Owning a dog can get very expensive. Owning two dogs is twice as expensive. I was given 2 ‘designer’ dogs in the past year. One is a Schnoodle, named Kali, and the other is a Poochiweenie, named Olive. Because they both have poodle in them, they require lots of maintenance. Not keen on grooming bills, I decided to learn how to groom them myself. Here are some tips I have learned.
Bathing: Both dogs require frequent bathing. Their fur gets oily and they both love to play in the dirt in my back yard; so I end up with oily dirty pooches. Kali also has allergies, so I have to be careful what I wash her with. First I wash them with Original Dawn dish soap, it gets rid of the oily residue, kills fleas and is a bug deterrent. Then, I use oatmeal shampoo to calm their allergic skin.
Grooming: When I was given Kali I watched YouTube videos to see how to trim her face, feet, nails and body. This took lots of practice. She looked like a shaved monkey for a while, but once I got the hang of it, I can now do it pretty quickly. My trick is to guide the blade and scissors with my fingers to keep the length even and to prevent scalping. The scissors are much easier to use around their faces, to trim their eyebrows, beards and ears. They don’t like the clippers around their face and ears; the noise freaks them out a little. The fun part here is you can clip them any way you like. I have experimented with Kali as I learned. And they love the special attention!
Tools: I got an electric clipper set with attachments. I didn’t go cheap here, I wanted to make sure the blade stayed sharp; otherwise the blade will pull on that thick curly mane. A two sided brush, one side for tangles, the other to smooth their fur. A good pair of small scissors, like the ones beauticians use. They don’t have to be name brand, just sharp, so again, you’re not pulling. A good pair of toe nail clippers with the guide, I just do the tips I don’t want to cut the quick of their toes. I would feel awful.
Fleas: To keep the fleas away, I use a name brand flea regimen, Like Frontline Plus. I buy it from 800-petmeds. A little cheaper than the vet and the designer pet stores. The off brands in the store do not have the ingredient to spread the medicine throughout their fur. It just stays in the spot you applied it.
A little sprits, and now I have two clean designer dogs without paying the designer price. Depending on where I would go, I would be paying $15-30 per dog every two to three weeks. Minus the tools, I save roughly $700 a year.