We’ve written recently about the expenses of owning a dog and possible ways to decrease those expenses. With tips for grooming at home, we’re sharing one of the best ways to save some dog dollars.

Even if you groomed at home most of the time and just went to a professional once in a while for an extra good cut, you’d still be saving a lot over time.

As always, this, of course, depends on the personality of not just your dog but also of you. Do you have the patience for this? Do you have the time? If your dog already hates grooming, are you really the best person for this?

If it seems like a good idea for all involved, we have some tips for grooming at home.

Above all: routine

This is probably the number one, most important tip of all tips. And routine is not just about timing, though there’s that. Choose a day and a time of day that you groom. Find a good shampoo and stick to that. Same brand, same smell. And think ahead about everything you want to accomplish: create an order for those tasks and stick to it every single time.


Does your dog respond to music? For an extra nervous dog, soothing music might actually help. And think about lighting: it needs to be bright enough for you to work but does it need to be spotlight bright to the point of aggravating your dog? Again, this is all about their personality.

Consider a slip proof mat for your tub so your dog doesn’t slip and slide through the cleaning.

And finally, if you’re just starting to groom at home, be generous with treats, or give your dog a treat toy to work on while you work on them.

More frequent grooming tasks

Brushing their coat

Brushing your dog’s coat as frequently as they like is great for keeping matting at bay, of course, but it’s also an effective way to strengthen your bond. (Really… who doesn’t like their hair/fur brushed!?) Brushing also is a way to deal with daily bits of dirt and debris that might find their way into your dog’s coat.

You can also use this time to check their skin for any unusual redness, lumps, irritations, injuries, rashes, or bald spats.

And finally while brushing, you can check their ears.

If you’re brushing frequently, as you should be, this will also decrease the need for baths.

Nails and teeth too!

Trimming dog nails can be a bit nerve-wracking. If you’ve ever made your dog bleed during a nail trimming, you understand this. Make sure you have good lighting and take your time.

And while you’re at it, trimming the hair between their paws is essential. If your dog allows it, an electric trimmer is helpful for this.

From a young age, you want to train your dog to allow you to touch their mouth. One way to do this is to start brushing their teeth as a pup. And while you’re doing that, always take a look around.

Baths and coat trims

People tend to give their dogs too many baths. Doing this just dries out their coats and can lead to issues with their skin. Most dogs only need to be bathed every four to six weeks. Oatmeal based shampoos are highly recommended, but if you’re not sure, you could talk to your vet.

And finally coat trims. This might be that once-in-awhile trip to your groomer. Trimming can be tricky. And it is easy to cut too close and possibly cut their skin. If you have a very willing and calm dog, trimming at home might be just fine.


There’s so much you can do on your own if you have the time and are willing to learn. If you’re going to groom your dog at home for their lifespan, get the best tools you can afford. It makes things easier for you and for them. Here’s a selection of professional tools.