How To Groom Your Cavachon at Home

A cavachon puppy posing with flowers in front of a white fence

Cavachon is a beautiful dog, the perfect mix of the Bichon Frise and the Cavalier King Charles. Because their fluffy coat is low shedding, many claim this breed to be hypoallergenic. While no breed is allergen-free, people with dander allergies may have a less severe reaction to the Cavachon. With proper grooming, you can control this even more.

Still, it’s not always convenient and cost-effective to bring this dog to the groomer every seven weeks. Even with their small stature, you can start to rack up quite the bill over time. The good news is you can groom this gentle, good-natured pup at home. Here’s all you need to know about how to groom your Cavachon at home. Proper maintenance between trims can help make the at-home grooming process a breeze, so regularly brush your dog with a soft-bristled brush to prevent matting and tangles.

Can I Groom My Cavachon at Home?

Cavachons are beautiful dogs whose hallmark feature is their fluffy coat – but it takes a lot of work to look that good! You can groom your Cavachon at home, saving you time and money while bonding with your dog.

You need a soft-bristled brush, metal comb, and scissors to start. Also, grab dog nail trimmers to trim their claws. If you plan on bathing your Cavachon, you’ll need shampoo, a towel, and a hair dryer. Some people may wish to condition their dog’s coat with conditioner or detangling spray, but this is optional. Grooming tables and arms can make grooming your Cavachon easier, especially if they like to wiggle. Have lots of treats on hand to reward them and keep them focused throughout the task.

Once you’ve got your tools lined up, you’re ready to groom your Cavachon. Start by brushing before moving to bathing and trimming. This process may take a few hours, so be prepared for a time commitment every few months. If you keep up with your dog’s regular care, it may not take as long. You should be trimming your Cavachon every two to three months based on your desired fur length, and only bathe them every six to eight weeks. Washing them too frequently can strip their coats of the natural oils that keep their skin and fur healthy.

Grooming your Cavachon can be a great way to bond with your dog. Take your time, don’t pull their hair too much, and entice them with treats. If you follow these helpful tips, you’ll be an amateur dog groomer in no time.

Cavachon running toward camera fetching bright orange plastic bone shaped dog toy on a sandy beach selective focus

How to Groom My Cavachon at Home

Grooming your Cavachon at home doesn’t have to be a chore, but it will be a multi-step process to get it right. In addition to washing, combing, and drying your Cavachon, you also need to take care to clean their ears to prevent ear infections, brush their teeth to promote good dental hygiene and trim their nails as needed. Here’s how to groom your Cavachon at home in the most painless way.

1. Give Your Cavachon a Pat-down

Before you get started, you want to inspect your dog to ensure there are no fleas, ticks, scratches, bumps, or other skin irritations. If you find any, it’s important to consult your vet before grooming your dog. You could cause more irritation and discomfort to your dog.

2. Brush Your Cavachon

Now that you’ve cleared your dog, it’s time to start brushing! Your Cavachon should be well used to being brushed by now, so it shouldn’t be a chore. Grab your soft, bristled brush and slowly brush them, starting with the head and working your way down. Take care with tangles and matted hair, gently breaking them up with a metal comb. In some cases, you may need to trim severely matted fur, so make sure to have the scissors handy.

If your Cavachon struggles to stand still, you may want to grab a few treats or lay out the peanut butter mat. These distractions can help your Cavachon stop wiggling long enough for you to brush them. Tugging and forcing the comb through tangled hair can cause your dog to snap, so go slowly until you’ve brushed their entire body.

Combing can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the state of your dog’s coat, so it’s okay to take breaks as needed. Do not leave any matting or tangles in the hair. It will be difficult to remove once the dog’s coat is wet.

brushing a puppy's fur

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3. Wash Your Cavachon (Optional)

The light coat makes regular washing a necessity for Cavachons, and that’s no different when you’re giving them a full groom. Once their coat is combed and tangle-free, it’s time to hit the bath! It’s best to bathe them in a shower or tub on the floor. These pups can try to squirm out of the water, so you want to avoid any far drops that could hurt them.

In warm water, gently rinse your Cavachon until they are thoroughly wet. Grab the dog shampoo — or baby shampoo in a pinch — and lather through their entire body, taking your time with any dirty or stained areas. Avoid getting the shampoo in their eyes and keep the inside of their ears dry. Excess water and soap in their ears can cause painful ear infections.

Rinse, removing all the shampoo from their coat. Any leftover shampoo can irritate your Cavachon’s skin, so take care to rinse slowly and carefully all over their bodies. You may need to shampoo twice if your dog is particularly dirty. Also, some owners like to condition their dog’s hair to make it extra soft and smooth, but this step is optional.

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4. Dry Your Cavachon (Optional)

Before you get started trimming your dog, you want to make sure they are completely dry to get the perfect cut. Start by drying your dog off with a towel to remove excess water. Go gently as drying too hard can cause their fur to frizz, matt, or break. Your dog may even try to shake out some of the wetness on their own, so let them shake away as long as you don’t mind the mess!

Once you’ve towel-dried them, grab your hair dryer. On medium heat, start gently drying your Cavachon. It doesn’t matter where you start. Just use a brush to help you work through their fur. Take extra care around their tail and ears. Many accidentally miss these spots. Once your dog is completely dry, you can move to trim them.

girl blow drying a dog on a towel

5. Dry Cut Your Cavachon

Because of the Cavachon’s fluffy hair, it’s essential that you dry cut their hair to get the proper shaping. You can trim without washing if needed but washing your dog first will ensure all dirt and grime is removed from their hair. You’re starting with a clean canvas, and your scissors will glide through their fur more smoothly after a bath.

First, you need to identify what type of haircut you want to give your Cavachon. There are many different options to choose from, but one of the most popular is the puppy cut. The puppy cut for a Cavachon is a little bit different, so you’ll want to start by trimming your dog’s fur short on the body and legs. Leave the hair on the face and tail longer, cutting to trim rather than for length.

If your dog wiggles, you may consider getting a grooming arm and table to help keep them still as you trim. Your dog must remain still while cutting to prevent nicks. If you prefer to use a shaver instead of scissors, you can just make sure to use a guard to get the right length.

Cavachons who have been brushed and groomed regularly from a young age handle haircuts more calmly, but it’s essential to make your Cavachon feel safe and calm throughout the process. Again, you may want to be liberal with the treats during this time for the best results.

6. Trim Your Cavachon’s Nails

If your Cavachon’s nails are clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. Grab canine nail clippers or guillotine nail trimmers to get the job done. Cut just above the quick, a blood vessel inside your dog’s nails that is very painful if you clip it. It should be a pink or grey oval. If you can’t see the quick because the nails are too dark, cut slowly in small increments. Check the nail each time. Once you see it, you know you’ve trimmed them enough.

If you cut your Cavachon’s nails too short, they may bleed, so it’s important to be careful. If your dog’s nails start to bleed, grab a styptic pencil or powder. The silver nitrate will help stem the bleeding. If it doesn’t stop, you’ll need to call your vet to seek medical attention. Some dogs hate getting their nails cut, so it may be easiest to have your vet or groomer do it to save you the scratches.

closeup of clipping a dog's nails

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Maintaining Your Cavachon Between Grooms

You Cavachon requires regular care in between grooming to keep them happy and healthy, so in addition to brushing their coat, you need to make sure to brush their teeth, wipe their eyes, and clean their ears.

Dental Care

Like other small breed dogs, Cavachons are prone to dental diseases that can lead to tooth loss. To prevent this, simply brush their teeth daily. A dog toothbrush with liver or meat-flavored toothpaste can help make the process enjoyable for your Cavachon. If they still struggle, you can move to weekly brushing.

You can take your dog to a dog dentist or vet for deep cleaning in severe cases, though they often have to be sedated during this process.

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Eye Care

Like other small dogs, Cavachons can get tear stains, where their undereye looks dark and wet with eye boogers. Thankfully, it’s easy to remove them with a warm washcloth or cotton ball. Wipe your Cavachon’s eyes regularly, treating their entire undereye to remove any debris or gunk that can be obscuring their vision. Trim their hair if you notice it’s grown too long and is getting in their eyes. Doing so can help prolong the time between full grooms.

Cavachons can be prone to eye problems, including dry eyes, cataracts, and ulcers, so regular care is essential to prevent costly issues down the road. Changing your dog’s diet can sometimes help treat these eye issues, so you’ll want to consult with a vet if they become serious concerns.

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Ear Care

Cavachon’s floppy ears can lead to frequent ear infections, so you’ll want to clean their ears once a month or more if you notice persistent scratching and shaking. Insert a few drops of saline solution into your dog’s ears and massage the solution in their canal to loosen any earwax buildup and prevent ear infections.

Your dog will shake their head afterward, and that’s completely normal! They’re shaking out the excess and removing any loose debris. Check their ears if you notice your Cavachon shaking or scratching its ear. Weird smells, redness, and swollen ears can indicate an infection, and you may need ear drops to treat it.

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Tips To Help Make Cavachon Grooming Easier

Not all Cavachons like getting groomed, so you’ll have to take your time caring for them at home. Here are some tips to help make your at-home grooming easier.

Exercise

A tired dog is a less antsy dog, so give your dog some exercise before starting grooming. Take them for a long walk or play fetch with them in the yard. Do what you can to get rid of some of their energy. If they are tired, your Cavachon is far more likely to be calm during grooming.

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Treats

Have lots of treats on hand to motivate your dog. If they start to wiggle, distract them with a treat. After each step, break one up and reward them for good behavior. Lick mats can distract them as you brush or wash them. Do whatever you can to keep them calm and distracted. Wiggly dogs are often accidentally cut, so do your best to keep their attention elsewhere if they don’t like grooming.

Go Slow

Take your time. It can be tempting to rush through brushing your Cavachon, tearing through tangles quickly to get it done. Unfortunately, this is conditioning your dog to equate the brush with pain, so they’ll be more likely to hide once they see you reaching for it. Instead, be patient. Work through areas slowly and softly, gently massaging your dog as you finish each section.

If your dog has tangles that you can’t remove, trim them out instead of tugging on their hair and skin. Slow and steady wins the race, and while it will take more time for both you and your dog, it’s worth it for a more enjoyable experience.

Why Is Grooming My Cavachon Important?

Aside from preventing matted fur clumps that are painful to remove, grooming your Cavachon can help promote their overall health and wellbeing! Cavachons are prone to certain conditions, including skin and ear infections and dandruff. Their coats can tangle, and it’s easy for debris to get caught in the soft, wavy hair. Cavachons can also get fleas and ticks. Provide regular grooming to promote healthy blood flow, properly distribute the natural oils to condition their coats, and keep them looking clean and fresh.

Regular grooming can also help you bond with your dog, so carefully brush their coats several times a week and bathe them every six to eight weeks. In addition to removing stains, you can get rid of any irritants in their fur and help them remain dander free.

cavachon puppy chewing a treat

The Final Say on Grooming Your Cavachon at Home

Cavachons are small enough that you can easily groom them at home with time and the right tools, including scissors, dog shampoo, and nail trimmers. How often you trim your Cavachon will depend on the haircut you prefer. Shorter cuts require more frequent trimming. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to bathe them every time that you trim your Cavachon’s fur. While it does help the scissors glide through their hair, too frequent bathing can strip their skin of their natural oils, causing skin irritation.

Regular brushing can help your Cavachon to keep looking their best between trims, preventing matting that can be challenging and painful to remove. Once your Cavachon’s nails start clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. These steps are possible at home if you have the right equipment. For example, dog nail trimmers often come with a guard that prevents you from clipping the quick, whereas human nail clippers do not.

In some cases, human tools will work in a pinch — like baby shampoo — but it’s best to pick up dog-friendly materials to make the most of your at-home grooming sessions. Your Cavachon will thank you!

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