Dog Grooming Tips to Keep That Designer Dog LookWhen we think of dog grooming, many of us imagine those beautiful, fluffy “designer dogs” that always seem to look great. Poodles, maltese, and shih-tsus are among the favorites in the “designer dog” line. These little guys go everywhere with their pet parents and hold their heads high because they’re gorgeous and they know it! The truth is, you really can achieve and maintain this look at home with a little time and patience.
- Brushing – The first step is brushing, brushing, and more brushing! The typical dog that falls into the “designer dog” category other than chihuahua’s of course, requires daily brushing. Always start with your brush, going over the entire body gently until it feels mostly brushed out. Then go back over the body with your comb to make sure there are no remaining tangles. Using a comb can also help fluff up the hair and keep your dog looking like he/she just stepped out of the salon!
- Bathing – Bathing your dog is a bigger part in the dog grooming world than most people think. The bath sets the overall look of your dog’s coat and haircut. If your dog is not clean, the hair will not sit properly for a good, long lasting groom. Dirty hair also can dull blades and scissors so always bathe your dog before grooming. Always brush your dog before AND after every bath. If there are tangles or mats in the hair the water will make those knots tighter and more difficult to remove.
- Dog Grooming Nail Polish – We get asked a lot if it’s safe to paint dog toenails and the answer is yes, it is absolutely okay to do! You can even do it at home if you want a change of color or need a touch up. The process can be frustrating and time consuming, so give yourself some time and realize that you are working with an animal so the nails may not come out looking perfect. Start by selecting a fast drying nail polish in your desired color. If your dog has black or dark nails you will need a thick polish. Metallic colors work best for visibility on dark nails. There are some nail polishes out there for dog groomers, but they’re not any different than the quick dry polish you can pick up at any store.
Now that you have your polish, you simply select a foot to start with and spread the toes apart with gentle pressure from your fingers so that you can easily see all angles of the nail. Whenever I paint dog toenails I do it paw by paw in front of a fan to ensure even and fast drying. The rest is pretty much the same as if you were painting your own nails. NOTE: A dog grooming insiders tip is to spray each nail after you’ve applied the polish with a quick burst of Care blade coolant spray. You can pick it up at any beauty supply store or dog grooming store. It helps the polish to dry harder and faster.
- Dog Grooming Hair Dye – Hair dye can be a fun way to express your personality through your pet. There are, however a few things you should know before just slapping some hair dye on your dog! First, let me start by saying: NEVER USE BLEACH ON YOUR ANIMAL! Dogs have different skin than we do and it can be easily damaged with harsh products. Also, never dye your dog’s hair if they have open sores or very sensitive skin. Make sure that the dye you select is pet safe, made for pets, or vegan. We, at Hot Shot Dog Grooming in Houston choose to use Manic Panic hair dye because it is a vegan product with no harmful chemicals and is gentle on the hair and skin. It is a semi-perminant dye with tons of conditioners in it and comes in a wide variety of colors. Of course, the lighter your dog’s hair is to begin with, the more vibrant the dye color will turn out.
Okay, now that you’ve selected your dye and color we can get down to the actual dog grooming process that is hair dye! This is the fun, but challenging part. Make sure you have towels, tin foil, and protective gloves because hair dye stains everything it touches. Apply the dye directly to the desired area and gently rub it in. If you’re dyeing just the ears or tail you’ll need to cover those areas with foil to be sure they don’t touch other areas of the dog. Always stay away from the eye area. Leave the hair dye in your dog’s hair for at least 15 minutes. You can check it then and leave it in longer depending on how vibrant you want it to be. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a towel or a hair dryer on the cool setting. Never use a heated dryer on a dog – very dangerous! As with the nail polish and other aspects of dog grooming, remember that you are working with a living, moving animal. Dye can easily get onto areas you did not want colored so take your time, be patient, and practice. For more information, contact us today!