There are many different dog grooming products out there. If you go to a store or online, for example to Amazon, there are literally hundreds of choices. What do you need to start with?
First of all you need to determine whether you have a breed that needs a specialist item. Long haired dogs will need far more equipment than their smooth coated counterparts. However the following will get you started and you can add to them later:
1) Dog Grooming Brushes
Different dogs will need different brushes. A dog with a thin coat, for example a Yorkshire Terrier has a single coat and is quite delicate. A pin brush would be suitable but ensure that the pins are coated as this will be kinder to the dog’s skin. For a smooth-coated and/or short-haired dog, for example, a boxer dog then a simple rubber curry brush would be suitable. This has the added advantage of making their coats shiny too. A popular tool for wire-coated dogs is the Furminator (available from Amazon online). This dog grooming tool is very versatile and is particularly good at reducing shedding. Brushes are the most essential piece of dog grooming equipment you will need.
2) Dog Clippers
You won’t need clippers for smooth coated breeds such as beagles. But they make the job of grooming longer-coated breeds like West Highland Terriers much easier. Clipping your dog stops tangles and matting and the inevitable problems of sticks and mud attaching themselves to their coat in the winter and your dog overheating in the summer. The prices of clippers are from $30 and you can get corded or cordless clippers. Obviously the cordless clippers are easier to use but they are more expensive.
3) Dog Shampoo
Buy a good dog shampoo that is suitable for your dog’s hair and skin type. There are different types including those that have a conditioner built in, those that are recommended for sensitive skin as well as medicated and natural brands. Don’t be tempted to use your own human shampoo as it has a different pH balance and will be too harsh on your dog’s skin.
4) Nail Trimmers
You can use clippers or hand trimmers to trim your dog’s nails. It does require skill to do this so you need to learn the correct way before you start. A tool that says it makes trimming dog’s nails easier is the Dremel 4.8 Volt Pet Grooming Kit which is cordless.
5) Ear Cleaners
Don’t forget the ears. Your local pet store will sell cotton swabs and dog ear cleaners and that is usually all that is needed.
This covers the equipment that you should start with. Many dog breeds have specialist requirements and will need far more than this, terriers sometimes need hand-stripping for instance and you will need the relevant equipment for this. To find your dog’s particular needs and what you may need to buy extra consult your veterinarian or your dog’s breed guide.
With the right dog grooming equipment you can not only save time and money by not having to visit a professional dog groomer but it also strengthens the bond between you and your dog. To learn more about using the equipment there are many dog grooming courses you can take.