Dog grooming isn’t cheap! If you just got your first puppy and already love it to death, you’ll probably be a dog owner for life. Taking care of your dogs is the same as taking care of family. You’ll always want to do good by them. It’s not necessarily true that you need to spend a ton of money to get the best care, though. There are many ways you can groom your dog to maintain its health while saving you a pretty penny.

Not sure where to start? Check out these dog grooming tips!

1. Read the manual

If you don’t own a manual specific to your dog’s breed, you may want to. It’s a great way for new and old dog owners alike to get to know what makes their companions so special.

Every dog is different. They have different behaviors, physical characteristics, and susceptibilities to health conditions. Pugs, Frenchies, and bulldogs, for example, all have face wrinkles. While they are one of their most endearing features, these folds also cause problems when not cleaned and dried properly. Having bacteria fester on your face isn’t a pleasant experience! But, this condition doesn’t exist for dogs like the golden retriever or beagle. So if you were relying on general dog grooming tips, you may have overlooked this very important tip!

brush your dog's coat yourself as a dog owner

2. Brush the coat

If you’re supposed to brush your dog’s coat one a week to get rid of tangles and debris, do it! Especially when it comes to heavy shedders like Chow Chows, brushing them will prevent a surplus of hair all over the house. Tangle-free hair also means no painful mats. Mats are dense knots of hair that progressively tighten closer to the skin. The constant pulling of the hair can cause skin irritation or worse, infection! If you discover a skin condition or anomaly when brushing the coat or breaking a mat, take your dog to the vet.

But not all dogs require brushing. If you have a Bergamasco Shepherd, you have one of the lowest maintenance dogs out there! With its famous matted flocks, they only need to be bathed 1-2 times a year and don’t need to be brushed at all. The only time you need to give their coat extra attention is while it sheds it puppy hair and grows in its adult coat.

3. Use cornstarch

Ah, cornstarch… the multi-purpose power product that’s a savior for dog owners and professional groomers alike! Did you know you can treat tangles and cuts with cornstarch? When you bathe a dog with mats, the mats only grow tighter around the skin. The water actually makes it worse! Meanwhile, cornstarch helps loosen tangles before hair brushing.

This floury substance is also great for deodorizing your pet. You know the doggy smell—it’s distinct and unavoidable with most breeds. But when you have a particularly strong smelling doggo, they might need some help smelling fresh again. Cornstarch is a particularly effective dry bath. This non-toxic budget product absorbs excess oil and soothes itchiness when applied to the surface of the skin (going beneath the fur).

Granted, cornstarch isn’t a fix-all. Foul body odor is usually a symptom of an infection. If the scent persists, it’s time to visit the vet!

4. Brush their teeth

Speaking of a smelly odor, when a dog’s breath smells, you’ll want to pay attention, too! Yes, some parsley here and there can freshen up your dog’s breath. But the best way to tackle bad breath is to go to the source! Brushing your dog’s teeth keeps its pearly whites clean and prevents tooth decay.

Use a soft toothbrush and special toothpaste made just for dogs. Human toothpaste is not suitable for them. Even we aren’t supposed to swallow Colgate or Crest toothpaste! And it’s even worse our dogs who will swallow it since they don’t know to spit it out. Remember to get your toothpaste in an enticing flavor…. Pork and poultry? Yes, please!

Sometimes a dog may be guarded when it comes to its mouth. If your dog is wary of having its teeth brushed regularly, it’s not the end of the world! Many chew toys in the market nowadays can help clean teeth as well.

5. Avoid fancy-schmancy grooming products

You don’t need the therapeutic lavender-chamomile shampoo for every bath. We’re not saying to spring for the bottom-of-the-barrel cheap stuff—some cheap products are disastrous for pups with sensitive skin. But you also don’t need to go ultra-fancy.

We all need some pampering from time to time. But when you start bringing your Maltese in bi-weekly grooming appointments when they aren’t necessary… well, some self-reflection is needed. Especially when you’re spending a fortune and making your wallet cry!

6. The ultimate money-saving tip:

If you want to save money on grooming appointments, you could forgo visiting a groomer altogether… and become one yourself! Not every person who takes a professional dog grooming course wants to become a certified pet groomer. Some people take it as a hobbyist and others just want to groom their own dogs.

When a grooming appointment ranges from $45-$90 depending on where you live, the services you need, and the size and cost type of your dog, it adds up! And if you’re like the Queen who only owns Corgis, you can see massive savings as a pet owner.

A professional course isn’t free. But, in the long run, it’s better to get professionally educated. This way, you know for certain that you’re following established standards. A couple thousand dollars at the start is only a drop in the ocean when you consider the accumulative expenses over the course of its lifetime. You’ll be spending money in the tens of thousands once you factor in food, accessories, and vet appointments on top of grooming costs.

7. Dog grooming kit discounts

This isn’t so much of a grooming tip than it is a secret to saving money! Did you know that when you enroll with a reputation dog grooming school that you’ll receive some seriously steep discounts? This is on top of receiving the free dog grooming kit with your fundamental tools.

If you plan on just grooming your dog, you won’t need a clipper made from the world’s toughest steel. These tools are meant for heavy-duty use, and their prices reflect it! Obviously, get a good clipper/scissor and sharpen it when needed. Badly constructed products won’t last and dull clipper blades could snag onto your dog’s coat causing serious injury! For good quality tools, hit up online retailers. These products are cheaper, you can read testimonials, and they’re of good quality.

Any other money-saving dog grooming tips? Leave a comment!

What if your dog isn’t a purebred? Here’s how to groom a mixed-breed dog without a manual!

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Nadine Brideau says:

    Can we take this grooming court in french?

    • Celina Feng says:

      Hi Nadine! Unfortunately, our classes are only offered in English. Best of luck in your search for a course that suits your needs! 🙂 – Celina, QC Pet Studies

  • Jim Fox says:

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    your post has made all of us to save all of our money. Your ideas really answered all our problems. In fact, over what we had acknowledged prior to when we came across your excellent blog. We no longer have doubts and a troubled mind because you have clearly attended to
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  • Brooklyn Johnson says:

    I like how you mentioned that you can treat your dog’s tangles and cuts with cornstarch. I just bought my first dog, and want to make sure I keep him well groomed, but don’t know how. I will definitely keep your tips and information in mind so I can properly take care of my dog and his fur.

  • Dennis Sanchez says:

    I appreciate that you explained that it is important to brush a dog regularly to reduce the amount of fur that they will shed. My sister recently adopted a dog that sheds a lot, and she is always complaining about the amount of fur in her house. Even if she doesn’t want to brush the dog regularly, I bet taking the dog to a salon frequently would be a good idea.

  • Jarom Linton says:

    I really appreciate your tip to use cornstarch before anything else to loosen up the hairs. My dog has really messy hair sometimes and we need to get it trimmed back soon. I’ll find a groomer nearby that is able to get this haircut done in a professional manner.

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