By Shawn (co-author of CleverDude.com)
Ever since we’ve had our dog, we’ve paid to have him groomed about every 6 weeks or so. Currently, those services cost about $75 per trip. Recently, the place we go said that they could no longer take him. Our dog is 14 and has pretty bad arthritis in his hips and back, which makes it hard for him to stand for long periods.
I’ve called a few other places and got the same result. My last resort was the grooming salon at our vet’s office. They said that they could take him — it’s exactly the reason they opened the salon at that office. However, the price per visit was going to be around $125.
I decided that was too expensive, so I figured I would try to do it myself. I did some research on the tools I would need:
- Tub with hand held shower head
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Comb and brush
- Hair drier
They also recommended a grooming table which is a table that has an attachment for a leash to keep the dog in place, but I decided against that.
I went to the local pet store and found a clipper set for $45. It had several differently sized attachments, a pair of scissors and a comb. Then, I went and bought a $25 hand held shower head for our guest bathroom. We already had some dog shampoo and a brush, so I figured I had everything I needed to get started.
All of the websites recommended washing the dog first, then drying, then clipping. We have a long haired dog, so I had the bright idea that clipping the dog first would be more efficient. I would have less to wash and dry.
I never realized how thick our dog’s undercoat was. There were points where the clippers just weren’t cutting it (literally). After an hour into this, I decided that maybe I should have washed him first. So, I took him to the bathroom and started to wash him. There are special shampoos and conditioners out there that help loosen the fur during the washing.
At this point I realized that I probably needed one other thing. I need something to put over the drain that allows the water to drain, but keeps the hair from getting down there. I didn’t see recommendations for something like that, so I’ll have to do some research. After washing and drying we went back to the clipping, which went much smoother this time.
All in all, it took me 3.5 hours to finish the job. Now, it’s a good thing he can’t speak because I’m pretty sure he’d tell me he hated the hair cut. But, considering it was my first time, I don’t think it looked too bad.
I think that $75 is definitely worth it to save those hours and have it done right, but I’m not sure it’s worth $125. I’m going to give it one more shot to see if it goes any more smoothly the next time.
I will say this, though. If we ever decide to get another dog, I’m definitely going to stick to a short haired dog.
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