Visiting the groomer every month can be expensive which has many pet parents wondering how to give a dog a haircut at home. Cutting your dog’s hair takes patience, time, and care. The most important thing you need is good tools such as high-quality dog hair clippers.
These special clippers are specifically designed with dogs in mind. Many of them have special features such as low vibration and sound levels to help nervous dogs stay calm during their grooming session.
Safety features are also popular on dog clippers because they give beginners the chance to safely give their dog a haircut and perfect their grooming skills each time.
It’s important to invest in high-quality dog clippers because using human hair clippers is not recommended. Dogs have thick coats with coarse or curly hair that human clippers will have a difficult time cutting properly. The thick coat can also damage human hair clippers.
You will also need a few other tools such as a slicker brush, pin brush, comb, and scissors to give your dog a haircut at home successfully.
You can safely give your dog a haircut at home when you follow the guide below.
How to Give a Dog a Haircut
1. Create a Calming Environment
Dogs are often nervous when they get their haircut. Creating a soothing environment helps the overall process of grooming your pet. Designate a small area in the house or outdoors to grooming your pet. Put soothing classical music on and keep a few tasty treats nearby to reward your dog for their good behavior as they go along. If your dog has a favorite toy, let them hold it in their mouth during their haircut to make them feel more comfortable.
2. Detangle Knots
Use a slicker brush, pin brush, and comb to detangle knots and mats. It’s best to go along in sections to make sure all the knots are detangled. You can make this process easier by brushing your dog regularly in between grooming sessions.
3. Cut Mats
Dogs often get thick mats in their hair that a brush or comb can’t detangle. If this is the case for your dog, use the scissors to cut the mats as close to the skin as possible.
Mats that are very thick and large need to be cut in stages. Such as starting at the tip of the mat located furthest away from your dog’s skin, then working your way down towards the skin in sections.
4. Prepare the Dog Clipper
Dog clippers often come with attachments and safety features. Read the instructions about the blade, clips, and special features carefully to ensure the clipper is safely ready for the hair cut.
5. Start Shaving
Once your dog’s hair is all brushed out, detangled and the mats are cut off, it’s time to start shaving. It’s best to start at the shoulder blades along the back towards the tail. Use slow gliding movements and continue to work towards the sides, belly, and chest. Then carefully glide down the legs towards the paw.
6. Trim the Hair Between the Toes
Many dog breeds have long hair between their toes. Gently pull the fur upward and snip it with the scissors. Try to cut the hair as short as possible. Dogs have sensitive paws so beware of your dog pulling their paw away. Only use the scissors if your dog is comfortable and calm otherwise it’s best to use the hair clippers.
7. Groom the Face
At this stage, most of your dog’s hair has been shaved or cut. Now it’s time to focus on their neck and face area. Use the clippers to gently groom around the neck area. If your dog has long hair on their face, use scissors to trim the hair. Be careful not to puncture your dog’s eyes during this process. Hold your dog’s head still while you trim. Asking someone to hold your dog’s head still is recommended for safety reasons.
8. Spruce Up Any Uneven Areas
After you finish grooming all areas of the body, check for areas of uneven hair or straggles left behind. Carefully trim or clip the area to make it blend in with the length of the rest of the fur.
9. Check for Skin Problems
Freshly shaven short hair allows you the chance to search your dog’s body for skin problems such as hot spots, flea bites, ticks, rashes, and infections. If you find any skin problems, consult with a veterinarian for treatment options.
10. Reward Your Dog
Getting a haircut is a big deal for most dogs. From their point of view, they have this weird buzzer taking off their beloved hair and it can be surprising for dogs to see and feel it happen. Reward your dog with small treats along the way to encourage them to stay still and remain calm during the grooming process. You can offer a big reward at the end such as allowing them to run around outdoors in the yard to show off their fresh clean haircut and get used to the feeling of having less hair.
Dogs that suffer from high anxiety will sometimes shake during grooming sessions. Always use your best judgment when grooming your dog. If your dog is too nervous, stop the grooming session and let them calm down for a while then try again later.
If you have a high-energy dog, take them for a walk, run or bring them to the dog park to play. Allow them to run off their energy before their haircut so they feel calm and tired. This will help them relax and lower the risk of jumping around during the grooming session.
Nervous dogs are also at risk of surging with energy during their grooming session, walking them beforehand is recommended.
You will gain confidence as you continue to cut your dog’s hair on a regular basis. Remember to always use dog hair clippers and read the directions carefully to prevent injury to you or your dog. Start saving money at the groomers by cutting your dog’s hair at home today! Visit the PetStruggles homepage for more expert information & advice.