Well this is really more of a personal choice but I will steal a quote here: Anyone that has never tasted soap has never washed a dog!
I”ll start by saying that personally I have nothing against the dog salons and groomers, they are great and offer a wonderful service to those that do not wish to do dog maintenance and hygiene at home. I will say on occasion, and for some breeds it is a must! For anal gland draining and cleaning, clipping, nail trimming, if you can’t muster up the guts, Wink! Wink! Come on sounds like fun huh?
Seriously depending on the dog, sometimes it is required that you let a professional take the lead on that one. Myself, I like low maintenance dogs so I can take care of them at home, maybe its just me but I started when our dog was a puppy and she now likes and accepts it, mind you she’s so mellow she will put up with almost anything! except hats!
In any case if you are like me there are loads of products to choose from but I will show you a couple of my fav’s:
Olive Bubble and Squeak is an organic dog shampoo, this product is very neat! They have a full line of products and all I will say is Yeah! Finally a product that is holistic, organic and free of all those nasty chemicals that usually go into a dog shampoo, definite four star as far as I am concerned! check it out: Bubble and Squeak
John Paul Pet, Ok I’m a fan of their human counter part line so I’m just going to say if you don’t try it, you are missing out big time!!!! One of the greatest lines of pet care products ever and Paul Mitchell is very earth conscious, and eco-friendly so why not give it a try! This line is definitely my number one choice, and also four stars! check it out here: John Paul Pet
Well believe it or not baby shampoo is great for short-haired dogs as they are prone to sensitive skin. This works great, its cheaper than cheap, and very safe and effective. The word “gentle” is on the bottle so no worries there. Now it’s not going to smell as nice as the other two but, I’m not going to lie here, if you want to save on pocket-money, this is a great choice! You can always go with a standard dog shampoo but most will cost you and the chemicals are insane! Frankly I have tried tons of “Dog shampoos” and I never liked one of them! They stink, your dog smells worse than when you started and they are something I would not use on a dog I hate much less one I love! just kidding folks, I love all dogs but you get the picture. Johnson’s Baby shampoo can be purchased at your local drug store usually for under 5 dollars.
These are, and or have been my top picks, I don’t get paid to endorse anything, I don’t work for these companies in any capacity, it’s just my opinion. Salons will give your dog the full meal deal if you so desire and I am not diminishing them at all. I just like the at home thing but keep in mind some Salons ARE better than others so shop around and get one that will give you references! Some are more expensive than others, but 90% are great and they will make you dog shine! After all they want you to come back.
As far as nail trimming goes, you can do it at home, BUT….. you really have to know what you are doing before you start! If you don’t you can cut and or severely injure your dog so if you don’t know and haven’t had proper training, do not attempt it at home! With that said it is very easy to learn how to do it properly, and most Vets are willing to show you how, however….
Here is a video I came across that demonstrates the right way to do it, just remember start with just the tip, you can always work back, make sure your dog feels comfortable and if he or she starts to show signs that they are not pleased, don’t force it! Stop and try again later, in training your dog to do anything you want to end on a positive note.
ya gotta love Youtube! If you are still unsure about it, look at the underside of your dogs nail, where the curve is, that is where the quick starts do not clip at that exact spot turn the foot over and move toward the tip by about 1/3 inch and you should be safe. angled at 45 degrees. I am glad they showed the jar of quick stop, I have never had to use it myself but a close friend who is a groomer says it works great in the unlikely event of a cut.
Ear cleaning can be done at home as well, it is the same principle as you own ear, do not shove a Q-tip down your dog’s ear canal, just clean around the surface and use a cotton swab, never use a Q-tip they are meant for a human ear not a dogs. again if you are skittish groomers and salons are fine with taking on that job.
Here’s another great video that demonstrates how:
I don’t know how you feel about taking care of these things at home now but I hope this was helpful either way!