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What You Should Know About Dog & Cat Grooming: Bathing, Hair Cutting, Nail Clipping & More

What You Should Know About Dog & Cat Grooming: Bathing, Hair Cutting, Nail Clipping & More

Your dog or cat's grooming routine is an important part of their routine Today, our Baltimore vets offer some tips on grooming basics for both dogs and cats, and advice about how to groom your pet at home. 

Grooming for Dogs

While each pet's needs will vary, basic grooming for dogs typically includes bathing, brushing and nail trimming. Your pooch may also need haircuts depending on his or her breed. 


To help remove dirt and debris from your dog's coat and ensure their skin stays healthy, bathing is key. However, bathing your dog too frequently can damage hair follicles, irritate skin, and increase the risk of fungal or bacterial infections. 

Most dogs will require a bath between once a month and once every three months. Use a shampoo specially formulated for dogs and warm water. The water shouldn't be warmer than the dog's skin. 


Brushing helps remove dead hair from your dog's coat, which prevents matting and skin irritation. It also helps reduce shedding and finding random tufts of dog hair around your house — a continuous battle that most pup parents know a lot about! 

The longer your dog's hair, the more frequently you'll need to brush it. While some dogs need daily brushing, others can do with a monthly brushing. 

Nail Trimming

Use a clipper specially designed for dogs to trim their nails. While a rotary trimmer can be a safer alternative, it may take more time. If you're not comfortable doing the job yourself (or if your dog isn't able to tolerate it), consider having a qualified professional do the job. 


Speak to your vet to determine exactly how often (if at all) your dog needs haircuts, and how best to get this task done, as different breeds will have different needs. 

To cut your dog's hair, first bathe them with a good quality dog shampoo before towel drying and brushing. With sharp scissors, trim the fur around the face and feet, then use electric clippers for the rest of the body. 

Grooming for Cats

Grooming for cats usually involves brushing, bathing, nail and paw care, ear care, dental care, and eye care.


Brushing your cat removes dirt, grease, skin flakes and dead hair from the coat, and it helps to stimulates blood circulation and improve overall skin condition as well.

Brush your kitty once or twice a week with a metal comb (thick or thin teeth are both fine, whatever works best). You’ll find that these regular brushing sessions are particularly beneficial as your cat ages and can't groom as meticulously anymore.


It's no secret that most cats hate water, and you'll be pleased to learn that most cats do not need to be bathed on a regular basis. Cats can more or less take care of their own grooming, and will only need help if they get particularly filthy, or get into something sticky.

Bathe your cat using special cat shampoo and warm, but not hot water. Keep in mind that there's a good chance your cat will not want to cooperate, so be sure to shut the bathroom door before you begin, and consider wearing gloves and long sleeves.

Nail & Paw Care

It’s important to regularly examine and clean your cat’s paws and make sure they’re wound-free and free of debris.

Trimming cat's nails can reduce scratching, and mitigate the destruction of your soft furnishings. For cats that are unwilling to tolerate nail trimming, spending some time getting them used it their paws being touched (without trimming) can help.

Professional Grooming Services at Falls Road Animal Hospital

In case grooming your pet at home becomes too time-consuming or you would rather a professional do the job with minimal fuss, we are here for you. We offer professional grooming services to help Baltimore pets put their best paw forward. Contact us today to book your appointment. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for advice on your pet's grooming needs, or would you rather our groomer complete the task? Contact our Baltimore vets today for tips or to schedule an appointment.

Caring for Pets in Baltimore

Falls Road Animal Hospital accepts new clients to our specialty services and 24/7 emergency services.

Contact Us

Contact (410) 825-9100