Dog grooming is costly! If you have a long-haired pup, you know how hard keeping your pet good looking is. There are some things you can do at home to limit how much time you spend taking your dog to the groomer. You might even save a little money.

If you aren’t afraid to get a little dirty while getting your dog a little clean, then here are some ways to groom your dog yourself.

Bathe Your Dog

Most dog owners have a bathing routine, but if you don’t, now’s the time. Instead of waiting for your next trip to the groomer, buy some good pet shampoo and scrub your pup at least every few weeks.

To make bathing your dog easy, brush your dog first. This is especially true for medium and long-haired dogs. If you don’t brush first, any knots will get worse.

What you need to bathe your dog: towels, treats, collar, leash, cotton balls, pet safe shampoo, brush/comb, a non-skid surface and ear cleaning fluid.

On a nice day, take your dog outside to get bathed. Bathtubs can be slippery and scary for some dogs. But if you do plan to go inside, grab a non-slip mat and nozzle to easily clean your dog. A faucet won’t always cut it.

Make sure you take care of your comfort too! Your back will be strained, and your knees bruised if you don’t get yourself a low stool or towel to kneel on.

Brush Your Pup Regularly

It’s a basic task, but some people don’t do it. Even short hair dogs benefit from regular brushing to remove some of the old, loose hair from their coat. By doing this, you’ll also keep rogue hairs from coming off on your couch and rugs.

For the long-haired dogs, DIY dog grooming and brushing is even more important. Mats and knots in coats can harbor bacteria, become painful and are just plain unsightly. Keep a pair of scissors around to clip out the really bad matted fur.

You should plan to brush your dog between regular grooming and fur trims. Try to time your brushing with cuddle time. Your dog will be more willing to sit still if you preface a brush with some belly rubs.

Learn How to Do a Basic Trim

Willing to learn how to use a pair of clippers? You can get a good set inexpensively. If you have the time, YouTube your breed and how to do basic trims. It can save you some money instead of getting groomed every few weeks. Instead, you can limit your grooming visits to a few times a year and upkeep the fur yourself.

A budget clipper will run you around $50. A pro kit with cost you closer to $150. So, it’s up to you to find what kind clipper is right for you.

Cut Nails Regularly

This is an investment every dog owner needs to make. Dog nail trimmers make DIY dog grooming easy!

Letting dog nails grow out long can be painful for your pet, damage your furniture and even your floors. Over a long period of time, long nails can even affect how a dog walks and reacts to his environment.


  • Smaller nail clippers are easier to handle. Unless you have a giant dog breed, a small nail clipper should be appropriate.
  • Make sure the room is lit well so you can see. If you use glasses, wear them. This is precision work.
  • Corn starch can help staunch bleeding if you cut the quick.
  • Reward your pup with treats when he gets his nails clipped to limit stress. Then, maybe reward yourself with a treat too!

Clean Ears and Eyes Often to Avoid Buildup

Some dogs get stinky ears and crusty eyes. These are obvious and can rock the senses! Don’t deny your pup some much loved cuddles because her ears and eyes aren’t kept clean.

Remove eye buildup with a moistened cotton ball as it becomes apparent. If you wait for it to dry, you may mat and stain the fur. This is especially common in long-haired breeds with light coats. We’re looking at you, Bichons!

For ears, use a cloth or cotton ball moistened with witch hazel (alcohol-free), mineral oil, or olive oil to carefully wipe. Do not use cotton swabs since you can damage your dog’s ears. There are some approved hair trimmers perfect for removing ear hair.

Brush Them Pearly Whites

Vet professionals would say you should brush a dog’s teeth daily… but we know most people aren’t doing that.

You should try to regularly brush your pup’s teeth. It may be easy for you to time a brushing for when you brush their hair. Buy yummy toothpaste especially made for dogs. Doesn’t poultry-flavored toothpaste sound delicious?

As your dog ages, their breath will get more stinky. It’s natural but slow the process by keeping those teeth nice and clean.

Learn to Groom for the Breed

Every breed is different. Check out how to groom your specific breed online. There are plenty of tutorials about each breed on YouTube and on websites all over the internet. With this valuable knowledge, you’ll save hundreds by learning to groom your dog.

Even if you aren’t willing to do a full grooming on your pet, you can even just settle for the bare minimum like clipping hair around the eyes and face. Once you get your routine down, it’ll be easy!

The Bottom Line

Besides being great for your budget, learning to groom your dog yourself is a fun way to spend time with your pet. You’ll definitely feel like you’re doing right by your best four-legged friend… and they’ll appreciate it too.

The upfront investment for buying basic grooming items can be as inexpensive as $50. So, find the right tools for you and your pup, then go from there.

If you are NOT comfortable grooming your dog, go at your own pace. Fur clippers can feel intimidating. Then, start with regular brushing. You can go from there until you reach your comfort level.

Happy grooming!