The dos and don’ts of grooming your dog at home | TeamDogs

The dos and don’ts of grooming your dog at home

Be sure to have extra treats to hand!

Bethan Shufflebotham

Posted 7 months ago ago

During the pandemic, many pet owners have found themselves having to groom their pets at home instead of taking them to a professional salon.

Current government guidelines allow groomers to open for ‘welfare’ grooms, which might be where a dog is particularly matted, or at risk of matting, or other issues that could be prevented by a professional grooming service.

Research by Mira Showers found that the average UK dog owner spends around £131.40 on professional grooming per year, with 81,000 dog owners spending more than £3,000!

The company teamed up with Wood Green - The Animals Charity - and Purplebone dog grooming specialists to provide advice on how to wash and groom your dog at home. 

They’ve revealed their top tips, and a number of dos and don’ts to help you keep your pet comfortable when having an at-home pamper.

Veterinary Surgery Manager and qualified dog groomer Ness-Croft Taylor recommends a hand-held shower to regulate the flow of water, so if your dog is timid you can introduce the water gradually. 

The water temperature should be warm – and you should always check the temperature by dipping your elbow in - as you would when bathing a baby. 

Billy Barlos, Senior Groomer at Purplebone also recommends the use of a handheld shower head to help ‘soak all areas of the dog for applying, rinsing and removing any excess shampoo’. 

It’s not advisable for an untrained dog owner to clip and trim hair or claws at home. Ness said: “There are certain techniques that need to be followed in order not to harm the dog or yourself. For example, if you cut your own nails too short, they are sore, and it’s exactly the same for a dog.” 

If you can’t get your dog to a groomer regularly, there are certain things you can look out for to monitor the condition of their coat or to see if there are any issues. 

This includes: 

  • A change in coat texture i.e. dandruff or matting
  • Any itching or scratching
  • Any areas of patchy skin or hair 
  • Any redness or dryness of the skin

If you notice any of the above changes, it's advisable to take your dog to the vets as soon as possible.

Here are some of the Dos and Don’ts to follow when grooming at home


  • Use a handheld shower to introduce water gradually
  • Use lukewarm water
  • Be careful around ears, eyes and paws
  • Assess for lumps, bumps, redness and irritation
  • Take your dog to be professionally groomed if you are unsure
  • Reward your dog with treats
  • Start at the head and work backwards down the legs and body


  • Use human shampoo
  • Bathe your dog too often
  • Use hot water
  • Get water in the ear canal
  • Rush
  • Get shampoo in your dog's eyes
  • Attempt clipping, scissoring, ear plucking, anal glands or nail clipping at home (unless experienced)
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