How To Groom A Dog And Find The Best Dog Grooming Kit

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

Dog being groomed

Getting your dog professionally groomed can be expensive, costing upwards of $100 every couple of months. That’s cutting a big chunk of change out of your wallet. Why not turn your home into a doggy salon?

Article Overview

Can At-Home Grooming Be Dangerous?

Brushing and bathing are perfectly safe at-home activities to share with your dog. However, there are risks associated with trimming a dog’s coat, especially if you are untrained.

Risks Of Trimming Your Dog’s Coat

  • You could accidentally cut your dog, causing pain to them.
  • Not to mention, you could make them look utterly ridiculous, making it difficult for a professional groomer to fix your errors.

A professional dog groomer has experience and patience with dogs that cannot be recreated by the average pet parent. But, if you are still interested in doing some in-home touchups, below are some how-to details.

9 Steps To Groom A Dog With Scissors At Home

The first thing to remember is to be patient. Trimming your dog’s coat may take some time depending on your dog’s breed, size and squirminess. You also need to understand the risks to your dog’s health and good looks.

We recommend starting with small cuts because after hair is cut off, it’s off for good. Don’t begin cutting off inches of hair unless you’re experienced at grooming your dog.

Step 1

Place your dog on your kitchen table or counter so they are at a comfortable height for you. Depending on how squirmy your dog is, you may want a second pair of hands to help keep your dog calm and in place.

Step 2

Brush your dog’s coat to remove any excess fur and mats.

Step 3

Start on your dog’s back and comb the hair up and backward, so you can see where it is uneven. Use your fingers to hold the hair up and cut just above your fingers to even the ends. Repeat this process until all of the hair is even and it is the desired length on your dog’s back.

Step 4

Work your way down your dog’s back to the base of the tail and down each side. Repeat step 3 but in these locations until all hair is even and at the desired length.

Step 5

Backcomb your dog’s legs and cut the hair to the shape of the leg. The leg should be trimmed evenly and the paw area should have a rounded look.

Step 6

Hold the tip of the tail up and make sure the hair is hanging equally on each side. Trim the hair evenly across but be careful not to cut the tail itself.

Step 7

Your dog’s head should have a rounded look. Start at the top of the head and comb the hair up and cut above your fingers. Work from one ear to the other and then towards the back of the head and up towards the top of the eyes.

Around the eye area, you’ll want to use rounded tip scissors. Once you’re finished with the head, comb the hair down and clip each side to form a half moon shape. Cut under the chin in an even line until both sides are connected.

Step 8

Comb the ear hair down and hold the ear at its point. Trim the hair to the shape of the ear and be careful not to cut the skin. After you’ve done both ears, stand back and make sure the ears, head and body are of symmetrical shape and length.

Step 9

Finish by brushing your dog’s coat again and look for any unevenness or mats.

Video Of Grooming A Dog With Scissors

Not only does this video show you exactly what we’ve explained in the steps above, but it is also super satisfying to watch. The before and after is completely different!

How To Groom A Dog With Matted Hair

Check your dog’s front shoulders, ears, paws, belly, tail and just all over for mats. Use detangling spray on mats that may be salvageable. Shave any remaining mats off your dog before bathing them. Bathing a dog with mats makes the matting worse. After the dog is bathed and dry, you can then proceed with the grooming steps above. Read our full guide on removing matted hair.

7 At-Home Dog Grooming Tips

  1. Check for ticks or fleas when brushing your dog
  2. We recommend weekly brushing for short coats (mostly to decrease shedding)
  3. Long coats may require daily brushing to prevent matting
  4. Bathe your dog regularly (read our dog bathing tips to find out how often your dog needs a bath)
  5. Your dog’s hair should be dry when cutting it
  6. Use the proper equipment
  7. Put cornstarch on mats and tangles to help loosen the fur (we haven’t tried this ourselves, but read about it online)

Find A Dog Groomer Nearby

If you’re short on time and don’t want to groom your dog yourself (or you don’t feel confident in your skills), download the Groomit app (available on iOS and Android). Groomit connects you with certified pet groomers in your area.

Anyone who uses Groomit is protected by premium insurance. The grooming takes place in your home, so your dog is less stressed and more comfortable in the environment. The groomer cleans up afterwards, so you can’t even tell they were there.

The following services are available through Groomit:

  1. Bathing
  2. Nail trimming
  3. Nail painting
  4. Fur dematting
  5. Haircutting

You can save $25 with Groomit if you use this link and promo code: CWQKYJ.

B074FXCL4P[/asa2]. The clippers are quiet, so hopefully, they won’t scare your pup too bad. The trimmer comes with a 2-year warranty and it is cordless, so it’s easier to use for grooming.

The only thing not included in this kit is a dog shedding brush, but we’ve got you covered. Read our review of the Best Dog Shedding Brush to find the right one for your dog’s coat.

If you don’t need a full kit and only need certain supplies, here are our recommendations:

Once your dog is groomed and looking great, you will probably be ready to clean up your home with a pet-hair approved vacuum.

Save Money & Bathe Your Dog Yourself

I choose to groom my dog at home myself (with the help of my husband). Our dog doesn’t need her hair cut, but she does need regular baths. It would cost us $75 to have her groomed in our area. I’d rather save that $75 and spend the 15 minutes washing her in the tub or outside (if it’s nice).

I realize this may not be feasible for everyone depending on the size of your dog and the space in your home. So, if you can budget for your dog to be groomed professionally, more power to you!

If you’re like me and want to save money on bathing your dog, read our dog bathing tips. It includes information on how often you should bathe your dog as well as what supplies you should have on hand.

What dog grooming tips do you have to share?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

Leave a Reply

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Groom mother time
Articles like this make my job more difficult because then we get these poor dogs in with haircuts we cannot fix then client gets upset because the article leads the public to believe that anyone can groom. That it requires patience only. Wrong. It’s a skill and talent. You either got it or you don’t. Personally I think this article endangers dogs because I wonder how many ears, moles, skin tags, flanks, knuckles, armpits, and genitals will be cut open or off by people who believe patience is all that’s needed to get the job done. Dangerous advise if you ask me. But I’m only a professional with 14 years seeing these mistakes…. what do I know….
Taylor Anderson
I like how you mentioned that one can use apps and the internet to find a groomer if they aren’t confident in their skills. One of my friends has a very big dog, so I think it may be easier on him to get his dog groomed. These tips could really help him out, so thank you for sharing them.
Thanks for this, my dog is in desperate need of a dog day. Do you have any more tips on how to relax a dog? There has been construction near our home that has been bugging him. I will make sure to cut my dog’s head hair with a rounded look, like you said!
Heidi Bookenstock
I’m a first-time dog owner, and I really wasn’t sure what was expected in terms of grooming. I had no idea that there were grooming kits for dogs, I’m so glad I read this article, now I’ll purchase one! It had also never occurred to me to got to a professional for services or advice, which is such a good idea and something I should probably do.