Grooming your pet is a necessary part of its health and will help to strengthen your bond. $500-$1200 per year is the average cost of grooming for one pet when taken to a professional groomer. This number can climb depending on the size of the animal and what you are having done. To keep that money in your pocket, here are a few DIY pet grooming tips.
DIY Pet Grooming Tips:
This will be the most cost-effective way to save money. Learning to groom your pet can be rewarding in more ways than one. YouTube is a great resource for learning how to do the basics. You can also reach out to your local Human Society which often offers free classes on pet care and health.
Pre-Groom your Pet
Many of the services at the professional groomers are Ala cart. Meaning nail trims, matt removal, anal glands, and flea treatments all come at and additional cost. Pre-grooming your pet will help to save on your overall grooming bill.
Visit a Self Serve Dog Wash
Perhaps you live in apartments without a tub or simply do not want the mess (or smell of wet dog) at home. There are numerous self-serve doggy wash shops in most every city. They are much cheaper than the groomer and you can keep all the mess in one place. (Not your bathroom). Cats are not welcome at most of these establishments as you can imagine.
Skip Washing and find Some Deodorizer
Washing your dog or cat may be a bit traumatic for you both. Not all pets enjoy bathtime. Instead of battling with your pet, find an all natural dog or cat deodorizer spray and a pin brush. Spritz and brush, spritz and brush. This will help to remove any odor and keep their fur cleaner. This is a great way to hold you between grooming sessions.
Learn How to Trim Nails or Do Anal Glands
I know that anal glands sound gross- its because they are. However, learning to do nails and anal glands will save you time and money spent taking your pet to the vet or the groomer. The vet will often show you show to do your dogs anal glands if you ask. Also ask to watch them trim your cat or dogs nails so you can get the feel for it.
Do not forget to make it as fun and enjoyable as possible. Bring out the treats, move slowly, and give positive reinforcement. Some pets will still act like it is the worst day of their lives, but know you are doing a good thing for their overall health.
DIY Pet Grooming, but what should you “groom”?
As pet parents of 4 animals we have the grooming routine down. My background with showing dogs and working at a vet clinic have both helped to shape our grooming habits and routines with our pets. These are what we do ourselves when grooming our pets.
- Gently wipe ears (do not use Q-Tips!)
- Gently wipe around the eyes
- Trim nails
- Trim the pads of their feet (our dogs have very long foot hair)
- Brush their teeth
- Bathe them every month to two months using a calming shampoo (no conditioner)
- Brush out their hair with a comb and pin brush every week to two weeks
- Express their anal glands
- Feed them food rich in fatty acids or add this to their food
- Give them a topical flea and tick treatment every two months
- Bathe our Sphynx cat only (most cats with hair groom themselves enough and do not need a bath)
- Gently wipe out their ears. You can use Q-Tips but do not go deep
- Gently wipe their eyes and face with a warm rag
- Trim their nails
- Brush our Bengal cat with a grooming glove or soft bristle brush
- Treat only our Bengal cat with a cat specific topical flea treatment (NEVER give you cat the dog treatement- it can kill them)
The only professional services we seek in the grooming category are for their teeth. Doing a cat or dog dental will be in the future for most pets in order to prolong their internal health and not have their breathe knock you off your feet. Keep this in mind as you budget for your pets and another vet bill.
We enjoy the time we spend grooming our animals and do not use a professional groomer. We also enjoy have clean pets that do not smell. Grooming improves their health and makes it a lot more fun to snuggle up with them. So get your DIY pet grooming on and let us know how much money you are saving!