Grooming a dog can take years off its appearance and add them to your dog’s lifespan. Besides making it look pretty, it can also help your dog live a longer and healthier life as it helps prevent infections that can occur on a dog’s skin and paws. Although there are a lot of professional dog groomers, you can choose to groom your dog at home. All you’ll need to do is find the appropriate tools as they can make the grooming process a lot easier and more enjoyable for you and your pup.
Choosing the right brush to groom your dog
Brushing a dog’s coat is an important part of the grooming process as it will eliminate any tangles and mats. Besides making the dog’s coat look prettier and shinier it will, at the same time, massage the skin which activates a dog’s natural oil production and keeps loose hair away from your clothing and furniture.
Dog brushes come in various shapes and sizes and each type of coat requires a different type of brush. Choosing the right type of brush for your dog’s coat can make a big difference in how your dog enjoys being groomed. If your dog is showing signs of pain and discomfort, you’re probably not using the right brush.
Slicker brushes have thin and short wire placed on a flat surface and close together. These are great for dogs with medium to long hair length or curly hair. That’s because these types of coats are more prone to create mats and slickers brushes are great at removing them. Although these brushes are scary-looking, they won’t cause any harm if used gently and without applying too much pressure.
Rakes look like shaving razors. They have one or two rows of pins that are placed very close together. They work is by penetrating into a dog’s thick coat, removing tangles and any dead undercoat trapped near the dog’s skin. Rakes are meant to be used by applying very small amounts of pressure and are ideal for dogs with a thick coat that tends to trap a lot of dead hair near the skin. They’re mostly used in breeds such as German Shepherds and Chow Chows, especially during shedding season.
For a rake brush to do its job properly, you’ll need to get one with pins that roughly match your dog’s hair length. Pins that are too short will miss the most inner layer of the undercoat and pins that are too long can irritate the dog’s skin.
Bristle brushes have soft, straight bristles on a flat surface. The tightly-arranged natural bristles are great at removing loose hair while stimulating the skin. Because it’s harder to penetrate a dog’s coat with this type of brush, bristle brushes are only used on short-haired dogs and breeds such as Pugs, Greyhounds, and Jack Russells.
Pin brushes generally have an oval shape and have loosely arranged flexible wires with pins on top. These brushes look just like the brushes used in human hair and are the most common type of brushes used in dogs. But although these brushes are the most common ones used, they’re often the least useful. They will pick up loose hair and debris from your dog’s coat but don’t provide any other benefits like the brushes mentioned previously.
This type of brush is best suited for dogs with medium to long coats and to finish off the grooming process after using one of the other types of brushes.
Choosing nail care tools is just as important
As cute as it may be to hear your dog’s feet tapping against the linoleum floor or as your dog shows off its “happy dance”, this sound is actually a sign that it’s time for some nail clipping. Clipping a dog’s nail is often a task that dog owners ignore and dogs hate. But it may be one of the most important grooming tasks as it can prevent pain and injuries in a dog’s paws and legs.
To make the nail clipping process easier and possibly enjoyable for you and your dog, it’s important to use positive reinforcement during the process along with the right tools.
Scissor clippers work just like scissors and are best suited for larger dogs that have bigger and thicker nails. That’s because the way these clippers are designed allows you to have that bit of extra force needed to clip thick nails quickly and seamlessly.
Guillotine clippers work with a single blade that comes down and slices off the end of the dog’s nail, just like a guillotine works. To use them you just need to stick the end of the dog’s nail in the hole and squeeze the handle. This type of clipper is easier to handle for dog owners that have hand pain or arthritis as the squeezable handle allows for more force. Guillotine clippers are often used in small to medium size dogs.
Grinder tools are electrical rotary tools that can keep a dog’s nails trimmed without the need to clip them. These tools work by using friction to gradually wear down the nail. This is a great option for dogs that are afraid of having their nails clipped with any of the tools mentioned previously. However, the noise these tools make and the vibration sensation require some training and grinding can take a bit longer than clipping.
Making sense of it all
Taking the time to groom your dog at home will help your dog stay healthy and, besides allowing you to save some bucks, it can be a bonding moment between you too. Some dogs enjoy being groomed more than others and, although you should always use positive reinforcement to help your dog enjoy the process, picking the right grooming tools can also go a long way.
Now you’ll know which brushes and nail care tools are the most appropriate to your dog according to its coat type and unique personality.