Your personal hairbrush, while it may get the job decently done, is not enough if you want a well-groomed dog. Keeping your dog, regardless of the breed, in good health starts at the coat.
Healthy Coats Make Happy Dogs
Your dog’s diet reflects their coat, and regular grooming amplifies that by at least double. Having the basic equipment needed to do a good job grooming your dog on a regular basis really makes a noticeable difference in their appearance, behavior, and even the bond that the two of you share.
Grooming your dog does not mean giving them a bath, clipping and filing their nails, cleaning their ears, etc. While giving them a good groom once a month is great, they don’t always need the lap of luxury treatment. This is exactly why having a couple of the basic tools at home can ensure that you’ll be ready when the need arises.
Having these tools will also save you money on your grooming bill and, who knows, you may even get so good at that it, you won’t ever have to take them to the groomers again!
Basic Grooming Tools for Dogs
Where grooming tools are concerned, even the basics depend on the breed of dog you have. You will need to know the difference between products that are specifically made for shorter and longer coats, and make your purchases according to which coat type your breed of dog has.
While you can get away with a medium-toothed comb for both coat types, if you really want to go the extra mile then get one for your dog’s coat type. Wide-toothed combs are for dogs with thicker coats, which fine-toothed combs are for dogs with thin hair.
I’m a big fan of the Stainless Steel Comb by SHINY PET. It’s great to use for both dogs and cats, has a non-slip grip, and stainless steel teeth that are difficult to snap or break.
Brushes are a little more difficult to select. There are a number of different brush types for different coats. For example, slicker brushes are best for dogs with a thick undercoat, meaning dogs with long, thick hair, and has fine wire bristles for tangles and snags.
Bristle brushes are best for dogs who have a double coat, which consists of an outer coat that is resistant to weather and a softer undercoat. Pin brushes are somewhat close to slicker brushes, but they are great for all types of coats and hair lengths.
Bristle, slicker, and pin brushes are the only brushes that you should be using on your dog. Try to avoid brushes that have metal tips as this will irritate their skin, especially if your dog’s skin is sensitive to begin with.
Brushing your dog’s hair a couple of times a week improves their coats like you wouldn’t believe. It helps to release minor tangles, ensures matting won’t occur and helps to distribute the natural oils throughout your dog’s coat for healthy, shiny hair.
One of my favorite products to use is the Pet Grooming Glove by DELOMO when I’m in a bit of a lazy mood and don’t feel like brushing to the extreme.
Never use human shampoo on your dog. Your dog’s pH balance is extremely important to their skin and sometimes their overall health, specifically if your dog has a skin allergy or a regular allergy.
For any dogs with sensitive skin, skin allergies, or skin problems, in general, I highly recommend using the Oatmeal Shampoo by Burt’s Bees. One of my dogs has sensitive skin and this shampoo works wonders on her.
Therefore, only use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically made for dogs to avoid anything nasty happening. However, you can use baby shampoo because of how gentle and hypoallergenic it is but stop there where shampoo for people are concerned.
If you love the smell of baby powder like I do, then you’ll love Baby Powder Shampoo for Dogs by Crazy Dog. It smells absolutely amazing, comes in a 16-ounce bottle, and has a great price.
You can choose from a diluted solution that requires you to make a shampoo mix between water and diluted shampoo or a regular bottled brand of shampoo that is pre-made. The latter is fairly easy to find at your local pet store, while the diluted solution will take a bit of looking around depending on where you live.
Clipping your dog’s nails leaves you with two options where nail clippers are concerned: scissor or guillotine clippers. In truth, a lot of grooming salons and home groomers, including myself, prefer guillotine because of the design and ease of use.
My favorite pair of guillotine clippers would have to be the Quick Sensor Nail Clippers by SHINY PET. You can use them on your dog, cat, rabbit, iguana, you name it!
There are, of course, different sizes of nail clippers for different sizes of dogs, which also relates to which type is more preferable. For example, smaller breeds of dogs are better suited for the scissor type, while larger dogs do better with the guillotine.
Though this isn’t something that a lot of people who groom their dogs themselves have, styptic powder is very handy to have. If you have cut your dog’s nail too close to the quick you will notice that the bleeding will start. In truth, it’s hard to stop.
I always make sure I have Nick Relief Styptic Powder by Magic Touch on hand. It comes in a group of 6 vials, which is a great value and makes storing them easy. For me, though, I keep them around the house in case of nail breakage if my girls are outside playing so I can grab one wherever I am.
However, if you have styptic powder, take a pinch onto your finger, press it and hold your finger on the nail to clot and stop the bleeding. If you don’t have any on hand and this instance occurs, flour works, too, but it doesn’t clot the blood as quickly.
The Art of Home Grooming
Though there are many other products that are worth the investment if you plan on grooming your dog at home, the ones that I just mentioned are pretty much the basics that you’ll need to get by!