Last updated on January 23, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Swiffer. The opinions and text are all mine.