Grooming your dog at home, by yourself can be a fun experience for you and your dog. It can also be an engaging way for you to bond with your dog and make sure that it is in good condition. Apart from keeping you busy, there are loads of benefits for your furry friend. Not only does it make your dog look good, but it also makes them feel comfortable. Imagine if you never shaved, took a bath or brushed your teeth, it is pretty much the same when you leave your dog unattended.
There are several tools you have to consider when you want to groom your dog:
- Grooming brush
- Deshedding tools
- Nail Cutting Tool
- Clippers or Shears
Generally, dog grooming involves the overall cleaning and care of a dog, which is often done for basic hygienic purposes or to improve the dog’s physical appearance either for shows or other competitions. As good as grooming sounds, getting started can be a little overwhelming, especially when there are several dog-grooming essentials to choose from. The fun and excitement that comes with shopping for grooming tools are great as it can bring you to a different territory of lively, bright-colored tools but choosing the right tool often requires that you have a clear idea of what you will be working on.
This results in a lot of questions, such as, which dog-grooming tools are best to use? What type of dog grooming equipment do I need to have right now and which can wait?
Just know that the type of tool you select depends largely on the dog’s coat type because choosing the incorrect tool for a coat type can have a negative impact on your effectiveness as a groomer. The rest of this article will provide different options for how you can choose your dog grooming tools and what you need each tool for. This article will help you understand your options better and choose the best tools for your grooming needs.
The Basics of Dog Grooming
As we’ve stated before, choosing the right grooming tool for your dog can be quite confusing and tasking. This is because each dog’s hair comes in varying texture and length. So when looking for the best dog tool you must always consider your dog’s coat and the purpose of the grooming session. Some people may need a dog shedding tool while others might require something that detangles unruly knots. Whatever your preference is, before we go into the dog grooming tools, let’s take a look at the different types of dog coats.
- Smooth/Single-Coated: these dogs are among the easiest to groom with coats only consisting of a small, short, and stiff topcoat, with no undercoat. Dogs with this kind of fur include the Weimaraner, the Dalmatian, the Vizsla, and the Italian Greyhound.
- Medium–Coated: they may have both a top coat and an undercoat, but their fur does not grow beyond a predetermined short length. Dogs like the Labrador Retriever, the Rottweiler, the Parsons Russell Terrier, and the Australian Cattle Dog have this kind of fur.
- Heavy–Coated: they often have multiple coat textures that create a dense heavy coat. Their coat may consist of a long silky topcoat, a dense undercoat, and other short-coated areas. The Rough-Coated Collie, the Newfoundland, the Chow Chow, and the Pomeranian all have heavy-coated fur.
- Drop–Coated: they often have a long coat that covers their entire body. These breeds may also have an undercoat. This kind of coat requires daily brushing and frequent grooming to prevent it from tangling. The Lhasa Apso, the Old English Sheepdog, the Yorkshire Terrier, and the Havanese belong to this category.
- Curly–Coated: they also require daily brushing and regular grooming to prevent tangles and matting that may require shaving to remove. Curly-coated dogs include the Poodle, the Portuguese Water Dog, the Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Bedlington.
- Wire/Rough–Coated: often have long, coarse guard hair that runs throughout their entire body. They also have a soft, dense undercoat. These dogs require daily brushing and regular grooming to prevent matting. They include the Airedale Terrier, the Cairn Terrier, the West Highland White Terrier, and the Wire-Haired Dachshund.
Grooming Tools for Dogs
Having the right dog-grooming tools blends effectiveness with care while relieving you of a lot of stress. It speeds up brushing and reduces your dog’s discomfort. A lot of dog owners think that all grooming tools are the same, I can assure you that they are not. As I mentioned, you need to select your dog-grooming tools based on their individual needs, basically the texture of your dog’s fur. So before you purchase the tools, carefully study the grooming requirements of your dog’s breed. Generally, these essentials are recommended by professionals.
- Grooming brush
- Deshedding tools
- Nail Cutting Tool
- Clippers or Shears
● Dog Brush
Grooming or brushing a dog’s coat can be relatively easy and anxiety-free. However, a lot of dog owners still manage to take this simple task for granted. If you want to properly groom your dog, you will need to get a quality and suitable dog brush to make dog brushing enjoyable for you and your dog. There are different types of dog brush, and before you buy one, make sure you have a proper understanding of what a certain brush does as well as your dog coat type. We’re over-emphasizing because getting the wrong brush can do your dog a lot of harm. Remember not to only choose a dog brush based on its price or design but also consider its quality and function, as well as the type of coat your dog possesses.
- Bristle Brushes – The versatility of this brush is what makes it suitable for dogs with both short or long coats. This bristle brush works great with dogs with short or smooth coats that shed often such as the Jack Russel, Pug, etc. These brushes also vary depending on the space between their bristles. Hence you can use shortly spaced brushes for shorter coat and widely spaced brushes for a longer coat.
- Rake Brushes – Best used for dogs that have a thick coat like the German Shepherds, Chow Chows, etc, which tend to develop dead undercoats and trap dirt in their fur. These rake brushes are shaped like a razor which is why you should be careful when using it. Avoid putting too much pressure.
- Rubber Curry Brushes – this brush is made of rubber or plastic with short “teeth” on one side and is suitable for dogs with short hair. It is often “curried” over the dog’s coat to remove dirt and loosen tangled hair. They also stimulate the skin to help the animal produce natural oils. However, it is important to be gentle when using it as it may cause injury to the skin of the dog.
- Slicker Brushes – known to remove mats and tangles easily, this brush is often used for dogs with medium-long hair such as the Yorkie, Golden Retriever, etc. Before purchasing a slicker brush, be sure to select the correct size for your dog and one with a comfortable and flexible handle. You should also apply minimal pressure when using it. Also, there are some slicker brushes on the market that have tightly-spaced wires which may cause discomfort to your dogs. As much as you want to groom your dog, don’t forget that their comfort and safety is also paramount.
● Dog Combs
Unlike brushes, dog combs are great for the sensitive areas of your dog’s coat. Usually, the hair around your dog’s ear canal gets tangled and matted. But you wouldn’t want to groom that delicate and sensitive area with, say a large slicker or pin-tipped brush- it only makes it uncomfortable for your dog. Hair also grows around your dog’s anal region, which is an especially sensitive area, and is likely to become matted and tangled also. Now, all these delicate jobs require a delicate tool- this is where a dog comb comes in. Also, dirt and debris can gradually accumulate in the fur on your dog’s face, and you wouldn’t want to use a large brush for the fur in this region. This is exactly when a comb comes in handy. Here are different kinds of comb available for dog grooming:
- Flea Combs – just as it sounds, a flea comb is a comb that is used in natural flea treatment, getting rid of fleas, flea dirt, dead hair, flea eggs, other materials that might be caught in the coat. The teeth of these combs are very close together which makes fleas and debris to be easily pulled out of the fur. Because of the fine teeth, it is much easier to use on smooth, silky coats.
- Shedding Combs – Shedding Combs are dog Combs that come with teeth of two different lengths. The longer teeth are designed to lift and separate the hair, while the shorter teeth are made to remove packed-in dead hair.
- Steel Comb – The steel comb is suitable for dogs of all sizes. It is designed in a way that on one half of the comb are pins that are very close together. These pins help to achieve a fine combing. On the other half, the pins are a little farther apart. Professionals suggest that you make use of the side with the wide-space teeth first to brush the hair before using the side with the more closely packed pins. This Comb also helps to remove loose hair, hence you wouldn’t need to maneuver a de-shedding tool through those sensitive areas of your dog’s coat. It also works as a good finisher. The comb is small enough to fit into smaller areas yet sturdy enough to get rid of mats and knots.
- Fine/Coarse Combs – these Combs are often used to detangle, de-shed, or fluff fine to medium, and curly dog coats. So when there are no tangles left in the coat of your dog, the remaining clipping or scissoring works easily and quickly.
- Medium/Coarse Combs – they are also used to detangle, de-shed, or fluff medium- to heavy- and curly dog coats, making it easier to do all finishing works and set patterns.
- Face/Finishing Combs – commonly seen in the neighborhood beauty salons, the face combs also used as finishing tools. These combs work best for smooth and short coats, but they can also be used on long coats. They stimulate the dog’s coat to distribute natural oils throughout the fur and add shine.
- Tail Combs – The tail Combs can be found in several varieties. As the name suggests, it refers to the additional length of coat on the end of the dog’s spine, and it aids in barber rolling breeds, creating clean parts for top knots.
● Deshedding Tools
Having the best dog grooming supplies can help you combat the problem of shedding, although you’ll never be able to get rid of this issue entirely. There are different dog grooming tools available on the market specially made to fight the loose hair that keeps falling off your dog.
- Deshedding Blade – This blade comes with a handle and a serrated blade at the end. They are suitable for removing the top layer of a dead coat on medium-haired dogs such as German Shepherd. Deshedding blades must be used very carefully so as to avoid hurting the dog’s skin, especially when dealing with sensitive areas on the dog’s skin.
- Carding Tools – these tools are usually dragged gently along the dog’s coat to get rid of dead undercoat while still keeping the healthy top coat intact. They can be used on medium, double, and portions of silky-coated breeds.
- Splitters – these tools have blades that are curved like a sickle but with rounded, blunt ends just for the pet’s safety. They are designed specially to help remove loose hair and undercoat with little effort.
- Grooming Rakes – Grooming Rakes are designed to be used on medium, double and heavy-coated dogs so as to remove the dense undercoat. They are made in a way that the pins will go through the topcoat gently so as to remove the dead and thick undercoat.
- FURminator – this de-shedding tool has a toothed metal comb, as well as a button to release collected fur. It is suitable for flat, short, combination, heavy and double coat as it can reduce shedding up to 90%.
- Undercoat Strippers –these tools have sharply curved blades that are blunt at the tips for the safety of the dogs. They are designed to remove tangles and mats that can be tight on the skin, without losing too much hair.
● Clippers or Shears
Dog-grooming tools like clippers and shears are used to shorten or remove excess hair. However, it is important to carry out some research before purchasing either because not all coats are suitable for clipping. Usually, Shears for dog grooming come in various sizes between 6.5 and 9 inches long, and they are specifically made to have a blunt tip to prevent any accident.
Clippers, on the other hand, make cutting and styling your dog’s hair much easier. It allows you to easily run through the most difficult knots and thick coats. Generally, dog clippers come in two categories:
- Battery operated (Cordless) vs Electric operated (Corded) – grooming clippers either come with batteries or operated with electric power sources. A lot of the battery-operated products can be purchased with rechargeable batteries which come in handy each time they run down. If you want to decide on which type is best for your needs, you need to consider how often you plan on clipping your dog, and where. For instance, if you have a dog that you just clip off for summer probably once or twice a year, then you may want to go with the battery operated clipper and you don’t need to be near a power source. On the other hand, if you have a small fluffy dog that requires a haircut every couple of months, then you may want to purchase an electric clipper, which you won’t have to be draining and recharging every time. A big dog is easier to clip outdoors, while a little dog can be easily clipped indoors, especially if you have a particular area set up for this.
- Single Speed vs Two Speed – just as they come with different operations, clippers are also available in different speeds at which the motors operate. Now, this depends on the type of coat you are dealing with and how often you will be clipping your dog. For a dog that has a single coat (no thickness in undercoat) and a coat that is well brushed and kept free from matting, a single speed clipper would be efficient. However, if the dog has a double (or very thick undercoat) or gets slightly matted near the skin, then a two-speed clipper is the most ideal option for you in this case. Actually, there are now even three-speed clippers on the market but these clippers are best suited for professional groomers.
Now you know that several options can be put into consideration when choosing or purchasing the right dog grooming tool. Hopefully, you can use this article as a perfect guide when you finally decide to start searching the market for the best grooming tools well suited for your needs as well as your dog’s.
On this note, it is important to know that grooming is a great way to bond with your pet and access their body for any problems that they may have developed over time. We hope that this article has been helpful in this process. Good luck!