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Long Island groomer gives tips on how to pamper pets at home

Miniature goldendoodle taking a bath outdoors.

Miniature goldendoodle taking a bath outdoors. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Located in Bellmore, The Dirty Dawg has been serving customers and pets alike for 14 years. With over 27 years of experience, owner Debby Izzo shares some simple tips and tricks for pet owners on how to properly care for cats and dogs from home. 

For pet owners who want to groom their furry friends themselves without leaving the house, here are some pampering tips to follow.


Cutting your pet’s nails with clippers can serve as a dangerous task, as you may risk hitting the quick, a vein that runs through the nail. Izzo suggests a much simpler way to file them down. “Taking the dog for long walks on concrete will file the nails naturally,” Izzo said. She encourages taking walks on a regular basis for the best results.

HAIR (wash)

When it comes to washing your pet’s fur, the proper technique may not be too unfamiliar from your own. “Very similar to any thick-haired person, you would use your fingernails to scrub,” Izzo said. She reminds pet owners to also be mindful to clean their pet’s skin. “The dog’s skin is where the dander sits, and that is one of the two things that people are usually allergic to with dogs.”

HAIR (brush)

Matted fur can be a common occurrence for many long-haired breeds. If your pet has a knot in its fur, Izzo urges a safe approach. “If the dog has a knot that you need to cut out, do not cut across the knot,” Izzo said. If possible, Izzo recommends using a letter opener to split the knot. Then, once the larger knot becomes smaller, you can brush it out. “When a knot gets tight, it can pull the skin up into the knot itself, and cutting the knot itself may cut the dog’s skin."


As for brushing your pet’s teeth, Izzo sees it as a very similar process to humans. There are many ways to go about cleaning your pet’s teeth, whether using toothbrushes or dental sprays. “In order for it to be effective, you should do it once a day, and at minimum, once a week,” Izzo said.


In general, Izzo encourages pet owners to routinely groom their pets. “Depending upon the length of the hair of the dog, it should be done anywhere from daily to monthly,” Izzo said.

Izzo suggests the No. 1 thing all pet owners do is frequently brush and comb their pets. “All dogs and cats should be brushed, combed and bathed, and then dried, brushed and combed again,” Izzo said. She recommends using a wet paper towel to clean small areas, such as the inner corners of the dog’s eyes. “When it expels the mucus out of the eye, it usually contains bacteria and you really want to make sure that you get rid of that.”

If you have an allergy, Izzo advises brushing your pet in a well-ventilated area, not on your lap. Brushing on an elevated surface, such as a bathroom vanity or the top of a washing machine with a rubber mat, is preferred so you can really see what you’re doing. When grooming, it’s best to have your pet in a standing position. “Teaching a dog to lay down is detrimental and dangerous,” Izzo said.   

It’s important to note that just like people, different breeds of pets require different needs. 

INFO: The Dirty Dawg,, 1867 Newbridge Road, Bellmore; 516- 785-2442

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