Dogs are fun-loving creatures who like to play around in the park and other outdoor places. Domestic dogs usually have thick fur around them that attracts dust easily. You try to prevent your dog from playing in the mud but need to give him a bath when he gets dirty. Grooming freshens up your dog and makes him look pleasant. Cutting off excess hair along with proper trimming is a part of dog maintenance.
But grooming a dog is a tiring and costly affair. It gets especially time taking when you have a large dog. Some dogs are also reluctant and try to resist grooming. A grooming table at home comes a long way in easing the process. But with expensive rates of grooming tables, it’s a luxury to keep it at home. It becomes impractical to buy a grooming table when you’re already struggling with rent and other expenses. What if we tell there’s a cost-effective way to make a grooming table at the comforts of your home?
A DIY grooming table costs less than half of the commercial grooming tables and still does the job. You won’t have to take your dog to the groomer and waste your holiday there. You can perhaps have fun grooming your dog at home with a DIY grooming table. Having a grooming table at home also comes with benefits like regular grooming sessions which help to keep your dog clean and presentable.
Other than the apparent job of getting your dog groomed expertly, the grooming table should be durable since it’s a long term investment for most of us. It’s essential to customise your grooming table for the size of your dog to ensure optimum comfort for your pet along with the workability.
Benefits of a DIY Grooming Table:
While grooming your dog on the bathroom floor, coffee table or the garden table works for many pet owners, the benefits of having a DIY grooming table are irresistible. Once you make a DIY grooming table for your dog, it’s hard to go back to old ways because of its splendid benefits.
Grooming a dog is a tedious process that can be painful if the table’s height is too high or too low for comfort. It requires bending a lot which can cause pain in your back. Since a grooming table is made especially for your dog’s size, it is convenient to put your dog at the table’s level. You don’t need to bend a lot in finding suitable angles while grooming your dog.
Adjustable Height –
Putting your dog on a high grooming table can take a lot of strength. If you don’t lift weights and have a heavy dog, it can be a real struggle to put your dog on a high table. Some dogs also get stressed just before a grooming session. Trying to force your reluctant dog on the grooming table is another tedious task you want to avoid.
A grooming table has an adjustable height. You can lower the table for your large dog to step on it and then increase the height to a comfortable level. Once you have completed the grooming, you can lower the table to get your dog off it, which makes the whole grooming process very convenient.
Tables are usually slippery. Grooming your dog on a slippery table may lead to your dog slipping off them during grooming. Grooming tables have a non-slip cover which makes it easy to grip for your body. The dog won’t slip off the grooming table when you apply force during grooming. The non-slip nature of the grooming table prevents injuries and ensures a safe and secure grooming session.
You may have spent hours struggling to groom your dog properly. Your dog suddenly starts resisting you, making grooming a tiring experience. But when you take him to a professional groomer, everything gets fine. Your dog obeys the professional groomer, and the overall grooming is top-notch. This can be majorly attributed to the grooming table the professionals use.
The specialised features of the grooming table turn the grooming experience from miserable to smooth. The grooming table allows you to reach your dog’s body parts easily without making extra efforts.
Features of a Good Dog Grooming Table:
Before making a DIY grooming table, you must know what your final result should look like. It’s necessary to figure out your expectations from your grooming table, your dog’s size among other things. You should consider how often you need to groom your dog. Another thing is where will you keep the table in your home. Other things include specific arrangements for your dog’s or your own comfort and deciding its portability. Choosing the size of the grooming table suitable for your dog is also crucial.
Once you have locked in on your expectations from your grooming table, the task of making an ideal grooming table becomes far easier. Following are the features of a grooming table that will determine how it performs for you:
A grooming table should be stable since it’s a long term investment for most dog owners. Choose to build material wisely. Durable and cost-effective materials include wood and steel. You should also carefully decide the covering of your table. The covering should be slip-free as well as comfortable for your dog to sit on.
You should keep the height of the grooming table that provides you with easy access to all your dog’s body parts easily. Make the table according to your own height to avoid bending your back for a long time while grooming your dog. Tables with adjustable heights are the best option for large and old dogs that are uncomfortable climbing onto heights and it’s a burden to lift them up. An adjustable table provides a convenient platform to help them climb easily and you can adjust the height suitable for yourself to ensure all-round comfort.
The table should definitely be bigger than your dog. To groom him properly, it should have a lot of working space even after when your dog is lying down or standing up on the table. More space ensures optimum grooming area for both the pet’s and your convenience. It’s a good idea to measure your pet before deciding on the size of the table. You can also opt for a large-sized table in case you have multiple dogs. You can make a table with multiple loops and hooks to groom all your dogs.
The strength of the table is a crucial factor as a wobbly grooming table would lead to a painful grooming experience. If the table is wobbling, your dog might fall off and get injured so consider the strength of the table according to your dog’s size. You should have a well-built table with thick stands if you have a heavy dog. Try to strengthen the arm and noose so that the table doesn’t wobble even when your dog moves around during grooming.
Safety Mechanism –
Since safety is always a priority, you should choose the noose and harness carefully. You might want to opt for a noose if you have a small dog while the harness is preferable for larger breeds. You should also have a crosstie anchored to the table in your grooming table. Crosstie is essentially an adjustable cord that you can tie around your dog’s neck to keep him stable while grooming him.
DIY Dog Grooming Table Arm:
A grooming arm is another essential component of a DIY grooming table which ensures perfect mobility and security of your dog. You can choose a single arm for your dog which can be adjusted according to the height of your dog. You can also extend the single-arm either horizontally or vertically.
While a single-arm fulfils the basic purpose of having a grooming arm, you should opt for an H-arm if your dog resists grooming. The H-arm basically means two arms that keep your pet still through hooks and nooses. The H-arm works like a charm for reluctant dogs but makes him less mobile and it gets difficult to reach some parts of your dog’s body.
How to make a Grooming Arm?
Grooming arms are attached to the end of the grooming table and keep your dog on a leash. The dog becomes stable and it’s easy to groom him while he’s attached to the grooming arm. While grooming arms are available in pet stores easily, they are a bit expensive. But the good news is that you can make your own DIY grooming arm using a few easy steps given below.
- Dog leash
- 3 connectors (0.5 inch)
- Metal outlet cover
- Straight conduit
- Elbow conduit
- Eye bolts (threaded)
Measure the distance between your dog’s head and his front paw using a measurement tape. Cut the straight conduit with a hacksaw to the exact length measured.
Now you have to drill four holes into the exterior cover and a single hole into the straight conduit. Smoothen the rough edges to make it look clean.
Now you have to take the straight conduit and attach the eyebolt into it. Attach the two pieces to separate connectors using the elbow conduit.
Fix the L-shaped arm to the exterior cover by the use of the third connector left.
Use the hand clamp to mount the exterior cover onto the table. Clamp both sides of your cover firmly using the hand clamp. Use wood screws for a secure fit of the exterior covers.
Finally, complete the arm by tying a leash for making the grooming loop that will keep your dog stable.
How to get a Large Dog on the Grooming Table?
Grooming your dog can be a real struggle when you have a large dog. The trouble doubles if your dog is reluctant and you have to do it all yourself. One of the key factors that can ensure a smooth grooming session with your dog is providing the right training. While dogs resist activities they don’t like, it gets easier to handle them when they are trained.
Different breeds of dogs take different amounts of time for training so it’s important to be patient. Use body language and short commands to train your dog to obey you. You can start by telling him to sit and making him repeat your actions. While puppies, just like children, learn faster, it’s possible to train older dogs with the right amount of time and focus.
Once you have trained your dog to obey you, adjust the height of the table to the lowest level. Next step is putting the grooming loop or noose around his neck. Then teach him to climb on the table by putting his front paw on the table. A good way to do this is pointing to the grooming table and commanding “Up”. Dogs naturally react to their owner’s commands and this will encourage you to take the first step.
As soon as he puts his front paw on the table, grab him from his stomach and hold his hind legs. Pick him up from there and push him onto the table. Once he has climbed on the table, hook the grooming loop to the grooming arm. Try to encourage him by making a praising gesture, so he feels good about himself. Slowly but steadily he will get habitual of it.
If this procedure fails and feels tedious to you, you can alternatively buy portable steps. You can then train your dog to climb up the table using the steps. Teaching your dog to “sit” and “stand” on commands will go a long way in making the grooming experience convenient.
Training your dog also helps you in other activities including getting vaccinations, bathing your dog, making him friendly with friends and strangers etc.
These were some of the benefits of making a DIY grooming table, so don’t waste more time and start making one at home.