Dog grooming is considered to be an art and it takes a lot of practice to master all the skills required to make a dog shine. Sending your dog off to the groomer can be very expensive. So why not give it a try yourself at home . After some practice, you’ll have the results you always wanted.
When talking about dog grooming, we mean caring for the dog’s coat and hygiene, with all the finishing touch to make the owner melt. To get there, there are several steps to follow:
1. Washing and cleaning your dog
Groomers need a perfectly clean dog to work with
2. Trimming your dogs coat
Removing that excess fur and dematting your dog.
3. Beautify your dog
Very subjective but usually includes a scent and some fine grooming details.
Grooming your dog
The focus of this article is to help you execute the two first steps perfectly, simply because the third step is a personal choice for each dog and dog owner. If you are a dog lover or a dog breeder who is raising champion Dams and Sires, it is a great move to learn how to groom at home.
Let’s look at what dog grooming supplies you must have to groom your dog at home!
1. All-Natural Dog Shampoo
First things first, we’ve got to wash our dog! Some may prefer to do it with lukewarm water only and they should, especially if the dog gets groomed regularly. A dog’s skin has self-lubricating oils that protect him or her against dirt. However, dogs and humans have very different definitions of the word ‘dirt’...
Never use human shampoo on your dog, our skins are totally different and you could severely damage your pet’s skin if you do. There are several shampoos available and just like four shampoos, prices go from very cheap to very expensive. We recommend using all-natural shampoos with a limited list of ingredients, ideally composed of essential oils.
2. Set of Quality Brushes and Combs
While washing your dog, you want to start dematting your dog and do some preparative work for our later stage. Brushes comes in so many sizes and styles that it would be hard to list them all here. However, you can categorize them as follows:
a) Bristle Brush
The best for all types of coat as long as you pick the right pin length and spacing.
b) Wire-pin brushes
The best for long-haired or curly dogs, may also have rubber-tipped ends.
c) Slicker brushes
The best to demat and untangle difficult coats. Do not be harsh and brutal when brushing the dog’s coat, even if you are dealing with a tangled coarse coat. Make sure you offer treats all along and make it as pleasurable as possible.
d) Deshedding brush.
Some dog shed badly several times a year and you do want to use such brush regularly, if not every day. There are also deshedding gloves available for a more natural movement.
3. Dog-Friendly Force Dryer
Once you’ve washed your dog properly, you can either let it dry for hours or you can and probably should use a forced-air dog dryer. But first, let me tell you why you should not use a regular handheld hair dryer on your dog:
- The heat will burn the dog’s skin
- The noise will scare the dog
- It will take a lot of time on thick coats
When using a force dryer, you are basically using cold air at a very high velocity which remove the issue of skin burning, and makes the drying a lot faster even with difficult coats. Regular force dryers can be noisy, but those built for groomers are specifically designed to be quiet. They are the ones all professional groomers use!
4. Dog Grooming Table
Although you could definitely use your regular dining table, you may want to find an adapted solution for more frequent grooming sessions. Now, here is the thing: dog grooming tables are priced from $100 all the way up to the $1,000-mark. Where a real grooming salon required a hydraulic foot-operated table, you can easily get away with a portable and foldable grooming table. However, don’t always go for the smallest as you do want to have space to be able to move your dog around.
A good pet grooming table requires a sturdy adjustable grooming arm and loop to keep the dog in place and avoid him to jump off. It sounds funny, but a panicking dog can be unpredictable — this is why grooming should start very early, even by getting puppies used to being groomed.
5. Professional Pet Clippers
There are plenty great dog clippers or hair trimmers available with the top brands being the same you find in your hair salon: Wahl, Andis and Oster just to name a few. Your purchase must:
- Feel comfortable in hand — you’re going to hold them for quite a while,
- Be as quiet as possible — dogs hate that loud noise cheap clippers
- Have a powerful and cool motor — to keep the clippers cool but efficient
- Have the sharpest blades — to get that clean quality cut at the first pass
Below the $100-$125 mark, you will definitely have to forget about one of these requirements. Quality comes with a price tag so to tick all the boxes, you are looking at investing around $150-$200 for premium professional dog clippers.
6. Pair of Kenchii Scissors
Dog clippers are great for excess hair but you will need a quality pair of scissors to work near the sensitive areas such as the ears, eyes, genitals and pads. A good pair of grooming scissors will need to be strong, feel good in the hand and designed with safety features since dogs can be unpredictable.
Stainless steel is the go-to material for everyday grooming scissors while premium grooming scissors such as the famous Kenchii shears tend to be made of different alloys. A good set will see you equipped with a pair of grooming scissors to cut excess hair and an addition pair of thinning shears to thin out thick coats.
7. Diatomaceous Earth
This one is optional since I could have easily added nail clipper for example. To me, a great grooming sessions is also here to prevent dirt, bugs and other threats from reaching and thriving on your dog. Diatomaceous Earth works by gently eliminating bugs, fleas, ticks and internal worms (hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and roundworms) within a handful of days. If you looked at Diatomaceous Earth with a microscope, you will see that it is in fact a totally organic powder made from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms. It kind of looks like broken glass but we can’t see it. It kills mechanically — meaning the microscopic sharp edges simply pierce bugs and worms and kill them very rapidly.DE can be added to your dog’s water bowl every few days and should be rubbed against your entire dog’s coat to protect the skin.
Last Few Thoughts. A good groomer never blames his tools but being rightfully equipped definitely matters. If you were about to buy a cheap pet grooming kit, forget it, just visit the groomer instead. However, if you truly want to groom your dog the right way, it is worth investing in great dog grooming supplies.