Keep Your Dog Comfortable and Beautiful with Proper Trimming

Many dogs get hot spots and skin infections from not getting a proper coat cut. That’s why you need to get your dog accustomed to having their hair clipped.

But how do you do it? And why do dogs need their hair cut?

But First, Why Do Dogs Need Trimming?

Dogs require haircuts for various reasons. Some breeds have hair that becomes matted when not trimmed. Dog hairs become matted because of dirt, debris, and build-up.

Some dog breeds have hair designed to grow a certain way, but if it grows longer than the breed’s standard, they will experience discomfort. This can happen with Pomeranians and other dogs with thick, fluffy coats.

Also, long wiry coats should be shaved down every few months to prevent tangles and pain from the sharp edges of the coat. Long-haired dogs often get “ice picks,” which are strands of hair that grow long and sharp.

Dog breeds such as poodles and Airedales require frequent haircuts because of the dog’s unique type of hair: wavy, woolly coats that do not or hardly shed or self-clean like other types of domestic dogs. Hair on ears, legs, and tails should be trimmed to keep the dog clean and prevent matting. Hair around the anus can be trimmed to keep feces from sticking to it, and hair between the toes should be trimmed to avoid infection.

How to Cut Dog Hairs

If it’s your dog’s first time to have its hair cut or trimmed, it is ideal to bring him to a groomer. Otherwise, if the trim is for regular maintenance only, consider these steps:

  1. Start the haircut with the proper tools. You will need clippers, a brush or comb, scissors, or electric pet trimmers. You also should have thinning shears made for dogs, which are shears with teeth that thin the hair and reduce tangles.
  2. Use an appropriate-sizes blade that will be comfortable and safe for your dog’s coat and skin type. If you do not have pet trimmers, use scissors to cut long hairs first and the clippers for the shorter hairs.
  3. Section the hair and cut it into sections for easier grooming. Always hold the clipper with one hand and section off a tuft of hair to trim at a time, clipping upward toward your dog’s head.
  4. Trim closely against bare skin to prevent matting, but leave a one-half inch of coat length. Shave downward to avoid skin irritation from the clipper’s vibration if you are trimming around the face.
  5. Change blades often if your clippers become dull or run hot. Also, check ventilation ports in the clippers and remove hair that gets stuck in them after every few strokes against your dog’s coat.
  6. Trim the face first and then remove tangles from the ears. Trim around your dog’s eyes gently, avoiding any irritation or injury to your pet.
  7. Use thinning shears to thin the coat if it is matted, as this tool will not cut as close as clippers would and will reduce discomfort for your dog.
  8. Use a nail trimmer to remove any fur around the nails and smooth them out, or ask your vet for this service. You can also purchase pet nail trimmers from a pet store.
  9. Brush your dog’s hair after you finish clipping it to reduce shedding and keep skin healthy from contact with dirt, debris, and bacteria from your dog’s coat.

Dos and Don’ts When Trimming Dog’s Hair

After getting your dog to the groomer and you feel confident to cut its hair on your own, it might just be easy to get your clippers and start hacking away. However, there are a few things you need to do or not do to keep your dog safe.

Do . . .

  • Ask your veterinarian or groomer for instructions on using the tools, and be sure you know what you are doing.
  • Consider the breed of dog you have when deciding how often to have them groomed.
  • Brush your dog’s hair once a day to remove debris from the coat so it does not get caught up in mats. If your dog needs frequent haircuts, brush his hair before each trim.
  • Use thinning shears to reduce matted hair and discomfort for your dog before you use clippers or scissors on matted fur.

Don’t . . .

  • Use electric dog clippers around the eyes or mouth.
  • Shave your dog if he has a wooly or curly coat, as this will drastically change how it looks and feels. Shaving can also cause discomfort for the dog because of the difference in temperature on his shaved skin compared to his intact fur.
  • Use scissors around sensitive areas such as the anus.
  • Leave your dog unattended while you are working on his hair. Be sure to keep the muzzle, eyes, and any areas where you have not yet trimmed covered at all times, so you do not cut them by accident.

While trimming dog hairs might seem like a simple task, it is essential to be prepared and know how to do it. With the right tools, knowledge of the breed you are working on, and understanding your dog’s temperament, you can achieve a fantastic cut on your pet.


David Rosenberg: A seasoned political journalist, David's blog posts provide insightful commentary on national politics and policy. His extensive knowledge and unbiased reporting make him a valuable contributor to any news outlet.