Trimming your dog’s hair at home might seem like an intimidating task, but with the right guidance, it is achievable. Apart from saving money on canine grooming visits, cutting your dog’s hair at home can be an excellent way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
While there may be a learning curve at the beginning, once you master the basic techniques, you will be well-equipped to keep your dog’s coat clean and well-maintained throughout the year. In this article, we will explain how to cut your dog’s hair step by step so you can do it at home, the necessary products and tools, and useful tips to ensure success in this endeavor.
- How to cut my dog's hair at home?
- Final Touches:
- Using a Clipper
- Combining Clipper and Scissors:
- Grooming Tables
How to cut my dog’s hair at home?
Although some dog breeds have more complicated coats that require the expertise of a professional groomer, many others can be easily maintained at home. Some of these breeds include the Poodle, Bichon Frise, Maltese, West Highland Terrier, Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire, and other breeds with short and easy-to-maintain coats. In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to cut your dog’s hair at home and provide helpful tips to ensure your pet looks their best.
Step 1: Gathering Hair Cutting Materials
Before you start cutting the hair, it’s essential to make sure you have the right tools. You’ll need a pair of grooming scissors, a clipper, a dog brush, a comb, and, if you prefer, a dog grooming table for added comfort. It’s also important to choose a well-lit and quiet location where your dog feels comfortable and secure. If your dog becomes uncomfortable or anxious during the process, take a break. It’s always best to proceed slowly and patiently to keep the dog at ease.
Step 2: Brushing the Hair
With your dog’s hair clean and dry, brush the entire coat before cutting to untangle any knots and facilitate the cutting process. Start by brushing in the direction of hair growth and then against it to lift the hair and remove any knots that may have been missed.
Scissors and brushes to cut your dog’s hair
It is essential to have a set of scissors, comb and brush, not only to cut your dog’s hair but also for occasional grooming. Brushing is very important to keep your dog’s coat healthy, shiny and clean, and the scissors to cut some hair or tuft that we see that we have left over.
Step 3: Trimming the Face
Begin by trimming the facial hair. Use grooming scissors to cut the hair around the eyes, ears, and nose. You can also use clippers with small heads, as we will show you later. Keep the scissors at a flat angle to avoid cutting the dog’s skin and make slow, gentle movements. Use the comb as a guide and protection. Ensure careful trimming to avoid injuring the dog. Combine straight and curved scissors to achieve the desired shape.
Step 4: Body Haircut
Once you’ve finished with the face, you can move on to cutting the hair on the dog’s body. Use the scissors to cut the hair in the direction of hair growth. Work in small sections and cut gradually to avoid cutting too much. Always keep your fingers out of the scissors’ path to prevent accidental cuts. Make sure the dog remains comfortable and relaxed throughout.
Step 5: Shaving the Anal Area
It’s important to shave the area around the dog’s anus to prevent the accumulation of dirt and feces in the hair. Use a dog clipper or shaver and make slow, gentle movements to avoid injuring the dog.
After you have finished cutting and shaving the hair, run the comb through the coat to ensure there are no uneven areas and to remove any loose hair. Finally, you can use a dryer to eliminate any remaining cut hair and brush for a polished finish.
If your dog feels uncomfortable or anxious during the process, stop and give them a break. It’s always best to proceed slowly and patiently to ensure the dog is comfortable throughout the process.
Using a Clipper
If you prefer to use a clipper instead of grooming scissors, you can do so by following these steps:
- Prepare the clipper: Ensure you are using the appropriate head for the area you are cutting and select the desired cutting length. It’s also recommended to have clipper lubricating oil on hand if necessary.
- Trim the dog’s facial hair: Start by shaving around the eyes, ears, and nose using a smaller blade for these areas to avoid injuring the dog. Make slow, gentle movements in the direction of hair growth.
- Shave the dog’s body: Use a larger blade to shave the dog’s body in the direction of hair growth. Work in small sections to avoid cutting too much. Be cautious not to injure the dog.
- Trimming the anus area: use a smaller blade to shave this area of the dog in the direction of hair growth.
- Perform any necessary finishing touches using scissors.
Clipper and Shaver Options for Dogs:
Although cutting with scissors is possible, using a clipper can make the job easier, especially in delicate areas, thanks to their adjustable cutting lengths and various blade options. We’ve highlighted three models, including two clippers and one trimmer, which can be a valuable tool if you decide to cut your dog’s hair at home.
Remember that, as with grooming scissors, it’s important to work with patience and care to avoid injuring the dog. If you don’t feel comfortable using a clipper at home, you can always turn to a professional canine groomer for assistance.
Combining Clipper and Scissors:
Combining the use of a clipper for some areas and straight and curved scissors for shaping is ideal when cutting your dog’s hair properly. Each tool has its advantages and disadvantages. Clippers are excellent for quickly and efficiently trimming large areas, like the dog’s body. However, clippers cannot cut hair to different lengths or provide a specific shape. On the other hand, the small heads of the clippers are perfect for trimming hair in areas like the paws.
Straight and curved scissors, on the other hand, are excellent for giving shape and texture to the haircut, as they allow you to cut hair to different lengths and angles. They are perfect for trimming more delicate areas like the face, which require varying lengths. However, using scissors can be slower and requires more skill and dexterity to achieve the desired results.
Combining both tools allows you to leverage the advantages of each while minimizing the disadvantages. Using the clipper to trim long hair and then using scissors to shape and texture the cut is an effective way to achieve a professionally quality haircut for your dog from the comfort of your home.
Have you ever considered investing in a grooming table for cutting your dog’s hair at home? It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but in the long run, a grooming table can be an investment that saves you time, money, and backaches.
Think about all the money you spend on monthly visits to the canine groomer. Now, imagine how much money you can save. Additionally, if you suffer from back pain after standing for extended periods, a grooming table can be an ideal solution. You can adjust the table’s height to your needs and maintain a more comfortable posture while caring for your dog. So why not invest in a grooming table and make grooming your dog’s coat easier and more cost-effective?
And that’s it! I hope these steps have helped you learn how to cut your dog’s hair at home and the necessary tools. Remember that it’s important to do this with care and patience, and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you can always turn to a professional canine groomer. We’ve also prepared another article that discusses different haircuts for the Shih Tzu breed. Enjoy!