Simple pet grooming tips for home

Published on 13 February 2022

Is your pooch looking a little worse for wear during isolation? It’s important to know how to do some basic grooming from home to ensure your pet stays healthy, happy and handsome!

Here are some simple tips you can follow. Before starting, make sure you have treats on hand. Remember to keep calm and be gentle to ensure the experience is a positive one.

Grooming nails

Overgrown nails can create discomfort when walking and can grow into the toe area. Clipping your dog’s nails might seem a little daunting but it’s an important task to keep your pet comfortable.

You’ll need a small or large nail clipper. Depending on the breed, cat clippers are a great idea for chihuahuas and puppies.

Have some styptic powder or corn starch on hand. In case of bleeding, press and hold the powder for 10 seconds on the end of the bleeding nail.

Clear nails can be easier to cut than black nails as you can see the quick inside the nail. Make sure you don’t cut the quick as this can cause bleeding and discomfort.

To clip clear nails:

  • Gently lift the dog’s paw
  • Hold the nail clippers down at a 45-degree angle
  • Place the clippers just before the nail quick and clip quickly and confidently. Dogs can sense your fear and may respond similarly.
  • Repeat for all nails and then praise your dog!

To clip black nails:

Black nails are a little trickier as you can’t see the quick. The trick here is to only cut a little at a time until you see a grey or white area around a little black dot in the middle of the nail. Stop cutting after you see that area. If the nail feels squishy, stop cutting.

Cleaning ears

When cleaning the ears, use an ear cleaner recommended by your vet. It’s important not to use harsh products, especially on sensitive pets.

You’ll need some ear wipes (ear pads soaked in a cleaning solution), cotton balls or pads and tweezers.

To clean your dog’s ears:

  1. Hold the ear upright and carefully fill the ear canal with cleaning solution
  2. Gently massage the base of the ear with your fingers for twenty seconds
  3. Use a cotton ball or a cotton pad to gently wipe the visible part of your dog’s ear and remove excess product
  4. Repeat on other ear.

Cleaning eyes

It’s important to clean around the eye area to keep your pet’s eyes healthy and clear.

You’ll need some water or saline solution, cotton balls or pads and a small bowl.

If you’re using salt and water, put a pinch of salt into a bowl of warm water and mix. If you’re using saline solution pour it straight into the bowl.

To clean your dog’s eyes:

  1. Roll a cotton ball or pad into a ball and soak it
  2. Have your dog sit and hold it gently under the chin
  3. If you have a long-haired dog you can gently grip a small amount of hair to keep it steady
  4. Squeeze a little bit of the solution onto the pad so it doesn’t drip
  5. Place in the corner of the dog’s eye area near the top of the snout
  6. Hold the pad down to soak the area, then wipe down to clear away any dirt or muck
  7. Repeat if necessary and then move on to the other.

We hope these instructions help you keep your pet well-groomed and happy while at home.

Other related content
Countdown for RSPCA Million Paws Walk across Victoria

The countdown is on for the RSPCA Million Paws Walk with locals and their furry ...

Read more
RSPCA Victoria Celebrates National Volunteer Week with over 1500 volunteers

RSPCA Victoria is celebrating its force of incredible volunteers this National V...

Read more
Mitchell Shire man found guilty of animal cruelty

A 55-year-old Mitchell Shire man has been found guilty of three animal cruelty o...

Read more
Cat Management Strategy; progress, not yet ‘purr-fection’

RSPCA Victoria has made its formal submission to the Victorian Government’s dr...

Read more

Not a registered foster carer yet?

Find out how to start fostering here

Learn more