dog is best suited for and keep on eye on whether they show any signs of discomfort. If they happily lie in your lap while you soothingly run a brush through their hair, you’re likely in the clear.

After you’ve brushed your dog and gotten out any excess dirt and grass, it’s time for a bath! Human shampoo will typically irritate their skin, so you’re going to need to get dog-specific shampoo. While you don’t need to lavish your dog in all the finest scents and oils on the market, you also won’t want to buy the cheapest dog grooming supplies you can find. Inexpensive products can have unhealthy ingredients and may irritate your dog’s skin. Keep this list in mind when shopping for shampoo, and look for something that’ll safely clean your dog without hurting your wallet.

Cutting a dog’s hair

Now that your furry friend is all clean, you might be thinking about giving them a little trim. While this is a task that you can definitely take care of at home, it’s important to have the right equipment and be very careful. You don’t want accidentally take a nick out of your dog and have to take an emergency trip to the vet.

Again, it’s always important for you to use the right dog grooming equipment for your specific dog. For short-haired dogs, it’s recommended that you use clippers with a guard. This will help give their coat an even finish, and is also ideal if you’re not completely confident in your ability to safely cut your dog’s hair.

a dog getting a cheap dog haircut

If your dog has long hair, you’ll likely want to use scissors, particularly if you’re just looking to give them a little trim. Make sure their hair is clean and dry before you start, and just use the tips of your scissors when you’re cutting the hair around your dog’s face, feet, and tail. This should stop you from accidentally cutting them if they make a sudden movement.

If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of cutting your dog’s hair and don’t want to take the chance of hurting them, do some research on where you can get a cheap dog haircut nearby. As long as you take care of the majority of the dog grooming tasks at home, a haircut may be manageable to fit into your budget.

Dog grooming doesn’t have to break the bank

We all want the best for our pets, but that doesn’t mean we have to spend hundreds of dollars at a groomer to give them the care and attention they need. If you do run into an unexpected dog-related expense that you can’t afford like an emergency trip to the vet, an online loan may be a good option to cover this cost.

But when it comes to dog grooming, if you do the necessary research, make sure you have the proper tools, and understand the specific needs of your dog, you can keep them happy and healthy without breaking the bank.

What are some of your favorite cheap dog grooming tips? Share below!

Posted in: Lifestyle

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