Six years ago this fall, I brought home a Yorkie-Poo. Yorkie-Poos are Yorkshire terrier and Toy Poodle mixes that have hair instead of fur. My Yorkie-Poo, Zoe, has black semi-curly hair that grows quickly and frequently needs grooming. At first, I would only have Zoe groomed professionally for $45 to $60. Since she needs grooming about every eight weeks, this cost strained my budget.
You can save money by doing any or all of these things at home. My dog’s veterinarian is Banfield Pet Hospital, I have learned to do these at home reading Banfield’s website for tips or asking Banfield or Petsmart employees for advice. Not only will grooming save you money, it helps you to bond with your dog. My dog is terrified of the groomer’s and often gets sick after a visit, which adds to the trauma and cost.
I use small dog nail clippers and clip Zoe’s nails whenever they are too long. Since she is walked on concrete, this is about once a month. Her nails are black and it is hard to see the quick. The quick will bleed if you cut your dog’s nails too short. Usually the quick begins where the nail suddenly widens, but this isn’t always the case. I asked my vet how to find the quick and always err on the conservative side. If you accidentally over clip, you can stop the bleeding by packing the nail with cornstarch or styptic powder available at your local pet supply store. Don’t forget their dewclaws if they still have them. They are located on the inside side of their paws and are not worn down when walking.
I give my dog a bath in our bathtub on a weekly or biweekly basis, because her facial hair gets stinky and greasy. Your vet can tell you how often your particular dog needs bathing. Oatmeal shampoo is my favorite due to keeping Zoe’s skin from drying out. I just get her wet using a cup while avoiding getting water in her ears or up her nose, soap her up and then rinse and dry her. There are a wide variety of shampoos at the pet store, either read the labels, ask a pet store employee, or your vet for advice on which one to buy.
I’ve tried using clippers and it truly scares Zoe, not to mention I cut her once and it took two weeks to heal. So now I just put a sheet down on the floor, turn on a movie and cut her hair with scissors. Yorkie-Poos don’t have a specialty cut like Poodles. I just trim it everywhere, leaving it a bit longer on her body than on her tail, legs, and face. I use the clippers on her back at times for speed, but do her face and paws with scissors. It is not possible to get a clean cut with scissors. I give Zoe what is called a “teddy bear cut.” It is short and rounded and somewhat even all over. I leave a bit of a fluff ball on her tail. When doing her ears, I place her ear tips between my fingers at the edge. That way, I don’t accidentally nick her fragile ears.
Ear Hair Removal
This was hard for me at first, because it hurts a bit. If it is long, you can twist it up with a cotton swab and pull it out. Or you can use tweezers and pull a few hairs at a time. Pulling the ear hairs helps keep their ears clean and reduces the risk of infection. Just be careful not to poke down into the ear canal with any object.