7 Steps for the perfect groomed look

Grooming your dog is one of the best ways to strengthen the bond of love that you share with your pet. There are certain things that should be kept in mind before you begin with such sessions so that it becomes a pleasurable experience for both of you.

Simple at home tips for grooming your pooch


1 Planning…

Divyang Adawadkar
  • Maintain a grooming schedule for your pet so that you can plan out your time in advance and make all the necessary arrangements needed prior to grooming.
  • Select a proper range of accessories (viz. hair brush/comb, nail clippers, shampoo, etc.) for grooming your dog and this will depend upon the kind of breed.
  • If you are beginner with grooming sessions, start with shorter duration i.e. 10 – 15 min. Grooming particularly includes brushing/combing and bathing, one can first beginwith combing sessions and then slowly switch tobathing sessions for your pet.

2 Brushing…

  • Different breeds have different grooming needs. For healthy skin and coat, dogs should be brushed at least thrice a week to remove the dead hair, tangles and mats. A slicker-style brush is best suited for this.
  • A slicker brush should not be pressed too hard else it will scrape the skin and hurt your dog.
  • Brush or comb your dog against the lay of the coat, this will give the coat a fluffy look.
  • Olive oil can be used on matted hair for easy combing.

3 Paw care…

  • You can train your dog for nail clipping by giving him a gentle massage on the paws and then accustom him to the nail clipper. Be careful that you don’t clip off ‘the quick’ that is present in the nail as it has a nerve inside it and if cut, it can cause bleeding and pain.
  • ‘The quick’ is easily visible in pink nails but difficult in dark nails so dark coloured nails should be given several small cuts to reduce the chance of cutting into ‘the quick’.
  • A small piece of sand paper can be used to file the nails of your dog.
  • The hair between the paws should be trimmed to prevent insertion of ticks and fleas or fungal growth due to moist environment.

4 Bathing…

  • Your dog can be bathed once a fortnight to once in a month depending upon his daily activities and his exposure to dirt and dust and the season.
  • If you are using a bath tub, place a bath mat made of rubber in the tub to keep your pooch from slipping and sliding.
  • Select a proper dog shampoo depending upon the nature of the coat and skin condition of your dog; in general, a mild shampoo should be used to bath your dog. Make sure that the shampoo does not enter the eyes, ears or nose.
  • Before bathing, brush your dog to remove any dead hair or mats.
  • For drying your dog, keep the blow dryer on cool setting so that there will be less of a chance for your dog’s hair and skin to dry out.
  • Keep your dog indoor for few hours till he is completely dry after a bath, else he may go and roll in dirt to get his scent back.
  • If your dog is naughty or resist from taking a bath, make sure you take him for a long walk before you give him a bath to drain out the energy and reduce his stress level.

5 Ear care…

  • To clean your dog’s ears, apply some ear cleaning solution to a cotton ball and simply wipe dirt and wax away from the inner ear. Be very gentle while cleaning the ears and do not insert the cotton ball too deep inside the ears.
  • Dogs with droopy ears or long hair should be checked weekly as they are more susceptible to fungus, waxy ears and ear mites.

6 Coat care…

  • For German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel and other such breeds with thick coat, the coat can be trimmed in different lengths to give them a relief in summer. This also avoids the growth of ticks and fleas.
  • A healthy coat is a sign of good health for your dog. Excessive shedding or bald patches could be signs of ill health. Regular grooming helps you to look for early signs of diseases.
  • Never use hair colours or dyes on your dog, they are meant for human use as they can cause skin irritation which can lead to serious health problems in dogs.

7 Extra care…

  • For breeds like Pugs who have facial wrinkles or folds, in order to prevent bacterial growth in the areas inside these folds, use damp cotton to clean off the dirt.
  • Dogs with very long hair, like St Bernard and Golden Retriever, need trimming of hair in between the legs known as hock.
  • Puppies and at times even adult dogs tend to become playful during grooming, to keep them engaged keep their favourite toys and treats handy.

Last but not the least, give your pet lot of love (hugs and kisses) for being patient once you have given him an enjoyable grooming experience!
(Divyang Adawadkar runs PET INN, a one-stop destination for all your pet’s needs (especially for dogs and cats), be it grooming, hostel facilities, veterinary advice or pet food and accessories in Ahmedabad).

Ambassador got groomed!,- By Sadhwi Sondhi

(Case File)

Grooming dogs is quite a tedious job which requires a lot of patience, skill and technique. It is often a scary, nerve-wracking experience for pooches who may not be used to grooming regularly. Here’s a case study of a Golden Doodle who had never been groomed before!

First things first…

Groomers always try to read the body language of the dog before they begin and try to make the pooches feel comfortable so they can enjoy the process and feel at ease. Different dog breeds have different temperaments and require a variety of techniques to groom them.

Here comes Ambassador…

Ambassador is a Golden Doodle (Poodle and Golden Retriever mix) – a young puppy who just arrived from the USA and has never been groomed before.

The challenge…

Labradoodles can vary in their coat types; so each one must be taken on an individual basis when it comes to grooming. But, as a general rule, Scruffy Doodles will just need a good brush and comb once a week whereas Doodles with fleece/wool coats will need an intensive grooming regime to avoid having to be clipped short. Ambassador had a very wavy fleece coat, he was very fidgety as a young puppy would be and would not sit still. Other than that, he needed a lot of brushing before and after the bath to make the hair clean, matt free and fall properly so they could be cut and clipped neatly. The most taxing part was brushing, which needs to be done meticulously and is very time consuming!

Beauty brushing…

We used a combination of a slicker brush and comb on Ambassador and started with the technique of line brushing, which basically means lifting the coat up and brushing each section. Start at the skin as matts start to form at the skin. Matts are basically loose dead hair trapped in the coat; since it doesn’t shed out, it forms a tangle web that can get as hard as concrete over time.

Ambassador had a few matts on his back, belly, under his ears, underarms and inside his paws as he is one playful puppy! We needed to get out all the matts before we bathe him. The process was very tedious and required a lot of patience and good arm strength and focus! It took us a total of 45 minutes to completely comb out Ambassador and remove all the matts.

Other aspects of grooming…

His ears were cleaned with ear cleaning solution and nails clipped. The next step was to trim

Sadhwi Sondhi

Sadhwi Sondhi

his paw pads. Ambassador did not like the clipper, so we used scissors to trim his hair in between the paw pads and to remove matts. Now, he was ready for a bath!

We used biogroom bronze shampoo for Ambassador as it contained moisture to soothe his skin and coat. The technique to remember here is that we cannot scrub his coat in different directions as it can matt his hair. So, we had to apply the shampoo and rub in one direction only. After the second wash, we used an isle of dog conditioner on his coat to make his hair softer and tangle free and then after two minutes rinsed it off. We then squeezed out the excessive water from his coat and towel dried him before using the hair dryer. As Ambassador was a jumpy puppy, we dried him in the tub by simultaneously brushing in the same direction to avoid tangles. He did not like the sound of the hair dryer, so one person covered his ears during the process!

Once he was completely dry we got him back on the table for his haircut! By this time, he was completely agitated and wanted to go home. We tried to distract him by giving him some treats. We used a combination of clippers and scissors to neaten his legs and shorten the length of his coat. The finishing touches included doggie perfume, mouth freshener and facial spray. The whole process took a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes but it was worth the effort. Ambassador looked angelic and his parents were thrilled!

Always brush the dog before a bath, not just after, as this will help get rid of all the dead hair in the undercoat and in case of long-haired dogs, the mats can be removed before so that they do not become worse after the bath.

(Sadhwi Sondhi with her sister Sakshi Sondhi runs Red Paws Pet Spa in New Delhi delivering perfect and high-quality standards of grooming. This spa has its own boutique of unique dog accessories, treats, toys, collars, leashes and goodies).

feactures fun and frolic

‘The groomed’ city pooch

Grooming is a delight for pooches and one can choose from a range of services – right from pawdicure to herbal elixirs, massages, aromatherapy, hibiscus petal shampoo, paws drenched in butter balm, lavender magic or the full grooming sensation like the spa – all this leads to a well-groomed city pooch. Here’s a peek into some of the innovative and luxurious grooming services.

Overall wellness…

“Apart from soothing, energising, revitalising… providing relief to various problems – grooming helps in feactures fun and frolicgeneral cleanliness and hygiene of the dog. A well-groomed dog will have decreased chance of various problems and it also helps in monitoring the dog’s health,” sums up Ashish Anthony of Just Dogs, Ahmedabad.

“Grooming is not just necessary for the pooch to look good, it is important for their overall wellness,” told Ashita Mathew of Wags & Wiggles, Bengaluru. “Pooches love massages. And the pets feel like a puppy after the massage,” added Raajjhesh of SmaartPetsZ, Pune.

As per Ashita Mathew of Wags & Wiggles, Bengaluru, “At Wags & Wiggles Pet Salon & Spa, we understand that pets are more than just animals… they are our cherished companions who truly deserve the very best!”

Here are a few pet therapies to groom your pooches:

Unwinding the stress areas….

Full body relaxation with basic grooming: According to Aditi Sharma of Nails n Tails, Hyderabad, “We first massage the pet for 30 minutes and leave the oil on the pet’s body for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, we start with basic grooming which includes aromatherapy, conditioning, etc.” Talking about the benefits of this service, she replied, “The massage helps with blood circulation, hair fall, dandruff problem and dry skin. The reason why we leave the oil on the pet’s body is so that the skin can absorb the oil and work as a moisturiser. And the basic grooming keeps the pet clean and fresh.” The rates for this service range between Rs 700 and Rs 1,700, depending on the size of the pet and should be given to pets every month.

Touch and go for the high speed hound: ‘It’s a Dog’s Life’ salon in Mumbai offers this service at Rs 300 which is perfect for the dogs who are suffering from arthritis, recovering from surgery or an injury or for ageing pets. Warm massage remedy focuses on specific areas where dogs hold tension, which aids in the circulation of blood, which speeds healing and helps to oxygenate the body and releases muscle tension. The warm smell of the cinnamon encircles, refreshes and relaxes while Arnica and rich botanicals soothe and heal.

Relaxing massages: “Our groomers are certified, experienced professionals and will consult with the pet parents prior to the massage to make certain it’s an incredible experience that leaves the pet smiling inside and out. Aromatherapy bath can make your pooch feel extra special and relaxed,” told Raajjhesh of SmaartPetsZ, Pune.

“Canines like human respond well to this kind of service. It leads to deep relaxation, aids wellness and recovery from dry skin and itchiness removing out the dead skin,” he added. Rates vary from complete body oiling to oiling of joints for old and aged pooches to full body massage. The rates also factor the breed type and size and require 10-30 minutes for this grooming service.

Bling that shines…

Luminosity treatment for dogs with light-coloured coats: ‘It’s a Dog’s Life’ salon in Mumbai offers this service at Rs 600-800 which is perfect for any dog whose coat is light-coloured or whose coat is fading or yellowing with age. “Your pooch can lose these tell-tale signs of ageing with a combination of yoghurt and honey that soothe and condition the skin while special pearlescent brighteners add luster to the coat. After the dog is dried, she’s spritzed with shimmering mist which moisturises, texturises and repels dust and dirt while adding that extra touch of bling,” said Aanchal Malhi of It’s a Dog’s Life.

Aromatic spa experience: Companion Pets, Ahmedabad offers special spa shampoo with aromatherapy properties in four variants – Lavender Magic, Lemongrass, Flowering Bamboo and Kava Kava. “Each of these Spa Shampoos have their own aromatherapy benefits and will do things like ‘soothe’, ‘energise’ and ‘calm’ the pet depending on which spa shampoo is being used,” told Nirav Khandhadia of Companion Pets. He added, “Then comes the turn of applying a conditioner or advanced conditioning treatment depending on the condition of the hair of the dog.” The rates for this session vary according to the type of grooming a customer chooses from, starting from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 and it takes minimum of 45 minutes to about maximum of 3 hours.

Luxurious spa…

The ultimate soothing spa experience: It is a two-hour session of Rs 3,000 at ‘It’s a Dog’s Life,’ Mumbai that includes herbal elixirs, a massage, bath, pawdicure, aromatherapy and breath freshener. The experience is heavenly and the results healing. Starting with a luxurious massage and bathing, the dog is given a pawdicure. “Dry cracked paws are drenched in butter balm to soothe irritated skin and prevent further drying. Then, the dog is given a relaxing aromatherapy application to nourish, detangle and a mesmerizing shine,” added Aanchal Malhi.

Wagging coat care & hair styling…

Dress your hair: “Our fundamental goal at Wags & Wiggles is to ensure that every pet has a positive grooming experience,” told Ashita Mathew of Wags & Wiggles, Bengaluru. “Apart from basic grooming package, we offer deep conditioning to improve luster and smoothness of the coat, hair colouring, nail painting, hair colour enhancement (for fur that is faded, especially in older dogs), paw treatments (for cracked paws) and oil massages with essential oils. We also give a free goodie bag with treats after every grooming session. All pets who come to Wags & Wiggles also get a free name tag which can be put on their collar,” mentioned Ashita. The whole grooming package costs Rs 800 for short-coated dogs (like Labs, Pugs, Basset Hounds, Beagles) and takes around one hour while that for long coats costs Rs 1,500 as it includes trimming & clipping as well and takes around two hours for the whole process to complete.

Bye dullness, hi smoothness package: Shweta Munjal of Prince of Tails, Bengaluru offers a three step process: Step 1 includes giving the dog a thorough massage with a blend of essential and carrier oil (olive oil) that acts as an antioxidant, antibacterial and natural healer. Step 2 involves giving the dog a nourishing bath with a shampoo consisting of hibiscus petals and essential oils blended at therapeutic levels. Step 3 involves providing the dog with deep conditioning treatment based out of wheat proteins and rich fatty acids. This service helps in nourishing the coat thus making it silky and smooth. It also helps in reducing breakage, shedding and detangling. It costs between Rs 800 and Rs 1,200 depending upon the breed size and takes between 60 and 90 minutes.

Itch free, flake free treatment: ‘‘It is a two step process at Prince of Tails, Bengaluru. Step 1 includes giving the dog thorough massage with a blend of essential and carrier oil. Step 2 includes giving a bath to the dog with a premium shampoo based out of a natural ingredient. This service helps in reducing dandruff and any sort of dander in a dog’s coat. It costs between Rs 700 and Rs 1,000 depending upon the breed size and takes between 45 and 60 minutes,” said Shweta Munjal of Prince of Tails.

Revitalising, deshedding, carding, degreaser: “(Revitalising) A special formula shampoo is used to revitalise skin and coat and relieve dry, itchy and flaky skin. Enriched with essential oils, it gives special reconditioning massage. The process requires two sittings of 1.5 hours each at Just Dogs, Ahmedabad; (Deshedding) Special shampoo and conditioner is applied, and forced air is used before and after the bath to loosen dead hair and massage skin. The process requires 1.5 hours in one sitting; (Carding) It helps remove between 60-80 percent of unwanted hair and is very helpful when given with deshedding process. It requires just one sitting of two hours; (Degreaser) For oily coats, it removes oil residue and deep cleans the coat. It requires one sitting for one hour. The rates vary for different breeds and condition of the dog and range between Rs 350 to Rs 2,500,” told Ashish Anthony at Just Dogs, Ahmedabad.

Breed specific style/clip: Hair cut/clip to the exact style any particular breed is supposed to carry. “Different breeds have different styles laid down by professionals/experts abroad over years and they should be styled in that fashion to look their breed type,” told Sanjeev of Scoopy Scrub, New Delhi. The service costs between Rs 600 and Rs 1,800 and takes around 45 minutes to two hours, depending upon the breed size.

Just be natural…

While Dr Lochana Baney of Gordon- Just FUR Dogs shared, “We give veterinary and grooming services for the health and beauty of the dog’s skin and coat. Our techniques for grooming include only natural methods with appropriate tools and 100 percent safe and pH balanced grooming products for the enhancement of the coat. Our concept of grooming is unique and oriented towards the kind of grooming a dog would have received when living in his natural habitat many years back. We focus on natural grooming through procedures that maintain the texture and colour of the coat, taking care not to damage the sensitive skin.”

Making pet parents proud and happy…

Grooming not only makes the pet look good but also makes the pet parents happy and proud. Ashita Mathew of Wags & Wiggles shared, “Pet parents love how their pet smells after a grooming session. And if a pet gets a haircut, he looks very chic and the pet parent obviously feels happy.”

While, Dr Lochana shared, “Pet parents are glad that we never ‘shave off the coat of their dog’ even if it is severely matted, or in the heat of summer. Our techniques and products can take care of this problem. They are glad to be in an ambience that is clean and relaxed and that they and their dogs feel so comfortable and calm.”

“The feedbacks of pet parents post a couple of sessions have been that everyone notices the change in the look and feel of the pet’s coat and that they themselves have received a lot admiration for taking care of their pets so well,” told Shweta Munjal of Prince of Tails, Bengaluru.

“We even get calls days after the pet has been groomed thanking us on the compliments the pets and pet parents get while walking the pets or from visitors/guests at their place,” told Sanjeev of Scoopy Scrub. And all those who have indulged their pet in this grooming sensation would nod in approval.

“Pooches feel relaxed, rejuvenated and shiny. Some pet parents have made it a practice to combine aromatherapy bath with massage which has resulted in reducing the scratchy and itchiness on their pooches,” added Raajjhesh of SmaartPetsZ, Pune.

“The pet parents who have tried our service are so happy and satisfied. That now we make sure that their pet is pampered with this service at least once a month,” shared Aditi Sharma of Nails n Tails, Hyderabad.

Groom them healthy and beautiful…

For a happy, healthy and good-looking pooch, pamper him with the grooming services he deserves. Every dog should have his day!