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What You Should Know About Dog Grooming

What You Should Know About Dog Grooming

Grooming your dog is a great way to bond with your furry friend and helps them stay healthy and clean. Our vets in Pittsboro have written a blog with tips for grooming your dog at home and explaining why keeping your dog well-groomed is important.

The Basics of Dog Grooming

To keep your dog looking good, you need to groom it regularly. How often you groom your pup will depend on its breed, fur length, and lifestyle. Generally, dogs with long hair and those that spend a lot of time outside need more grooming than short-haired pups and indoor dogs. However, all dogs need basic grooming such as brushing, nail trimming, bathing, and haircuts (if their breed requires it). These simple grooming practices can keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Pre-Grooming Ritual

Prepare all the grooming tools you'll need before bringing your dog into the room. This will help you remain calm during the grooming process. Speak to your dog in a soothing voice and let them investigate the brushes, clippers, and other tools safely. Start grooming only when your dog is relaxed, and keep treats handy to reward good behavior. Remember to stay positive, patient, and calm for a successful grooming session. 


To keep your dog's coat clean and skin healthy, give them a nice bath with soapy water. But be careful not to bathe them too often because it can damage their hair and increase the risk of infections. The frequency of bathing your dog depends on how dirty they get and their fur type. It's recommended to bathe your dog one to three times a month with warm water and a dog-specific shampoo to avoid skin irritation. For dogs with long or curly hair, you can use conditioners and detanglers made for dogs. If your dog is scared of water, start slowly by standing them in a dry bathtub and offering treats for good behavior. Then gradually progress to cleaning them with a wet sponge and eventually to giving them a full bath.


If your dog enjoys getting brushed, then it's good news for you because brushing is an essential part of their grooming. It can remove dead hair from their coat, stop the hair from tangling, and prevent skin problems. Another benefit of brushing is that it can decrease the amount of fur your dog sheds in your home. If your dog is active or spends a lot of time outside, it may need more frequent brushing. However, brushing once a month may be enough if you have a short-haired dog.

Nail Trimming

Did you know that there are special nail clippers for dogs? Get one along with shampoo and conditioner for your pup when they're young. This will help you gain confidence in trimming their nails and your dog will probably become more accepting of it as they grow older. 
If your dog doesn't like their paws touched, try getting them used to it by gently stroking their feet. Once they're more comfortable, start by trimming one nail at a time. Reward good behavior with treats and praise. Take your time with nail trimming and start slowly. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself or if your dog doesn't tolerate it well, consider hiring a professional to do it for you.


Different dog breeds have different needs for haircuts, so it's important to talk to your vet or a professional groomer to find out how often your dog needs a haircut, or if they need one at all. To give your dog an at-home haircut, start by bathing them with good quality dog shampoo, then towel dry and brush them. Trim the fur around their face and feet with sharp scissors, and use electric clippers on the rest of their body. If your dog gets nervous or you don't want to do it yourself, take them to a professional groomer. At Hope Crossing Animal Hospital, we offer grooming services to help keep your pets clean, healthy, and comfortable all year round. We even offer grooming services for cats!

How to Groom a Nervous or Anxious Dog

As a dog owner, grooming your furry friend regularly is important to keep them healthy. Neglecting their grooming needs, such as trimming their nails, cleaning their ears, and brushing their fur can cause health problems. However, if your dog gets anxious or nervous during the grooming process, you might start to feel overwhelmed. To make grooming a more pleasant experience for your dog, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Ensure your dog gets lots of exercise before you start to groom them.
  • Positive reinforcement works wonders. Offer treats for good behavior.
  • Dog parents know their dogs love to be pets, so keep this in mind when you bathe your pup. Dole out the pats and hugs throughout the grooming session to let your pup know that everything is okay and that they don't need to be afraid.
  • Is your dog very nervous? You may want to think about using a calming dog pheromone diffuser with a non-sedative, odorless, and synthetic hormone to help your dog relax. Speak to your vet to learn more.
  • Dab a calming aromatherapy oil (such as lavender oil) on your fingers as your pet your dog and run your hands through their fur while you bathe them.

Regular exercise, yearly check-ups that include vaccines and preventing parasites, and simple grooming practices can all help your dog look and feel healthy.

Is it time for your dog's grooming? You can reach out to our vets at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital and arrange an appointment for your furry friend. Additionally, we have cat grooming services available in Pittsboro and can offer you some advice on how to groom your cat at home.

Welcoming New Patients

Our vets at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our talented veterinary team is passionate about caring for the pets of Pittsboro. Contact us today to book your first appointment. 

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