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Common Dog Grooming Mistakes

Petmate Academy

August 29, 2022

Dogs are a part of the family for many people, and because of that, we want to take care of them in the best possible way. That includes grooming them regularly to keep them looking and feeling their best. However, there are some common mistakes people make when grooming their dogs that can actually do more harm than good. 

In this post, we'll talk about some of those mistakes so you can avoid them! Happy grooming!

Not Brushing Your Dog's Teeth Regularly

When people think of grooming their dog, tasks like brushing and bathing likely come to mind. However, grooming goes far beyond that! One common dog grooming mistake that pet parents make is not brushing their dog's teeth regularly. While most people brush their own teeth at least once a day, surprisingly few take the time to do the same for their dogs. However, dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans, and neglecting to brush your dog's teeth can lead to a number of problems. 

Plaque and tartar can build up on your dog's teeth, leading to gum disease and bad breath. In extreme cases, the infection can spread to your dog's heart, lungs, or kidneys. To avoid these problems, dog owners should make sure to brush their dog's teeth on a regular basis. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, you should ideally brush your dog's teeth twice a day, like humans. Understanding that this is unlikely for most pet owners to commit to, brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation. While it may seem like a chore, consistent brushing will help keep your dog's teeth healthy and prevent costly veterinary bills down the road.

Not Cutting Their Nails Often Enough

Dog's nails need to be trimmed on a regular basis to keep them from getting too long. If left untrimmed, dog nails can become overgrown, making it painful for your dog to walk and increasing the risk of injury. In addition, long nails can cause problems with your dog's posture and make it difficult for them to grip toys or treats properly. 

To keep your dog's nails healthy and trimmed, you should aim to cut them every two to four weeks. While you can take your dog to a professional groomer to have their nails trimmed, it is also relatively easy to do at home with the right tools. All you need is a good pair dog nail clippers and some patience. Just be sure to take your time and avoid cutting too close to the quick, as this can be painful for your dog.

Not Bathing Them Often Enough – or Bathing Them Too Often

Many dog owners make the mistake of bathing their dog either too often or not often enough. Bathing your dog too often can strip away the natural oils that protects your dog's skin and fur, leading to dryness, itchiness, and irritation. 

On the other hand, not bathing your dog often enough can cause an accumulation of dirt, dandruff, and strong odors. So, how often should you bathe your dog? The answer may depend on several factors, including your dog's breed, activity level, and skin type. However, as a general rule of thumb, most dogs only need to be bathed about once every four weeks, unless they're visibly dirty or soiled. If you're unsure how often to bathe your dog, consult with your vet.

Not Brushing Before and After Baths

a small dog sitting down, holding a brush in it's mouth


Most dog owners are familiar with the need to brush their dog's coat every now and then. However, many people make the mistake of only brushing their dog after their baths. While it's certainly important to brush your dog after their bath in order to remove any loose fur left over and prevent matting, it's just as important to brush them before their bath. Brushing out your dog's coat before their fur gets wet helps prevent tangling and removes loose fur. Check out this article for tips on choosing the right dog brush.

Shaving Your Dog's Coat in the Summer

As the weather gets warmer, you may be tempted to shave your dog's coat in order to help them stay cool. However, this is actually a grooming mistake that can cause more harm than good. A dog's coat provides important protection from the sun, helping to prevent sunburn and regulate body temperature. Instead of shaving your dog, focus on keeping your dog hydrated and providing plenty of shade and cooling baths. Avoid taking walks during the hottest hours of the day, and if you do go out, make sure to take plenty of water breaks. 

Using Human Products on Dogs

While dogs are often considered part of the family, it's important to remember that they are different from humans in many ways. Never use products intended for humans on your dog, as this can cause irritation and even serious skin problems. Regular shampoo, for example, is not formulated for canine use and can actually strip away the natural oils that protect your dog's skin and coat. In addition, human products often contain fragrances and other ingredients that can irritate your dog's skin. Instead, opt for a dog-specific shampoo that will be gentle enough for regular use.


Grooming your dog is an important part of their overall health and well-being. Not only will it keep them looking sharp, but it will also help to keep them clean and healthy. Staying clear of the aforementioned mistakes can help make the grooming and bathing process smoother for both you and your dog. Be sure to check out our selection of high-quality dog grooming products at Petmate®, including shedding tools, nail care essentials, combs, and more.

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