3 reasons I learned to groom my dog at home

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Aww, just look at that face! This is our goldendoodle Lucky ❤

To groom or not to groom (at home)? That is the question I had asked myself over and over again. If you own a dog, you know that grooming is necessary for the health of your pet. This may not apply to all dog owners, but I always felt guilty leaving Lucky at the groomers. You see, Lucky has lack of confidence and a bit of separation anxiety, so whenever I would take him to the groomers, he would shake with fear and cry ….and let me tell you, the “Please don’t abandon me” look he would give me each time, really pulled on my heartstrings.

Don’t mistake my weakness for puppy eyes, for dislike of groomers… I really like Lucky’s groomer and they are all so kind to him. His groomer takes the time to just talk and pet him so that he is more comfortable before even beginning the grooming process! Whenever they call to tell me he is ready, they always mention what a sweet boy he is and of course I’m smiling ear to ear! But still the stress he was under from his lack of confidence always worried me, and that’s when I talked to my husband about the possibility of grooming Lucky myself, and he thought it was a great idea too!

My initial goal was to groom him every other time, so that he would only have to go every 12 -16 weeks. I explained my situation to the groomers and they were actually very understanding and they even gave me some tips for starting out. I began with a small trim using the largest clipper guards and the more I groomed Lucky myself, the more comfortable I became. {side note: I think the groomers were especially supportive, since my grooming him at home didn’t make their job more work when I did bring him in – I can only imagine the horror stories groomers have of how pet owners (who attempt to groom at home) bring their pet to them to be corrected after.}

I continued to groom Lucky more and more which in turn meant taking him to the groomers less and less. Now I only bring him to the professional groomers to get his nails trimmed every 4-6 weeks; along with his ears (plucking) and glands (expressed) as needed… I leave these to the professionals! There are times when he does go for the occasional “full treatment” grooming – wash, blow dry, trim, glands, nails, ears – but that is once or twice a year and usually when I’m having a hard time with my back (you can read about it here) and can’t to do it myself.

Since I began grooming Lucky at home, I’ve discovered so many positive benefits and immediately noticed how it has strengthened my relationship with Lucky; and so I had to share them with you! Here are the 3 main reasons why I have chosen to teach myself how to groom Lucky at home, rather than take him to a professional groomer each time:

1. Save Money The first and most obvious reason why I choose to groom Lucky at home, is to save money. If you’ve ever taken your dog to a groomer, you know the expense of maintaining your dog’s coat. With an average cost for a medium sized Goldendoodle being $60 – $80 or  more if they’re in really bad shape; I had to reconsider the amount of work it was going to be to groom him at home. The coat of a Goldendoodle is pretty high maintenance, so he would go every 6 – 8 weeks depending on how long I kept his fur, and how matted or dirty he was. Now I don’t know about you, but for us; living on only one income; that’s a huge savings! And spoke volumes on the decision making process.

2. Building a bond My second reason kept playing in my mind and was one I couldn’t find the con for. As a pet owner my main goal is to build a trusting bond with my dog so that I can give him the best life in a safe and loving environment. Especially with Lucky’s (for lack of a better word) insecurities, it helps to know that he feels safe. Now I wouldn’t go as far as to say he gets excited with the idea of getting groomed — he actually bolts when he sees me setting up the table, haha — but once he is standing there and I begin; it’s all good! Think about it, a mama grooms her babies in every nature clip you see… this is natural to our pets and helps our relationship to grow closer.

3. Overall health Lastly and actually most importantly, is because it’s less stress for both of us. At first I never realized how unhealthy it was for him; he would get himself so stressed out, and everyone knows the dangers stress has on our bodies even for pets… my poor fur baby! Anyway, with myself grooming Lucky, he is in a familiar place so it’s a more calming atmosphere for him. I talk to him throughout the whole process, in a soothing voice to help him trust me and stay relaxed. Plus, with grooming being hands on I have a better chance to discover any lumps, cuts or other physical health concerns, which can make a big difference if something was to be discovered early on.

IMG_20130718_182432 (2)So there you have it! With each grooming session I do, the more confident I become with my grooming skills; it’s a constant learning experience that I wouldn’t change for anything. I’ve noticed the full trust Lucky has with me now and it is amazing… Lucky is a happy fur-baby and, if I do say so myself, he’s not looking too bad either 😉

Are you a home-grooming dog owner or have you ever given any thought to the idea? If you already do the daily/weekly brushing, the occasional bath, or perhaps even a quick face trim; have you considered the possibility of grooming your dog at home? I’d love to hear your thoughts and personal experience with grooming so please share your comments…  and as always, thank you for visiting!

Blessings ~ Danielle

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One thought on “3 reasons I learned to groom my dog at home

  1. Pingback: My go-to products and tools for dog grooming | Come and Sit for a Spell

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