How to Groom Your Dog at Home #SwifferFanatic

Swiffer dislclaimer

It’s a new year and a great time to commit to keeping your dog and your home clean and fresh. Perhaps you are like me and want to learn how to groom your dog at home. Maybe you want to learn the basics to keep your dog looking and smelling good and have a clean home all at the same time. It is totally doable.

Swiffer box to clean up pet messes
Clean up your pet messes with Swiffer!

I challenged myself these past few months to learn basic grooming techniques to keep my dog, Dexter, in tip top shape in between professional grooming appointments. The folks at Swiffer® made the clean up so easy after brushing and clipping, as you will see. Oh, and you’ll want to stick around because we’re also giving away a big green box of Swiffer goodies so you can clean up pet messes in your abode, too.

How to Groom Your Dog at Home #SwifferFanatic

Brush Daily

No matter what breed or mixed mutt that shares your life, daily brushing is a way for you to bond with your dog but also to stimulate his or her coat. As you brush your dog, glide your fingertips across your dog’s body. Gently move fingertips across the dog’s back, stomach, head, ears, and even his face. Most dogs will tolerate this touch, especially if you do it while he is resting next to you and relaxed. Feel anything? Any new lumps or bumps? Take a snapshot of any growths so that you are able to show the veterinarian.

Not only does regular brushing stimulate the skin and hair follicles of the dog, but the natural production of oils is increased, making the coat shiny. I notice my dog is less itchy from the colder temperatures after his daily brushing.

There are several different brushes and each has its own place and usage in grooming a dog. One of my favorites for a thick Cocker coat is a slicker brush. Never apply pressure to the brush so that the skin is irritated or scratched by the bristles.

Dog brushes for a Swiffer fanatic

After Brushing

I brush my dog in the bathroom, which means his hair particles are prone to scatter. My go-to clean up bestie is the Swiffer® 360°Duster™. This unscented duster traps and locks more than three times pet dander and dust versus feather dusters. I admit to also carrying this product in our car for pet hair pick up in car vents, on the dashboard, and car console. Shed happens, so it’s nice having something around that I can rely on and trust from Swiffer.

Paws and Nails

At the very least, you should perform a full paw and nail check on your dog at least weekly. From a purely anatomic perspective, a dog’s foot is quite extraordinary. The bottom of a dog’s paw is coated with thick, leathery skin. When a dog’s foot touches the ground, the fatty inner layer serves as a sort of shock absorber. It is here that the eccrine glands are located: those glands that allow a dog to lose heat aka “sweat.”’

Thanks to Carol Doggett of All About Dog Grooming, I am learning to groom my dog at home. At the very least, dog parents should be checking their dogs paws and nails to prevent and discover any issues. During our weekend grooming session, I learned how to groom my dog’s nails and used a pair of dog nail clippers with gentle and deliberate precision.

In hot weather, paw pads may be burned by hot pavement. In cold weather, pads can be harmed by frostbite or chemicals tossed on icy roads and sidewalks. Excessive or frequent walking or running can also wear a paw pad down.

Dry cloths for dog hair from Swiffer
See that dander and dust? Swiffer to the rescue!

Clean Up

Afterwards, I used a Swiffer Dry Sweeping Cloth on the floor and then the Swiffer® Sweeper®, a 2-in-1 hard surface sweeping and mopping tool. The dry cloth has deep ridges and grooves that conform to the surface of your floor to trap and lock dirt, dust and hair, while the wet cloth dissolves dirt and grime and traps it away, giving you an amazing clean. The 360° swivel head allowed me to get underneath bathroom furniture and tight crevices with ease.

Swiffer Spokesperson, Dr. Evan Antin, says that dog grooming daily helps reduce shedding. He also says the change of seasons can cause some pets to shed more. I can attest to that! Dr. Antin is on Instagram, so keep up with his tips there.

Swiffer dry mop

Coat Clipping

Human hair clippers should never be substituted for pet clippers. In part two of this series, we will explore, more in depth, clippers, blades, and tips from Carol Doggett as part of my grooming home study course. You will learn what clippers with interchangeable blades I use in the next post in the series.

As you become more comfortable with grooming your dog, Doggett recommends having three to four blades. Personally for my thick-coated American Cocker Spaniel, I have six blades I use for a variety of reasons. It is very important to use a good disinfectant spray on your blades to keep them clean and a cooling spray to keep the blade cool, as you can burn your dog.

For a nice, smooth finish on my dog, I use an my clipper with a 4 or 4F blade and if I want shorter, I use a #10, but only because he is a Cocker Spaniel.

Swiffer is for cool cats and dogs
Dexter knows cool cats and haute dogs use Swiffer.

Post Clip Clean Up

There is no product I adore more from the Swiffer line than the Sweep and Vac. It is cordless, collects dirt, and is rechargeable. After an initial sweep up of the thick hair, the Sweep and Vac  vac function took care of the bothersome piles of dust and dirt left behind by the broom.

Swiffer for pet households
Ma, can we open the big green Swiffer box now?


One of the greatest things you can do for your dog is to bathe him. Some dogs are totally averse to the idea of a bath, but for some reason, my dog actually takes joy in it. I make bathtime so incredibly happy and I reward him with small treats in the tub, tell him what a good boy he is, and then we play with a ball right after the bath. This is how my dog began his love affair of bathtime.

Not all shampoos are created equally. Shampoos vary from all purpose to protein based, medicated to dry, and even tearless. The type of shampoo you use on your dog is an individual decision and based on several factors. Read more about dog shampoos .

Post Bath Clean Up

Since bath and grooming weekend fell into our cards, I allowed my dog to have a fun down and dirty session at the nearby park. Here is Dexter after his mud frolic at the park:

muddy dog

Thankfully, Swiffer® WetJet™ Mop Starter Kit is a favorite product of ours. The dual-spray nozzle releases the right amount of product while breaking up tough, sticky messes like muddy dog pawprints.

Swiffer and Dex
The actual dog hair from our grooming session.

How to Groom Your Dog at Home

In part two of our series, we will show you more in depth what we learned from Carol Doggett of All About Dog Grooming. For now, we want you to get comfortable with brushing your dog and the basics of keeping a coat healthy and the easy clean up with Swiffer afterwards.

Swiffer for Shed Happens

 What You Can Do Now

Learn more about how you can keep your pet home clean and smelling fresh with the Swiffer® Sweeper®, the Swiffer® Duster™ and the Swiffer® Wet Jet™. Visit Swiffer. You can also follow Swiffer on Facebook, too.

Less clean up time means more play time with you and your dog. You can enter to win your very own big box of Swiffer products to make clean up easy peasy in your household.

The giveaway is closed and we thank all who entered. The winner is: Ellen Casper.

Questions: Have you ever considered learning to groom your dog or at the very least, learn the proper way to brush? How do you combat pet hair and dander in your home? Tell us in the comments below!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Swiffer. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. This site’s article just opened up my mind about dog foods. Awesome writings about dog food importance. You are using human foods as dog’s diet is a nice idea. I like this thing the most.

  2. I have three rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds (and three cats – all are rescues). All my furbabies shed so I’m constantly having to sweep up fur, but I think the worst mess is the mud my dogs bring in with them from the yard when it’s snowy/rainy. Wiping their feet as they come into the house really helps cut down on the mud they track into the house.

  3. The sweeper to get up the little tiny hair that stick in the carpet. You be surprised how much dog hair you pick up.

  4. Henry doesn’t require much grooming — just the occasional bath and brushing. Daily brushing is a good idea too! I’ve done a little research into not only the right way to do it, but how to teach him to enjoy it more because he was very skittish when I first adopted him and would get snappy when the brush came out. Thankfully, our hard work has paid off and he is now more willing. His biggest problem is nail trims, which absolutely terrify him. He use to snap and run away if I came anywhere near his feet, but now he will lift his paw for me if I have a piece of cheese. I’m proud of my boy <3

    As for hair and dander — well, he definitely has a shedding season! Because we life in a studio apartment, the resulting hair is pretty highly concentrated. Regular vacuuming and sweeping is a must!

  5. I don’t own a dog but my best clean up tip for cats is to clean their litter box daily. Not only does this cut back on odor but it makes them happy.

  6. Oh my gosh your dog is adorable! We give a dog a bath and that is about it when it comes to grooming. I need the swiffer we have more fur on the ground that I think is on the dog.

  7. I LOVE all the Swiffer products, I can’t wait to get the Sweep & Vac, I wanted one for Christmas but Santa didn’t see fit to drop one down the chimney for me! I’m hoping to get one before my Husky starts her Spring shedding! Thanks for sharing these grooming tips, I need to brush my dogs daily, I’m so not good at doing it daily.. Trimming Phoebe’s nails is a real issue, she hates it. I look forward to part 2 of the grooming tips!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  8. I need more tips on how to keep my home clean. I have very messy animals. Been wanting to buy a roomba

  9. What a cute pup! Keeping up with pets (plus kids) is definitely a challenge. I need to stay on top of the messes before they build up. These are good tools for keeping up with it all!

  10. I don’t sweep hair because tiny bacteria and particles can get into the air and cause sneezing so I use a shop vac to suction up hair and dirt. Then I mop

  11. This time of year dogs are prone to getting muddy. I thought most dogs loved water though. That’s great that swifter helps keep things clean after grooming.

  12. Luckily both our dogs just need to be brushed and bathed regularly, so no clipping (other than nails of course)!

    My biggest cleaning tip is to wipe paws after all walks, especially during rain or winter months. My boyfriend made the mistake of not doing that last week and our hardwood floors were covered in salty paw prints that luckily the Swiffer picked up right away!

  13. I use the swiffer duster and I love it! I use it all the time when I am dusting. I would love to try their other products as well. I usually use my swiffer duster, a little vacuum and clorox wipes to clean up the bathroom after I am done grooming my dog. I would love to learn how to groom my dog at home in order to avoid the expense of taking her to a groomer. I would just be nervous though doing it!

  14. There is nothing better than Swiffer products. This article just reinforces my opinion of this company. I have three dogs and Swiffer products are used daily in my house. I can’t live without them. Great article and Dexter is a great spokes dog for their products, too!!!!

  15. I keep floor mats at all doors – both inside the house and outside to cut down some of the dirt from 4 dogs going in and out all day long. Thank goodness for Swiffer products. Sure do make it easy to Swiff up all the dust and fur.

  16. Wow, first off, what a cutie. Second, KUDOS to you, most impressive. I have never tried. One of our dogs would be ok for that, the other is an emotional anxious mess and would never go for it. I love the tips and info . Thanks

  17. The most important word for a tip related to cleaning after our two crazy dogs is “daily.” We sweep and vacuum EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have severe allergies to dander and dust mites, so if I don’t maintain a daily routine, I wind up getting wicked headaches….

    We love Swiffer products!

  18. My Sister does all her own dog grooming for her two dogs. Swiffer is a great way to clean up all the fur after.

  19. I love to use Swiffer products. It is a great way to clean up after your pets. I try do do as much of the grooming as I can.

  20. i like to use a dry mop or swiffer then i will vac what is left over that is not picked up. when i clip the girls in the house, i put a large tarp or towel down under the grooming stand to catch everything, i also hang a trash bag off the side of the grooming table, to put clipped hair in, i fold up the tarp and take it outside to get rid of the hair. the birds pick up the hair for their nests..

  21. I vacuum the rugs and floors weekly. Also steam mop on a weekly basis. This helps me stay on top of the dog hair and dander.

  22. We’re a pack of nine and our Dad trims us. He and Mom give us baths and Mom does ears and nails. There’s plenty of hair and mud to clean up, too.

  23. Swiffer has awesome products for cleaning any kind of mess up in my opinion. I have to admit Dexter is so cute and looks adorable in that hat. You did a beautiful job grooming him for sure. Thanks for sharing the tips and these amazing products.

  24. I really need to pick up one of these swiffers. I’ve been meaning too. I’ve heard so many great things about it.

  25. Dexter is so stinkin cute! At the beginning of this post I was sorta wondering if you were gonna Swiffer him! haha. But I love what you did. I should do some more grooming of Snoop between grooming visits… I should actually set him an appointment today. Swiffers are so handy though aren’t they?!

    1. LOLOL you made me giggle aloud. I thought about Swiffering him…he certainly had enough hair come off for me to do that.

  26. Oh my, best model ever. He is adorable! We have a lab/hound mix that does not need much grooming, other than washing. But our Havanese needs a ton of grooming and maintenance with his fur. It is a lot of work.

  27. Our dog Jane always comes home full of slobber from all the big dogs licking her at the dog park, and she goes straight to the bath . Thank goodness she has a short coat and does not require too much upkeep. However, we are constantly using our swifter to clean up after she comes running inside the house with her cute little dirty paws.

  28. Even if I don’t have a dog, I don’t think the whole process is a hassle, maybe Swiffer makes me think that I’ll enjoy the opportunity but in any case, grooming’s just a cute activity IMO!

  29. Sqqquueeeeeee Dexter is gorgeous! I bathe and groom my dogs at home too. My oldest, 13, is a boxer. She doesn’t need much grooming other than a bath and her nails. My youngest, 5, is Chihuahua Pug mix. She is the same, nails and a bath. But I tell you, she hates having her nails clipped. You would think we were torturing her the way she acts.

  30. My favorite cleanup tip is to brush your dog outside. I have 2 dogs and they shed enough in the house I don’t have to add to it when I brush them.

  31. We have one of those gloves that pulls loose hair from their coat when you are petting them. It is amazing how much that little glove will remove.

  32. When I give my Lucy a bath I drain the water leave her in the tub then dry her off with a towel. But she’s only 7 lbs she’s a chihuahua.

  33. My best cleanup tip, is after I make the bed, I put a sheet over it all…so when the dogs lay on it I can just remove it before we go to bed!

  34. I asked a pro groomer at SuperZoo how I can get in ‘good’ with a groomer (because getting appoints is challenging) and she said, ‘Brush your dog regularly. Don’t say you do it. Actually do it.” So they like it too.

  35. My cat and chinchilla both shed like crazy so I dust and vacuum on a daily basis. This is a great guide!

  36. My favorite cleanup tip is to have a small towel by the leash rack to wipe paws clean of mud & potentially dangerous salt chemicals as soon as we get inside after walks. Also, keep a Swiffer WetJet next to the door to clean muddy paws prints as soon as they happen!

  37. My best tip is to brush, clean, and groom outside as much as possible. This works well where we live now, but you need to be careful of distractions.

  38. Very interesting article on learning to groom at home.I try to keep Beauregard neat and trimmed up.We do have to run the vacuumn frequently because Cockers do shed a lot.

  39. I learned a long time ago that you can’t put chemicals on the surfaces that you have your pets walk on. So, I’m very vigilant in how I clean my home. With this in mind, Swiffer has always made great products to help with the cleaning process for a safe and clean home for my pets! Thanks Swiffer for this great giveaway! Paws crossed!

  40. Always heard good things about Swiffer. I give my dog Molly a bath. I’ve really learned a lot from your review. Thank you for sharing it.

  41. I vacuum and then sweep with a broom to get all the hair up — I’m going to get a swifter, much easier and a lot less work.

  42. I groom my dog, myself, at home (except for clipping his nails..i leave that to the vet). His fur sheds like tumble weed around my house…all year round. Thank Goodness for my swiffer …it is used every day!! Tip: when i am grooming him, i place him in a wee wee pad..so some of the fur lands on the pad. All the escaped fur gets picked up with my swiffer!

  43. We keep dog towels in the closet by the back door- very handy to clean and dry the dog’s feet when they come in from a walk.

  44. I keep a towel by the back door to wipe down wet fur and another to wipe muddy feet. Of course I love Swiffer products!

  45. We have 2 shar-peis that shed quite a bit. Even though they’re short hair it’s amazing how much ends up on the floors. We brush them outside, but still I’m constantly sweeping and vacuuming. I need to try Swiffer products and see if they cut down on time consuming chores.

  46. My dogs do not require too much in the way of grooming. They mostly just need bathing and brushing. I have 3 and they have 3 levels of shedding: minimal, medium and SO much it isn’t funny. The only way I have to combat the pet hair is frequent sweeping and vacuuming.

  47. Pawsome Article Dexter and Mommy. We are big shedders here so Mommy is constantly cleaning up the house after us. Our tip for clean up at home is to brush often. Not only do we enjoy it and its great bonding time but it really helps reduce the hair population around the house??

  48. My favorite clean up tip is when it’s wet and muddy out I leave two towels on the floor in front of the backdoor. When the dogs go in and out for washroom breaks they don’t track all that water and mud to the floors and carpet. And picking up the towels and cleaning them is much easier 🙂

  49. I always have a towel or two handy by the back door – and there is a “dirt gathering” rug on the floor as they coming bounding in from the yard. Sometimes i’m lucky and both will stop on the rug and get their feet and bodies wiped down. Other than that it’s just “clean as I need to”. Muddy pawprints still are a part of my life.

  50. Favorite tip is to use Swiffer of course. And also using MicroFiber inserts to clean dog hair as well. Thank you!

  51. I really don’t have a good cleaning tip. I am always drowning in dog hair! Perhaps someone else can give me tips.

  52. I always say that the fur I get off Phoenix when I groom him I could make another dog. The hair is literally everywhere. Hopefully Swiffer could help defur us all.

  53. My best tip is to keep up with the mess. Do a little touch up of the problem areas every day. Just 5 or 10 minutes can keep your home looking great.

  54. One of my best tips is if you have fur on something that is tough,, use tape to dab it off. For example, our dog is black… anything white always always has black fur on it. I have pillows that vacuuming doesnt always work on. I use tape.

  55. Ruby has very short fur, so we give her baths more than brush her. I either sweep or vaccuum. I do need to brush the cats more.

  56. We have mats both inside and outside of the doors which cut down some of the footprints. I think it’s important to have a pet clean-up kit readily available for the doggy accidents and messes that always happen.

  57. My tip is to get dogs used to being groomed when they are puppies. Brushing and/or using the Furminator on a regular basis is key, and its so much easier if they aren’t wiggling around and fighting it.

  58. I have 2 fluffy cats and 1 short haired dachshund, we get hair every where! Often it used to be a pain to try to get off clothes or furniture. Until I purchased a lint roller, I use it on the furniture and clothing.

  59. I don’t have any tips but I use a wet mop and follow with a vacuum. Swiffer works great. I do brush our dog but not as often as I should.

  60. My best clean up tip for me is to vacuum a lot. Sometimes I put a little clothing softener in a spray bottle with water and lightly spritz my carpet, let it dry and vacuum. It smells good and makes the fur easier to pick up.

  61. First of all, I want to tell you a truth that you might not have noticed. I have noticed that many well-known dog researchers and vets have appreciated your post in the comment section whom I know personally. I know Fidose of Reality is one of the most successful pet blogs in the world. You guys are writing really awesome. I have never use Swiffer product before but as you suggest I will use it. Dog grooming cost is rising day by day, so dog grooming in the own house is really an excellent idea. Thanks for your comprehensive post.

  62. A balanced food would be a great thing to have with pets.
    I have 2 fluffy dogs and 1 short haired dachshund. Until I purchased a lint roller, I use it on the furniture and clothing.

  63. Between my paws pamper undercoat rake and the swifter 360 duster, our weekly brushing sessions are a breeze! Love this article!

    1. Hm that is a great question. I am not familiar with the husky breed coat, as I just groom my Cocker. I brush him first to stimulate the oils and then I blow him dry after the bath with brushing during and after with a variety of tools.

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