As the holidays rapidly approach, we all want to look our very best for family photos and fun get-togethers. And, as members of the family, we want our dogs to look their best, too.
Although the holiday season is a busy time for everyone, with a few simple tips and tricks (and some adorable DIY holiday dog accessories), it’s easy to help your dog look and feel great for the holidays.
In the video below, Andis Grooming Educator and professional groomer, Gabriel Feitosa, (along with his adorable sidekick, Cronos) discusses tips and tricks to help your dog look their very best for the holidays, PLUS how to make and use your favorite festive accessories!
To purchase any of the grooming tools demonstrated in the video, head to Andis.com and use coupon code DOGPOST10 to save 10% on orders of $50+ plus Free Shipping on any order over $99!
Six Essential Holiday Dog Grooming Tips
1. Book your holiday grooming appointments early.
The holidays are, by far, the busiest time of the year for dog groomers, making it vital to book your holiday grooming appointments well in advance. Whether your dog only needs a bath and blowout or a full head-to-tail haircut, walk-ins and last-minute appointments will be very hard to come by as the holidays approach.
Pro-Tip: While booking your holiday grooming appointment, go ahead and book a follow-up appointment, too.
2. Making grooming a positive experience for your dog.
A common complaint among pet owners is that their dogs become stressed at the grooming salon. To make grooming easier for your dog (and for your groomer!), take steps at home to make every grooming experience a positive one for your pup. While bathing or brushing your dog at home, be gentle, talk to them, and offer praise and treats. If their only exposure to grooming is with a stranger in a strange place, it’s only natural for dogs to feel apprehensive. You can also help your dog feel more comfortable with grooming by introducing them to grooming tools and procedures at home. For more tips, check out these 7 Steps to Raising a Dog That Enjoys Being Groomed.
Pro-Tip: When you take your dog to their favorite groomer, bring along some favorite treats. As a general rule, groomers don’t give their canine clients food rewards due to allergies or dietary restrictions. So, if you’d like your groomer to reward your pup, say so!
3. Make at-home grooming maintenance a part of your routine.
As dog moms and dads, we know the importance of daily exercise, proper nutrition, and regular veterinary care. But, it’s also important to include at-home grooming maintenance as part of your dog’s regular care routine. Grooming isn’t just about making your dog look their best. Regular brushing can prevent mats from forming and reveal developing skin conditions early. Additionally, nail and paw pad trims can make it safer and more comfortable for your dog to walk and run, and sanitary trims keep heiny hair free of tangles, mats, and traps for urine, feces, dirt, associated bacteria and odors.
4. Brush your dog the right way.
In addition to making brushing a part of your routine — even daily for some breeds — make sure your strokes go the right way. Andis Grooming Educator Gabriel Feitosa recommends giving your dog’s coat a light spritz with a de-matting or conditioning spray before brushing. Then, brush from head to tail with a slicker brush paying particular attention to friction areas, like the armpits and behind the ears. Then, gently check with a steel comb for any knots you may have missed. Make sure you’ve brushed your dog’s coat all the way to the skin, not just the top layer.
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to brush the hair on your dog’s face, too! Far too often, dogs develop tiny mats around eyes, ears, and mouths that can be easily prevented with a quick, gentle brushing.
5. Clean your dog’s eyes regularly.
If you don’t already, it’s a good idea to check your dog’s eyes for any build-up in the corners and keep them cleaned as often as every day. Excessive build-up can lead to soreness, bacterial growth, stains, and odors. If your dog has developed some build-up in their eyes, you can use warm water and a cotton ball to soften the “eye gunk”, then use a flea comb to carefully and gently comb the debris away. Without regular eye cleaning, some dogs, especially those with lighter-colored coats, will develop hair discoloration known as tear stains that can’t simply be eliminated with a single trip to the groomer.
6. Keep coat care in mind when accessorizing this holiday season.
Few things are more adorable than a freshly fluffed pup that’s decked out for the holidays with fun accessories. Just remember, extras on your dog are like clothes on you. They should be removed, washed, and changed regularly. Anywhere that a bandana, bow, or barette touches your dog’s coat will become a friction point and can lead to knots and matting. At least once every day or two, remove accessories (yes, this applies to collars, too) and thoroughly brush the coat.
Pro-Tip: When removing accessory bows, Gabriel recommends using small scissors or an envelope opener to snip the rubber band instead of pulling and damaging the hair.
Remember, the holidays will be here before we know it, so start now to help your dog look and feel their very best for the most fantastic time of the year and beyond.
For even more grooming tips and tricks, visit Andis Grooming College for answers to commonly asked questions, how-to videos, and step-by-step guides to grooming your dogs at home.
While you’re there, use coupon code DOGPOST10 for 10% OFF orders over $50 and FREE SHIPPING on any purchase over $99! (Offer valid through 12/31/2020, unlimited uses).