How to Wash a Dog like a Groomer

Medium
30 - 60 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between how you give your dog a bath at home and how the professional dog groomers do it? The basic premise is very similar, whether you are doing it yourself or paying a groomer to take care of Fifi. After all, what's in a bath? You soak Fifi down, shampoo her, and rinse her off, right? If that is all there is to it, why is it that she always looks and smells better when you bring her home from the groomer? The simple fact is they have access to professional shampoos and conditioners and years of training and experience. But it's not impossible to up your grooming game to the professional level. With enough practice and making the right selection when it comes to tools, your grooming prowess can be just as formidable. 

Dog's Perspective

If Fifi is like most dogs, she probably doesn’t care who gives her a bath or if she even gets one at all. But keeping her clean is a very important part of her overall health. The good news is that you can buy professional quality shampoos, conditioners, and care products online and from your vet. These can all help to up the quality of your grooming routine and ensure that Fifi is the talk of the town once she's gone through a professional-quality groom. 

The Basic Pro Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Dryer
Step
1
The right water
Start with warm water under medium pressure and soak Fifi from her neck down. You can use a cup or pitcher for this, or a detachable shower head which may provide better coverage.
Step
2
First wash
Using a professional quality shampoo, scrub every inch of Fifi's fur, including her paws. Rinse thoroughly to remove as much of the shampoo as you can. Take your time with this process, as you'll want the shampoo to really get the fur clean.
Step
3
Second wash
Once again, shampoo and scrub every inch of Fifi and rinse thoroughly to remove ALL traces of the shampoo. Use a washcloth with a small amount of shampoo to wash her face, ears, and muzzle. Wipe the shampoo off using a wet washcloth.
Step
4
Condition
Professional groomers use a scented pet-safe conditioner and work it into Fifi's coat. Let it sit for a minute and then rinse the conditioner out. You may choose which scent you'd like to use, as long as it is pet-safe.
Step
5
Dry
Finally, using a blow dryer set on warm or cold (never hot) and blow dry her coat. This stops that 'wet dog' smell. If you want her to smell just like she came home from the groomer, spritz her with a little bit of 'doggy perfume' which you can also purchase in a variety of scents.
Recommend grooming method?

The Full Monte Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Nail Clipper
Nail File
Toothbrush
Step
1
Start with a bath
Using a deodorizing shampoo designed for dogs, give Fifi a bath from top to bottom. Be sure you scrub those 'stinky spots' like around her privates, her under legs and around her muzzle where food waste, saliva, and other smelly items collect.
Step
2
Go for the details
Using a combination of cotton swabs and cotton balls, you need to clean Fifi's eyes and ears. Both of these areas tend to attract odor-causing bacteria. Use cotton balls soaked in water to clean her eyes and cotton swabs soaked in pet-safe ear cleaner to clean her ears as it will loosen and remove any gunk while at the same time killing bacteria.
Step
3
Nails and paws
Make sure you scrub Fifi's feet carefully, trim the hair between her pads and toes. Then trim and file her nails. You may want to find someone to help keep her distracted or still if she doesn't enjoy having her paws touched.
Step
4
Doggy breath
Another very important part of bathing Fifi is taking care of her teeth and mouth. Using a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste, scrub his teeth and gums. Make sure you get the inside and outside of her teeth and those molars way in the back.
Step
5
The finishing touch
If you want Fifi to smell just like she does when she comes home from the groomer, you need a doggy spray cologne. While relatively inexpensive, this is the final touch almost all professional groomers use. Feel free to choose your own scent, as long as it is pet-safe.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never use any products on your dog that are intended for human use. They often contain ingredients that can be harmful to Fifi. Dog-safe shampoos and conditioners come in a variety of scents for you to explore instead.
  • Keep the water tepid for bathing. This is about the same temperature you would use to bathe a baby. It should be not too hot and not too cold.
  • Have styptic powder or cornstarch on hand if you are going to trim her nails, just in case you cut into the quick of the nail. Some people prefer to use dremels to slowly whittle down the nail instead of cutting it entirely. 
  • Make sure you rinse the shampoo completely out of Fifi's hair as the residue can cause skin irritation. It may take a few rinses just to be sure that all of the shampoo is removed.
  • Keep the blow dryer temperature set on low or cold. It should never be set on hot, as this can quickly burn Fifi's skin and cause injury or burns that must be treated by a veterinarian.

Conclusion

There really aren't many differences in how professional groomers bathe dogs and how most of us do it at home. The big thing to keep in mind is that they use professional grade products, are very thorough and clean everywhere including ears, teeth, privates, and anywhere else that tend to cause odors. Oh, and don't forget that spritz of Fifi's favorite perfume! This can really put the final touch on a good quality groom. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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