How to Groom a Small Dog at Home

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
2 Weeks

Introduction

Grooming your small dog at home should not take a whole lot of time and is easy to do. You can groom your small dog in your kitchen sink or even in some bathroom sinks. Once he is bathed, you can dry him off fairly easily with a towel, brush him down, and even clip his fur with clippers or scissors rather quickly because of his size. 

Taking care of your small dog at home is a simple task if you have the time to stay on top of it. Be sure when you are grooming your small dog at home that you bathe him on a regular basis, brush him as often as you can--especially if he has long fur and an undercoat--clip his nails, and take care of general maintenance things such as brushing his teeth and keeping the interior of his ears nice and clean to avoid ear mites and infections.

Dog's Perspective

Some small dogs cannot stay still long enough to take a bath. If your small dog is one of those high-energy guys, consider bathing him in a nice warm bath just before bedtime at the end of the day when he's nice and tired. Be sure to end every grooming session with a treat and keep your grooming sessions at regular intervals so they are expected by your small dog.

The Bath and Brush Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Be prepared
Run a warm bath in your tub or sink for your little guy before you bring him into the room. He only needs a few inches of warm water. While the water is running, gather the supplies you will need to get your small dog clean and dry. This may include a towel, dog shampoo, and a cup for rinsing.
Step
2
Brush before
Before you put your small dog in the tub, brush him out. If your small dog has long fur this is especially important because you can remove tangles with a good brushing before you add shampoo and lathering to the mix. If he has short hair, a brushing will release oils from his skin to condition his fur before a bath.
Step
3
Ears
Cotton balls in your small dog ears will help keep water from getting into the ear canal. Be cautious not to push them in too far, and avoid dumping water in the ear even with a cotton ball in place.
Step
4
Tub towel
Place one towel at the bottom of your tub or sink to keep your small dog from slipping and sliding. Placing your dog in a slick tub or sink surface could cause injury, so keep him safe during bathtime with a non-slip surface his claws can grip.
Step
5
Warm and clean
With the tub or sink already full of warm water, slowly place your little guy in the water and begin washing him from head to tail and back to stomach with the dog shampoo. Use the cup to pour water over your dog to keep him warm and be sure to lather the shampoo to collect all the dirt from your dog’s skin and fur.
Step
6
Rinse
Using the cup again, rinse with clean, warm water from head to tail and back to stomach. You’ll want this water to be running off your small dog clear of soap and residue. Once you are done with the bath, be sure to remove the cotton balls from your little guy’s ears.
Step
7
Towel dry
Your dog may want to shake to get excess water off his fur. You can hold a towel over him as he does this to keep yourself dry. Try to refrain from stopping him from the post-bath shake. This is a great way to get all the excess water out of his fur. Once he is done, wrap him up in a warm, dry towel and begin to towel dry him. He’s small, so keep him warm as you are drying him off.
Step
8
Brush
Once your small dog has been towel dried, brush him out with a pin brush or comb. Be sure to end every grooming session with a yummy treat to reward your small dog for his tolerance and patience.
Recommend grooming method?

The Bath, Brush, Maintain Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Brush
Always start grooming sessions with a deep brushing. Focus your efforts or detangling and removing knots and mats. Give your little guy a treat before you move on to bathing.
Step
2
Bath
Give your small dog a quick, warm bath. Always use a shampoo made for dogs or a homemade shampoo appropriate for your small dog’s skin and coat. Lathering the shampoo helps to grab dirt and debris before pulling it out of your dog’s coat.
Step
3
Dry
Once you are done with your small dog’s bath, you can towel dry or blow dry your pup. If you are blow drying, brushing his fur while drying will help keep tangles at bay. Towel drying a long f-haired pup might cause unnecessary tangles, so be careful as you dry either way.
Step
4
Trim
If your small dog needs any fur trimmed, this is a great time to trim with scissors or clippers.
Step
5
Nails
Give your small dog a pedicure by clipping his nails after each bath. The warm water will help soften this tough tissue, making cutting easier. Just be careful of the quick inside the nail so you do not cut too short. Cutting too short will cut this nerve and cause bleeding.
Step
6
Brush again
Once your dog is groomed, give him another good brushing to style his hair. If you have a long-haired small dog, you might want to put a topknot or ponytail or a bandana in the long fur on the head.
Step
7
Treat
Give your little guy a treat for a job well done.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Though do not need to do every grooming task every time you groom your small dog, be sure you are doing everything on a regular basis so nothing is avoided for too long.
  • When you are cleaning the interior of your dog's ears, be sure to check for anything that looks black or dirty or gritty because that could potentially be ear mites.
  • Pay attention to your small dog's ears. If he shakes his head a lot before and after a bath or when he's dry he may potentially have water in his ears, which can develop into a yeast infection.
  • If your small dog has long fur, be sure to brush him out at least once a week. If you can brush your dog every day, it will help keep knots, tangles, and mats to a bare minimum.
  •  Be sure to include nail clipping during grooming sessions. Watch the quick when you cut your dog's nails so you don't cause any pain or bleeding.
  •  If you happen to cut the quick while trimming and it starts to bleed, you can stop the bleeding with a baking soda and water paste or a styptic powder.
  •  Be sure to include teeth brushing in your regular routines for your small dog's grooming sessions. Though they don't need to be brushed every time you groom your little guy, you'll want to keep his teeth nice, bright, and healthy along with keeping those gums free of tartar and plaque buildup.
  •  When bathing your small dog it's helpful if you already have the tub or the sink full of warm water so you can easily put your little guy inside without the loud noise of running water adding to any fear of what's going on.

Conclusion

It might not take a village to raise your pup, but grooming small dogs is no tiny feat. There is quite a bit to keep up with when it comes to maintaining all the cuteness of one small pup. Work hard to keep up with brushing, bathing, and maintenance so your small dog can have a big personality and presence.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd