This is a guest post from Ann Staub of Pawsitively Pets. Ann is a former Veterinary Technician of 5 years. She graduated college as a Vet Tech in 2007 and has worked with all kinds of animals including cats, dogs, birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Now, she’s a professional pet blogger sharing her adventures and knowledge at her blog, Pawsitively Pets.


pet grooming dog-bath

Keeping your pet well groomed contributes to their overall health and happiness. Pet grooming includes coat, ear, nail, and dental maintenance. While it may be easy to drop your pet off at the groomer and let them handle the rest, some people prefer to do some of their own grooming at home.

Some pets don’t like going to the groomer. Maybe you’d like to save some money by doing a little bit of at home maintenance between professional grooming sessions. Whatever the reason may be, here are 6 secret pet grooming tips to try at home:

Corn Starch for Nail Trim Accidents

Dogs and cats (and just about every other type of pet with nails) have a blood supply to their nail bed that is referred to as the “quick”. While it’s best to avoid the quick, accidents can happen. If the nails are trimmed too short, it can cause bleeding that may be hard to stop.

The best way to stop nail bleeding is with styptic powder, but if you don’t have any at home just grab some corn starch. Pack the corn starch onto the bleeding nail and hold pressure for a few minutes. Other household items that work well to stop nail bleeding are baking soda and flour.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Ear Maintenance

Apple cider vinegar has a plethora of uses for pets. One of those many uses is ear maintenance because it helps combat bacterial and fungal infections. You can make your own ear cleanser at home by combining apple cider with equal parts distilled water.

Moisten a few cotton balls with the apple cider vinegar solution and gentle clean the inside of your pet’s ears with it.

Fresh Breath with Parsley

parsley-cat-1Dental care is extremely important for pets and keeps their breath smelling nice. While brushing your dog or cat’s teeth is highly recommended—try Vet’s Best’s new Dog Dental Care Gel Toothpaste, which uses natural ingredients to clean away tartar and plaque—you can also add parsley to their diet to help keep their breath fresh.

Parsley is safe for dogs and cats to eat in moderation and is a natural breath freshener. If you prepare your dog or cat’s food and/or treats at home, try adding in some parsley some time.

Use Vaseline for Accidental Cuts

If you’re bold enough to clip and trim your pet’s fur at home, always be prepared for accidents. In case of an accidental nick or cut, keep vaseline handy. Applying vaseline to a cut can help minimize bleeding until you can get your pet to the vet.

Dawn Dish Soap for Young Pets with Fleas

Have a puppy or kitten with fleas? Using the usual topical flea medication or flea shampoo may not be an option for younger pets. If you want to get rid of the fleas on your puppy or kitten, try bathing them with Dawn dish soap.

While this will not prevent fleas from returning, it will help remove them from your pet for the time being until they are old enough for preventative flea medication.

(Ed. note: Click here to learn how to check your pet for fleas)

Make Tick Removal Easier with Rubbing Alcohol

It’s not uncommon to find unwanted hitchhikers on a pet while grooming them at home. Ticks are external parasites that attach themselves to an animal’s skin. While Tick Twisters and tweezers are both good tools to remove ticks with, they can be tricky to remove sometimes.

Before removing a tick, put some rubbing alcohol on it to slow it down and loosen its grip making it easier to remove. You’ll also sanitize the bite location in the process.

So that’s it—now you know a few secret tips for pet grooming at home! Do you have any other tips for grooming your pets? Share them with us in the comments!