Should You DIY Your Dog's Haircut? To Trim or Not To Trim.

Should You DIY Your Dog's Haircut?

There are many dogs that are low maintenance and do not require excessive grooming. For dog owners whose breeds do need that extra attention, here are some great options that will have your puppy looking their very best.

Many dogs do best with a professional haircut. Youโ€™ll see stylized trims for some dog breeds like Poodles that can be difficult to duplicate at home. Other breeds, like some terriers, also may have fewer fur problems if kept clipped.

Double coated dog breeds designed for living in cold weather, like Alaskan Malamutes, probably wonโ€™t need a haircut. In most cases, dogs that spend time outside in winter weather need that extra fur protection to keep them safe from frostbite.

But too much fur may be a problem. For instance, dogs that play outside can get snow and ice buildup in the fur of their paws. Mats in the armpit regions can be painful for longhair dogs. Waste that collects in long fur under the tail is unsanitary. Giving your dog a haircut can reduce your coat care.

Ask the vet

Many veterinarians may have a professional groomer on staff. But even if they donโ€™t, your veterinarian has the equipment to give your dog a haircut. Dogs that object to trims can be difficult to manage and a veterinary staff has the extra hands for restraint, treatment bathtub, electric clippers and (if needed) tranquilizers. The veterinarian also can recommend a professional groomer for the โ€œshow dogโ€ look if thatโ€™s what you want.

Local groomers

Local groomers have different levels of expertise, so ask family and friends with dogs where they get their pets groomed. You can look in the local yellow pages, or go online. National organizations like the National Dog Groomers Association of America offer online search options to find someone in your neck of the woods.

Pet products stores

Your local pet products stores also may have groomers available. Donโ€™t hesitate to ask them about how they handle the dogs. If they have a veterinarian on staff, they may also be able to safely sedate unruly dogs for haircuts.

Do It Yourself Haircuts

You may wish to learn how to cut your dogโ€™s hair yourself. Ask your vet or groomer to show you how so that you avoid injuring a wiggly dog. Youโ€™ll need a leash/tether and something to attach it to so your dog doesnโ€™t run away, or an extra pair of hands. For mats, instead of using scissors which can easily cut the dogโ€™s skin, use a mat splitter to break down the knot.

Use Clippers

The safest way to give your dog a haircut is with electric clippers made for dog grooming. Clippers generally come in various blade sizes with โ€œcombโ€ attachments to help keep the trim an even length.

Tips For Vacuuming Pet Hair

Furry pets are a big part of a majority of American households and if you are a pet owner, you know how difficult it is when Fidoโ€™s hair winds up all over your house. Pet dander and hair arenโ€™t just annoying; they are dangerous if there is someone in the household who suffers from allergies. According to a scientific study, three out of ten people who have allergies suffer from dog and cat allergies. Fortunately, preventative maintenance and vacuuming can reduce the allergens in your home and improve the air quality.

The problem spots in your house

The places that have the most static charge are the places that tend to collect most pet hair. If the air flow is less in a particular area, you will find more pet hair there. These places include areas around the laundry baskets, pet crates, carriers, floor lamps as well as under sofas, beds and chairs. Hair also tends to cluster in basements, around the bottom hinges of doors and door jams.

The tools you need to clean up pet hair

Make sure that you have a good vacuum cleaner with a powerful suction. If someone in your household suffers from allergies, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter so that the dirt and dander does not blow back into the air. If the room is not carpeted, you can also use a dry mop. You can supplement it with microfiber mops for the high traffic areas. Do not use brooms as they kick up more dander and hair into the air than mops. If you want to get to those hard-to-reach areas of your carpet floor, the following attachments might come in handy:

  • Stair attachment โ€“ This looks like a smaller version of the vacuum head and it helps to clean up the curtains, stairs, small carpeted regions and furniture.
  • Crevice and rectangle attachment โ€“ This attachment is long and has a narrow end and is extremely handy for cleaning the hard-to-reach areas. If the rectangle attachment does not work for a particular area, the crevice attachment should do the job for you. The crevice attachment is useful around hinges and door jams.
  • Scrubbing attachment โ€“ This has harder bristles than a typical bush attachment. It allows you to scrub all the hair into a ball so that you can vacuum it up easily.
  • Brush attachment โ€“ This has soft bristles and is extremely useful on small and hard surfaces like baseboards. They can also be used for delicate and hard surfaces.

Once you have cleaned up the hair, make sure that you clean the vacuum. Do not wait for the vacuum bag to bulge up before you throw it away. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the vacuum bag before you start cleaning. It will neutralize the smell. If you have a bag-less vacuum cleaner, make sure you empty the container that catches the fur and dirt every time you vacuum.

Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.

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