Carolinas Animal Hospital

7 Dog Grooming Hacks That Will Make You and Your Pup Much Happier

Dog grooming is a necessity that most dogs just don’t enjoy. They think they smell just fine! Sure, the brushing feels nice, but the bath? The nail trims? What if they get an ear infection from water getting stuck in their ears? Don’t sweat it. With these dog grooming hacks, the whole experience will be less of a chore!

1. Make Your Dog Happy

Who else responds to a happy, cheerful tone, affection, and play as well as dogs do? Instant mood-lifter, for the dogs and their people! Don’t underestimate it’s power! Warm your dog up by associating grooming time with positive energy and treats so that dogs who find grooming to be stressful or annoying go into it feeling better. A positive association from you is one of the best things you can do with grooming time to make the experience better.

2. Prep Your Tools Ahead of Time

Before you go for your pup, have everything set up and ready to go to keep things moving quickly and easily. Brushes, nail trimmers, shampoo, etc. should be easily accessible. Be sure to put a non-slip mat in the bathtub. Good traction prevents injury and also minimizes their stress from feeling unsteady. If you don’t have a mat handy, a towel laid in the bottom of the tub works in a pinch.

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One of our patients gets a soothing bath and groom from our team!

3. Brush Your Dog Before the Bath

If you have a medium or long-haired dog, a quick brushing before bath time will cut down on the dreaded time in the bathtub. Fewer tangles to work through wet hair and less hair in the drain means easier bathing, faster rinsing, and less cleanup afterward.

4. Worried About Water in the Ears? Have No Fear!

This is easy! Put cotton balls in your dog’s ears before you start running the water. This is especially helpful with breeds that have standing ears. Just don’t forget to take them out!

5. Nail Trim Hacks

This is everyone’s least favorite part of grooming. Just take it slow, praise your dog throughout, and only clip a little at a time if you aren’t comfortable determining how much to trim. If you knick the vein in your dog’s nail try to regain the positive vibe for your dog with treats and praise. Everyone does it from time to time, so always keep some styptic powder handy to apply to the nail to stop the bleeding. Tip: Forgot to pick up styptic powder? You can use baking soda, baking powder, or cornstarch in a pinch!

Here’s a helpful video on how to trim nails:

6. Dry, Scaly Noses and Paw Pads

Even dogs can use a little moisturizing in their rough spots sometimes. You don’t have to buy a special product from a pet store, though. You probably already have coconut oil in your pantry, and it’s great for skin! Just dab a little on dry, cracked noses and pads.  It even has anti-fungal properties so it’s also good for dogs who might have yeasty paws from allergies.

7. Speaking of Your Yeasty Beasty…

If your dog is one of the many that struggles seasonally with allergies and sensitivities that cause them to have yeasty skin, choose a quality shampoo with tea tree oil. It’s great for cutting the yeasty odor, and it has anti-fungal properties. This also makes it great as a soak for yeasty, itchy paws in the bathtub.


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  • Friday: 7:30am - 5:30pm
  • Saturday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

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