Grooming your dog on a regular basis isn’t just about keeping them looking good.  Dog grooming also helps promote good hygiene in your four-legged friend, and is even valuable in creating a bond between you and your dog.  It’s the best way to spot potential problems in your pooch early on, and seek veterinary treatment that can prevent a minor nuisance from becoming a serious health concern.  For all of these reasons, regular grooming sessions with your dog, one-on-one, are critical.  Professional groomers can be used on occasion, but are no substitute for direct attention with your pet.

Despite all the benefits of grooming, many pet owners can be hesitant, and unsure how to approach even simple grooming tasks with their pet.  Overly excitable or aggressive dogs may present particular challenges for owners.  Nevertheless, it’s worth putting in the time and effort to get your dog used to grooming activities as much as you can.  Starting slow and using treats are always the best approach.  If you get frustrated or need to stop, that’s totally fine.  The goal is to acclimatize your dog to the grooming process, and make them comfortable with what you are doing, so that it can be a positive experience for both of you.  Of course, there’s a lot more specific advice for different aspects of dog grooming, which we’ll discuss below in our guide. 

Dog Grooming 101: Bathing

Bathing your dog is one of the most basic ways to groom them and keep them clean.  For most breeds, bathing is not required more than once every few months.  Over-bathing can deplete critical oils from a dog’s skin and coat, leading to increased skin dryness, irritation, and skin conditions.  However, if your dog finds their way into dirt or something smelly more frequently, then more frequent bathing or spot cleaning may be required. 


Brushing your dog’s hair regularly helps to remove dead strands and debris, ensures even distribution of the natural oils that keep a dog’s coat healthy, aids in the removal of dead or dry skin cells, and is the best way to perform regular surveillance of your dog for any potential insects, parasites, cuts, bruises, or other health conditions that may present there.  Typically, regardless of the type of coat your dog may have, or its length, brushing should be done once every few days.  If you notice knotted or matted hair, then you may need to brush more often or with special brushes – or even trim the hair somewhat, depending on what your dog has been up to or gotten in to.  Most often, however, general-purpose brushing for maintenance and health every few days should be a sufficient baseline for dog grooming.

Don’t Forget Foot Care

Foot care is an important aspect of grooming your dog, but is often overlooked until your pet presents a problem.  Regular trimming of foot hair helps keep them clean, and prevents debris like dirt, rocks, bits of ice or snow, road salt, and other irritants from getting caught in their feet and injuring their paw pads.

The Importance of Nail Care

Cutting or clipping a dog’s nails is one of the more prickly grooming tasks for pet owners.  Many prefer to leave this to vets or professionals, and rightly so – improper cutting can injure your pet.  Dogs’ nails naturally grow in a curve shape, and if they get too long, that will result in awkward and improper steps for your dog.  Their toes will twist and spread outward, and can even lead to broken toes, along with significant pain and discomfort.  Clipping their nails helps prevent this from happening.  It also helps prevent or reduce the incidence of torn, chipped, or damaged nails – not to mention reducing wear and tear on your home flooring and furnishings!  Most breeds’ nails should be clipped every two or three weeks.

ALSO READ – Everything You Need to Know About Dog Shaving

Keeping Ears Clean and Healthy

Caring for your dog’s ears is essential to preventing ear infections and hearing loss.  The ears and the area around the ears are also places that ticks and fleas love to congregate, so proper ear care can help you spot these nasty parasites and take care of them.  Most experts recommend ear cleaning no more than once per week.

Doggie Dental Care

One area where dogs and humans are remarkably similar is in the teeth.  Dogs can develop many of the same kinds of dental problems that humans do with their teeth, including plaque, cavities, gum disease, and more.  While proper diet and bones/chews can help to clean your dog’s teeth, there’s no substitute for a proper cleaning.  It’s also one of the best ways to avoid unnecessary expenses and pain for your dog as they age.  Most experts recommend cleaning your dog’s teeth two to three times per week. 

ALSO READ – Expert Grooming Advice for Your Pet Pupper