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How to Groom Your Dog

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Let’s be honest, as much as we love our dogs, they do some gross things, like roll around in the mud and who knows what else! That’s why it’s important to help them out with some regular grooming. Plus, as the saying goes, when you look good, you feel good – and who doesn’t want their pooch to feel good? While it’s certainly not exhaustive, the following are some suggestions for routine dog grooming.

Ear Care

Dogs have pretty powerful ears, so it’s important to check them regularly and to keep them clean. After all, you can’t complain about your dog not listening if you don’t clean their ears every once in a while. All kidding aside, here are a few steps for how to clean your dog’s ears:

  1. Fold the ear back to expose the inside
  2. Dampen a cotton ball or gauze with liquid ear cleaner
  3. Wipe away any dirt or debris (be gentle!)

For information on cleaning the inner ear, it is best to consult your veterinarian.

black Labrador with brown eyes

Eye Care

They say the eyes are windows to the soul. They can also be windows into health issues. Regular eye exams can help pet parents keep an eye out – no pun intended – for issues like cloudiness or inflammation. Follow these steps for proper eye care:

  1. Take your pal to a well-lit area
  2. Examine the eye and make sure it is clear – the eyeball should be white in color and the pupils equal in size
  3. Roll down the lower lid and check that the lining is pink in color, not red or white

A Healthy Coat is a Happy Coat

Dogs will be dogs, and that means they will, in all likelihood, roll in something. And there’s a pretty good chance that “something” will be dirty or downright nasty. What’s more, they will probably need a little help from their pet parent to get cleaned up.


Regular brushing is a good way to bond with your dog, and it has a lot of health benefits. A consistent brushing routine helps:

  • Remove dirt, debris, and anything else that can get caught in their coat
  • Spread natural oils throughout their fur
  • Reduce excess hair caused by shedding


While some dogs tolerate water more than others, it’s recommended that you bathe your dog every three months or so. Before you start, gather the essential dog grooming supplies and have everything on hand for the task. Once you’re ready, follow these few instructions for how to bathe a dog:

  • Get your dog acclimated to the water and then get them wet with a hose or pitcher
  • Do your best to keep the water away from their eyes, ears, and nose
  • Gently massage dog-friendly shampoo into their coat
  • Rinse and then dry your pooch with a large towel

brown dog paws

Nail Maintenance

If you have hardwood floors or tile in your home, you know that click, click, click sound of overgrown nails prancing around the house. If you find that your dog needs a nail trim, here are a few tips for how to trim a dog’s nails:

  • Remove dirt and debris from the foot and nails
  • Hold your pal’s paw firmly and then cut the nail from top to bottom
  • Cut a little bit with each pass and make sure to avoid the quick (nail-colored circle)
  • If you accidentally hit the quick and draw blood, you can apply styptic powder or even corn starch to get the bleeding to stop

Grooming isn’t just a great way to bond with your pooch, it also contributes to your pal’s overall health – even providing early indicators into potential concerns. However, some issues require more than a good brushing or warm bath. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance can help pet parents make medical decisions for their pups based on care, not cost. Start a free quote now!

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