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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Blogs > Jcardello > Tips For Easy At Home Grooming

Tips for Easy At-Home Grooming

October 24, 2011 -

Grooming is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy. To keep your pet looking and feel great in between your grooming appointments here are some simple and easy touch-up grooming tips you can tackle at home. With the right knowledge and tools, you can have your pet looking better than ever.


Giving your pet a scrub down in the bathtub with a cat or dog shampoo and conditioner will keep their fur soft and flea free. It’s never advised to use human shampoo on your pets; these products are not properly formulated for the different pH level of animal skin.

Tips: Fill the bathtub with warm water and use a detachable showerhead or container to rinse the soapsuds thoroughly from their fur. Un-rinsed shampoo residue can become extremely irritating for your pet. Avoid wetting their ears and eyes to prevent possible irritation. When finished, dry your furry friend off with a towel. Try to make this a routine occasion once a month.


Ever notice matting on your cat or dog? This is caused by a lack of brushing. In order to maintain the health of your pet’s skin and fur, brushing is a must. Short-hair breeds such as Beagles, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers only require monthly brushing, whereas long haired dogs such as Cocker Spaniels and Shih-Tzu’s need to be brushed weekly to help decrease shedding and prevent matting and clumping.

Tips: Slicker brushes are great at removing mats from pets with medium hair, while rake brushes work best at detangling the coats of longhaired breeds. Bristle brushes are preferred for shorthaired pets.


It is just as vital to routinely clean your pet’s ears as it is to maintain good oral hygiene. For dogs with long ears, it is best to do a weekly cleaning to remove excess dirt and wax buildup.

Tips: By using a cotton ball and ear cleaner solution, insert a few drops of the solution into the ear, then massage the ear in order to make sure the solution is evenly distributed throughout the canal. Tip your pet’s head to one side when finished to remove excess solution. Gently swab out any remaining residue in the ear. Avoid using a cotton swab and pushing too deep into the ear canal; you run the risk of pushing dirt and debris further down the ear canal. Some pets have sensitive ears, so you may want to get them used to being touched at an early age.


At-home nail trimming can be a tricky process for some Pet Parents, which is why it is oftentimes safer to bring your pet into the grooming salon. If you want to try it on your own, first consider consulting your groomer or vet for safety tips. Depending on your pet’s level of comfort, you can use nail clippers or nail grinders; you can find varying styles of both.

Tips: The most important point is not to cut the quick (a vein in the nail), which can be painful for your pet and cause bleeding. Keep styptic powder on hand in case of an accident.


Teeth cleanings are important for preventing both dogs and cats from experiencing tarter buildup, which can increase your pet’s chance of infection. Simply purchase a dog or cat toothbrush along with toothpaste and gently scrub the outer gums.

Tips: Never use human toothpaste; it is harmful to your pet. Repeat this process bi-weekly in order to save your pet a trip to vet in the long run.

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