8 Easy Tips For Dog Grooming At Home for Pet Parents

8 Easy Tips For Dog Grooming At Home for Pet Parents

During the pandemic, there was a major increase in the amount of dogs being groomed at home, instead of at their usual spa or salon. Location closures, social distancing, and an overall nationwide groomer shortage affected the way that many dogs received their regularly scheduled spa days. While it may be more challenging to groom a dog at home, it definitely is more cost-efficient (and worth a pat on the back!)
Grooming your dog is something that not every pet parent is experienced with doing. Grooming is MORE than just washing your dog. Just as with humans, hygiene is a very important part of helping your dog live their best and longest life. Grooming is a broad term that refers to various techniques and practices. We've got you covered if you want to learn more about this and how to prepare for it. Don't worry, and we'll be there to help you every step of the way!

Let’s explore 8 useful tips for grooming and bathing your dog from home!

1. Choosing the Right Products

We all know that a well-groomed pup will look and feel great from the inside out. But bathing them from time to time is simply not enough. It’s always best to use appropriate dog shampoo and conditioner to groom your dog, whether at the salon or at home. There are many options available in the market, such as allergy & itch relief, anti-fungal, anti-dandruff, and deshedding shampoos.

pet owner pointing at dog's nose

The bountiful options make it quite overwhelming for dog parents to purchase the right product for their pets. Bathing your pup regularly will keep its coat shiny and make them look clean, healthy, and fresh. There are many dust mites, dead cells, excess oils, fleas, and substances on your dog's coat that can cause allergies. Proper grooming helps get rid of all this and keep your puppy safe and healthy.

Searching for dog shampoo and conditioner that is tailored to per your pet's coat needs is imperative. There is no need to buy trendy and/or advertised options. You need to find one that suits your pooch and provides the best results! It will help enhance the beauty of your dog's coat, ease the grooming process, and most importantly, keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Read more to learn how to choose best dog shampoo

curly haired dog taking shower with dog shampoo & conditioner

Be sure to choose the shampoo as per specific needs of your dog's coat. Pets have varying needs when it comes to pet hygiene throughout their lives. Essential pet hygiene products include dog conditioner and dog shampoo. Shampoos can remove dirt from coats and nails while providing healing properties to your dog’s coat and skin. Conditioners can detangle hair, restore a natural sheen to coats and extend the life of a groom which means less grooming for you!

It is important to note that basic hygiene shampoos will not maintain pet wellness for an extended period. Therefore, to ensure the wellness of your dog's coat and skin, you need to invest in hygiene products based on their specific needs. When researching shampoo and conditioner for your dog, look for the best  ingredients such as natural actives and pure essential oils that help gently moisturize the coat and the skin beneath.

2. Select Products Based on Their Skin Condition

A moisturizing shampoo is a way to go if your dog's skin is dry, itchy, or flaky. Instead of scented shampoos, which often include chemicals that irritate the skin, look for shampoos with natural components like oatmeal, honey, and vitamin E. Consult your veterinarian about medicated shampoo and extra therapy if your dog's skin issue worsens, persists, or develops red lumps.

Dog taking shower with the Pride & Groom Shedder Shampoo

A medicated wash for your pooch with itchy or dry skin might be beneficial. Before purchasing this sort of product, consult with your veterinarian because the price may be high, and there is a chance of making the skin issue worse if improper shampoo is used. A medicated shampoo helps reduce irritation, heal, manage, and get rid of fleas and other skin

Many shampoos and conditioners smell very sweet (like cotton candy) or like chemicals. Since our dogs live in our homes and often sleep on our beds, it’s important to smell before you buy! Additionally, numerous shampoos are especially beneficial for dogs prone to odor. Therefore, search for product reviews before making a decision.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should never use shampoo or conditioner meant for people. Human shampoos are meant to remove the natural oils and waxes from our skin, which is less sensitive than a dog's skin. We have made a list of ingredients to avoid that you should check before buying grooming products for your fluffy friend.

  • Artificial Fragrance and Colors

Organ damage, cancer, congenital disabilities, and allergic responses have all been connected to artificial colors made from petroleum. Chemicals used in artificial hues aren't "pure." Many are polluted with waste and are utilized by the maker to improve the product's aesthetic appeal.

Thousands of different components can be used to create the artificial scent, none of which is required by law to be stated on the label. Some synthetic perfumes have been related to cancer and developmental and reproductive harm.

  • Phthalates

The presence of phthalates or similar categories are unlikely to be specified on the label. If you notice the word "fragrance," pthalates are undoubtedly present. They are utilized to keep the aroma from separating from the rest of the chemicals. Phthalates are hormone disruptors, which create problems with the endocrine system.

  • Cocamide-MEA

Cocamide-MEA is a surfactant with a significant risk of contamination from nitrosamines, making it unsuitable for use in cosmetics. Nitrosamines are pollutants in specific environments, such as high temperatures or an acidic pH. (3-5 or lower).

They're a group of compounds that are suspected of being carcinogenic and having reproductive, developmental, and organ system toxic effects.

Nitrosamines can potentially contaminate wastewater. If you believe the nitrosamine indication is too cautious, reconsider.

  • Skin conditioners and moisturizers

Coat and skin conditioners and moisturizers in a “proprietary combination”. "That isn't an ingredient!" you could be thinking. You are correct, those are not related to ingredients! That said, it is regularly featured on the labels of dog shampoos. Do not buy this product if you see this statement. When a company doesn't want you to know what's in the bottle, they say often use words like “propriety” because it sounds exclusive and high-end. Do not be fooled.

  • Paraben preservatives

Preservatives containing parabens are considered "stored" in the body, bringing health dangers such as hormone disturbance, cancer, and reproductive difficulties. They may be labeled as butylparaben, propylparaben, or methylparaben on the container.

  • Mineral oils

Mineral oil in dog shampoo acts as a protective layer over the skin, allowing it to maintain its natural moisture which sounds fantastic! It also prevents the skin from producing natural oils and removing impurities, which isn't ideal.

It's a liquid hydrocarbon combination derived from crude oil and a toxin that can cause allergies. Many articles on the internet recommend putting a drop of mineral oil in your dog's eyes before giving them a wash, claiming that the mineral oil would prevent the eyes from stinging if you get detergent or soap in them. DO NOT DO THIS!!!!! 

Contaminants such as complex hydrocarbons and benzene have only been removed from pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil. Other types of mineral oil aren't entirely free of contaminants.

  • SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

It is a surfactant and emulsifier that may be found in a wide range of goods. SLS is a recognized skin irritant in powder form that can lead to organ system poisoning.

Toxic chemicals from the production process might pollute SLS. It's easily absorbed into the eyes, which can irritate the eyes and harm the proteins in the eyes. SLS has been demonstrated to stay in a person's system (brain, heart, and liver) for 4 to 5 days, even at meager amounts.

Add in the fact that SLS is a recognized penetration booster and the risk of exposing the eyes to potentially harmful compounds, and you have a recipe for disaster if that wasn't enough to scare you away from SLS, the production process known as ethoxylation.

  • Polysorbates

Polysorbates are fragrance ingredients, surfactants, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. This chemical begins as sorbitol, a sugar alcohol often obtained from corn syrup. Ethylene oxide is then used to treat it.

The polysorbate's name has a number attached to it depending on how much ethylene oxide was utilized. For instance, Polysorbate needs equal parts of ethylene oxide to be treated thoroughly. The finished product is contaminated with a recognized carcinogen if the ethylene oxide isn't removed.

Read Also - Dog Wipes 101 - Best dog wet wipes

Ingredients to Look For in Dog Shampoo

Nowadays, many canines suffer from skin allergies and fleas issues. Most vets recommend using dog conditioner and shampoo with all-natural ingredients as artificial ones can irritate their skin more and make the condition worse. Therefore, you can search for the products containing the following ingredients if your dog has a skin condition or sensitive skin.

  • Oatmeal
  • Herbal proteins
  • Citrus extracts
  • Aloe vera

3. Combing & Brushing:

Brushing and combing are essential for long-haired dogs and cats alike. If you can't get to a groomer, you'll have to brush your long-coated dog more frequently to avoid matting. Long-haired dog breeds require more brushing and regularly combing than short-haired dog breeds.

Breeds with double coats, such as the Golden Retriever, Siberian Husky, and Bernese Mountain Dog, are especially susceptible to matting and shedding. For long-haired dog breeds, a smooth metal pin brush should be used to remove dirt, grass, and more.

A rubber curry or a brush should be used instead for short-haired dogs. Then use a comb to complete your grooming routine. If you are going to  bathe your dog, it’s important to brush BEFORE you wash as any remaining knots often transform into mats as soon as the dog gets wet.

Pride+Groom's THE ONLY BRUSH is the only brush you need, that suits long and short haired dogs! Furry dogs are also enjoying it! Check it out

After a bath, it's recommended to trim nails with pet clippers or professional shears rather than scissors, as scissors are more likely to cause an accident.

4. Bathing Your Dog

Bathing your dog may be done in a variety of ways. A washing tub is an excellent option. You can also try hooking a hose to the faucet and extending it out a door or window for larger dogs. Have a mechanism to tie the dog's leash or have a helper hold it, so you don't end up with a wet, drippy, soapy dog. This will save you a lot of hassle and time. It will also allow you to focus on calming and washing your dog as opposed to wrangling it to stay still.

Be sure you have everything you'll need ahead of time.The proper dog shampoo and conditioner, one or two large dry towels (depending on the size of your dog), and, most importantly, some treats!!  You will also need your bush brush and comb if necessary for your dog breed. Use treats to distract, praise and calm your pooch. If you don't have a lot of expertise with dogs of any size, having assistance is always a smart option.

A non-skid mat in the tub will help your dog from sliding on the slippery bottom of the tub. Warm water should be used, but not to the point of streaming out of the faucet as the noise and motion can be scary to a dog. Be careful not to get water in the pet's eyes or ears while washing.

Wet the dog and apply shampoo to the coat, rubbing it well before rinsing. This can be a very pleasurable experience for some dogs. Use it as a time to bond, gently massaging them while also getting them clean. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid hot areas caused by the remaining shampoo. Apply conditioner to seal the shine & smell! 

Dry you dog with microfiber towel, so your pup does not stay dump for long time!

5. Fur Trimming

Be sure to focus on the fur on the back end, the fur beneath the stomach, the feathers on the legs, and the fur on the upper side of the paws while trimming the coat after a bath.

Don't overcut; just enough to give the groomer something to work with until you can take your dog to a salon.

If you haven't done it before, don't try to clip your dog's nails. The dog will bleed if you cut the quick that passes through each nail. Instead, try filing your pet's nails using a nail file.

6. Cleaning The Ears

Check the insides of your dog's ears regularly to ensure they don't become infected, especially if you have a dog with floppy ears like a Cocker Spaniel. An unpleasant odor and your pet scratching his ears and head are signs of an infection. Some dogs are prone to ear infections. A call or visit to the vet may be required.

You'll need an ear cleaner for dogs and sterile gauze or cotton balls to clean the ears. Never use Q-tips since they might harm the eardrum if pushed too far.

Wipe the inside surface of the ear flap with a cleaner on a pad. After that, pour the cleaner into the ear and massage the ear's base. Take a wet pad and carefully press it into the ear, as near the canal as possible, and wipe.

If your pad remains very dirty, repeat the process. If this continues, your dog should consult a veterinarian since he may have an ear infection that requires medication to treat.

7. Be On The Lookout For Dry Skin

If you bathe your dog more regularly, or if your dog has sensitive, itchy, or dry skin, you might want to consider making a homemade dog shampoo to provide some comfort. Itchy and dry coat can be relieved by using components like aloe vera gel or glycerine.

Glycerine is indeed a sugar-based, water-soluble alcohol molecule that is far less common in the home than vinegar or baking soda but is readily available at medicine shops, pharmacies, and online.

The Best DIY Recipe for a Sensitive Skin Treatment Is:: 

  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1 spoon of castile soap
  • 1 spoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar 
  • a third of a cup of glycerine 
  • 1 tbsp aloe vera juice 

Glycerine and aloe vera is used in this mixture to give soothing components for dogs with sensitive or dry skin.

8. Drying Off

You've given your pup a good shampoo and scrub down, and now it's time to get fluffy — well, fluffy and dry. Did you know that there is an art to drying a dog after a bath? For example, some dogs with thick or double coats can develop nasty skin conditions if the fur near their skin remains damp for a lengthy period.

Air Drying:

If you have a dog with a short coat, you could always let it take care of its wet coat the old-fashioned way — a hard shake and a romp around the house. The problem with this method? More than likely, your pup is going to rub its wet dog smell against your furniture or roll on your carpet. Leaving your dog outside to air dry is not recommended, as it's likely that it will end up rolling in the grass or dirt and ruin all of your hard work. Even worse? If a white dog accidentally rolls on freshly mown grass, it could accidentally dye itself green.

Air drying after a bath is also not recommended for dogs with thick, long or double coats — especially if the weather is humid. A damp coat can lead to matting and will provide an ideal environment for skin infections and other conditions such as hot spots.


Drying a dog after a bath with a thick bath towel is a tried-and-true method for ridding a pup's coat of excess moisture. However, many people use towels improperly. For instance, some owners will rub their dog's coat vigorously with one. If your pup has a thick or long coat, though, this method could lead to tangles and mats. Instead, groomers recommend that you press a towel on a wet dog's fur to soak as much water as possible, then repeat until your pet is sufficiently dry. If you're using regular bath towels, you may need to have several on hand, as they will quickly get sodden.

A better way to dry your canine is to use a towel specifically designed for dog drying. A towel that can draw a lot more water AND is resistant to odors. This towel can be easily wrung dry and used over and over again, which means that you won't need multiple bath towels to dry your pup.


A hairdryer can really speed up your pet's drying time. However, it's important to do the following, so you won't accidentally burn your canine:

  • Use your dryer on its lowest setting
  • Keep the nozzle a couple of inches away from your dog's fur
  • Always keep the nozzle in motion to avoid concentrating the heat in one spot on your canine

Introducing your dog to the hairdryer should be done gradually so that it can get used to the noise and sensation of having air blown on its fur. Still, keep in mind that some dogs will never accept the use of a dryer after bath time and will put up an incredible fight to avoid it.

Remember, Pride + Groom has a variety of coat-specific dog shampoos:

Plus, they have a complementary conditioner, that extends the life of the groom by sealing in the amazing smell & ensures long-lasting shine.



PRIDE+GROOM was born because 4 New York City dog lovers wanted the same level of grooming products for their dogs that they themselves enjoyed. They looked (hard) but nothing was up to snuff. Or sniff. Like so many, we love our families and take pride in our homes, and we consider our pets to be integral parts of those entities. That said, we could not find an effective way to coif them that was on par with the way we tended to our children, our homes, or ourselves. These beloved pets are allowed on the furniture and in our beds, and yet even when fresh from the groomer, we knew they did not smell or feel as good as they could.

With the development of our coat-specific shampoos, conditioner and deodorizing spray, we think we found just the way to say thanks for being the best and the sweetest MVP of the house.

PRIDE+GROOM is the first dog grooming brand launched under a beauty platform, with formulas made in a clean beauty and scent lab. We know beauty is not only skin deep. We did a ton of research to create the entire line. Each product is formulated with its own unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world.


Shop our entire line:  www.prideandgroom.com


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Paige Chernick is a Social Media and Communications expert living in NYC. For 10 years, she ran her own consulting company called PaigeKnowsFirst where she managed social content & strategy for many brands, finding her niche within the pet industry.

Paige has been a guest contributor for several publications and featured in articles on her successes with pets and social media. Paige’s rescue dog, Charlie, famously known by her social media handle @puppynamedcharlie, has accumulated hundreds of thousands of fans and made her a successful pet influencer early on in the game. Paige is also one of the Founders of The Pet Summit, a conference in the pet industry for creators and marketers, where she used her experience to create programs and classes to help guide and teach others.

In 2022, Paige became the Social Media Director for PRIDE+GROOM. She is now the Senior Vice President of Communications and remains very immersed in the pet industry on both the corporate side and the influencer side.