You hoomans may not be able to cut your own hair with ease, but there’s no reason why you can’t do ours.
Tooth is, we need to be bathed, brushed, and groomed, just like you do. (Though not quite as often.) So, before you start grooming us, we thought we’d get the Kazoo Krew to help you scrub up on some basic grooming techniques.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
KICKING UP A STINK:
The first step (and the worst step) in the grooming process is the bath. This removes all dirt and means that if you're going to be clipping, the clippers will run through the fur with ease.
I think I speak for most pooches here when I say getting washed sux. When I hear the dreaded words “bath time” I run for the hills.
What is it with you hoomans and cleanliness? Pawsonally, I think nothing beats the smell of fox poo or a long-dead animal.
But for some reason, mum doesn’t seem to agree. She reckons washing me is really important. Not just to remove the stinky smell, but to get rid of accumulated dirt, loose hair, scale and debris. Oh, and apparently it makes my fur nice and shiny, too.
I must admit though, if the water is the right temp, (not too hot, not too cold) and mum/dad is massaging the gentle shampoo into my skin, it isn’t too bad. I wouldn’t say I like paw se, but it is bearable.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU WASH ME?
Never’s good in my opinion, but failing that, the basic rule of paw is ruffly once a month. But obviously every dog has different coats and that means some need to be washed more than others.
Dogs with oily coats, like Basset Hounds, may need bathing as often as once a week.
Breeds with water-repellent coats, like Golden Retrievers should be bathed less to preserve their coat’s natural oils.
Dogs with thick, double coats, such as Border Collies do best with fewer baths and a lot of extra brushing.
If your dog has a skin condition, your vet can give you advice on how much bathing is right for your dog.
BRUSHING UP ON YOUR GROOMING:
O.k. Now that unpleasantness is out the way, let’s get down to the grooming.
Before you start, make sure I’m nice and dry. You can do this using towels or a hairdryer. (Just make sure it’s not on hot as my skin is very sensitive and burns easily.)
When you’ve got me dry as a bone, it’s time for some brush and comb action.
Regular brushing helps keep my coat in good condition, removes loose hair and prevents mats/knots. It also helps to distribute natural skin oils which makes my coat all nice and shiny.
If done right, (with gentle strokes and a brush that’s not too hard,) brushing is very soothing and pleasurable for me and you. If done wrong, well, let’s just say fur will fly!!!
I always prefur to stand up when I’m being groomed. That way it’s easier for mum or dad to reach all the tricky areas.
Just remember, you’re going to be brushing out dead hair and knots. So, brushing me on the couch or the bed is probably going to lead to a rather furry blanket on the furrniture!
BRUSHING UP ON DESHEDDING
Dogs hair grows in cycles, it's a natural process whereby old hair falls out to make way for new coat growth. We do it year round, but it really ramps up in spring and autumn as we prepare for the warmer months.
All dogs shed to some degree, but some of us are simply much better at it. How much we shed depends on our breed, age, hormones, environment and overall health. We can even shed more when we're stressed, excited or anxious. Pass the treats!
Breeds with heavy thick coats or double coats need to be deshed.
Deshedding your dog at minimum once a month (more so if your dog is prone to shedding) will prevent dead hairs from forming mats on your dog’s coat, that can eventually harm the skin. It will also help keep the furniture and clothes fuzz-free.
TIME FOR A TRIM? LET'S CUT TO IT:
So it's time for a trim. You've heard the saying "there's many ways to skin a cat" right? Well the same goes for dogs, no skinning though, we're just talking about grooming here... The first thing is to decide if you are going to use scissors or clippers or both.
Deciding on clippers or scissors will depend on:
- the length of my coat
- if there is matting then it is a good idea to use clippers to cut it out
- and most importantly it's worth checking if your dog's coat is suitable for clipping.
SO, we're going for the clip. Let's get started!
TIP 1 - USE A PIC:
Here’s a good tip. Before you start going all Edward Scissorhands on me, check out a picture of what I should look like after you’ve finished creating. You don’t want your Collie ending up looking like a Poodle.
TIP 2 - BRUSH UP ON YOUR KNOWLEDGE:
Before even thinking about starting to clip, make sure that the coat is washed, dry and brushed out. This will prevent debris from getting in the clipper blades and also stop the clippers from getting snagged unnecessarily.
Whilst you're brushing your dog, look at the direction of the hair growth in different areas. See where the hair is thickest, where it’s going to be tricky to cut, and where there are obstacles to avoid.
TIP 3 - Prior Preparation Prevents Panicky Pooch Pain.
Those are the 6 ps.
Clippers/shavers can be a bit scary if we are not used to them. Give us have a good sniff of the clippers, let us hear them turned on so we get familiar with their noise and give us treats and lots of pats too. This will help us to feel comfortable with them before you begin cutting.
Also, make sure you are confident in the tools you are using. And make sure I’m confident in you using them. If you can, try and have a practice run before you start on me. Remember, practice makes pawfect!
Here’s a few other tips to shave you from ending up with a panicky pooch.
Ensure you choose quiet clippers like the Kazoo range. I don’t want to get scared and lose my whiskers with a sudden head movement.
Please don’t pull my hair. Keeping your clippers sharp means they can and well maintained with oil will ensure they can slice through hair without tugging at my skin. This is particularly important around my head, ears and uhhh, well, you know, down there.
Do it the right way. Clip with the growth of my hair for a smooth, natural looking coat. Dog fur can change directions at different parts of the body. Because of this, cutting in the right direction can take some time.
Go Slow. While trimming my fur, don’t push the clipper too fast. Otherwise, it will end up leaving lines like a lawnmower does on grass.
Work With me: Shaving can be kinda stressful for me. So, it’s a good idea if you hold my head to stop me making sudden movements. Start shaving from my neck to the back leg, then do the other side. Remember not to miss any bits.
Make sure the clippers don’t get too hot. You can burn my skin with hot clippers, so get into the practice of turning them off regularly and touching them to test the temperature. If they are hot, let ‘em cool a bit before continuing.
Start early. If you have a puppy, don’t wait to start grooming. The earlier you can get them used to the process, the more likely they are to be better behaved, helping you to avoid mistakes and injuries. It’s a good idea to give me food treats when you’re cutting my fur (or any other time) so that I associate hair trimming with positive rewards.
Start on larger body parts, then finish on smaller parts. Start at the shoulders, work your way down the body, then the legs. Finally finish with scissors on the paws, face and ears.
When using scissors remember that hoomans with sharp pointy objects and nervous, twitchy pooches are not a good combo. So, always keep the sharp bits pointed away from me. And if you are going near my eyes, ears, or, ah nether regions, please use safety scissors with round ends.
Some bits that may need regular trimming include:
- Around the eyes if hair is starting to obscure vision or cause irritation
- Hair around the butt which is trapping poo. Yeah I know, crappy job, right? But hey, that’s what pawrents do.
- Hair around my chin and lower jaw that can trap food.
- Areas where grass seeds and burrs get trapped in my fur.
- Areas where there are hair mats and tangles.
And don't forget our manipedi...
So, there you have it. The Komplete Kazoo guide to grooming your dog at home. We hope it's given you hoomans a little more confidence with bringing you grooming skills up to scratch.
We'd love to see your before and after pictures. Show us how you've used Kazoo tools to make your pooch look a little more houndsome.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on your socials @kazoopet