Items you Need in your Grooming Arsenal
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When grooming your pet at home it is important to have all of the right tools.
I mean, why pay $60+ per grooming visit when you can buy the tools once and immediately start saving for your puppy’s obedience fund afterwards?
I always groomed my cocker’s at home, in-between visits to the Groomer. It was an ear and feet thing for me when they were young (so hairy), and then I progressed to full grooms to keep them tidy in-between visits.
Like most things, the more you practice the better you get… although I’m not quite sure what they thought.
If you’re up for a little grooming in your household, you’ll not only need your patience intact, but the right equipment will definitely put you ahead.
It’s never going to be as easy as the professionals make it look, but always a good skill to learn for those times when you’re either short a few bob, or feeling a little creative (or both).
Listed below is everything you need to ensure your pup has the spaw-day he or she deserves.
Work is where hair is EVERYWHERE, but on the dog!
Professionally Formulated Moisturising Shampoo
As discussed in earlier blog posts, the products you use on your pets do matter.
Dogs and puppies have sensitive skin that can be irritated by harsh shampoos that contain soaps, chemicals, and detergents.
Might we suggest Underwater Dogs Haircare products for a great start to your dog’s skin and hair health.
No matter how good your dog haircare products claim to be, shampooing means cleansing away dirt and grime.
To help understand the shampoo process…
Cleansing opens up the hair shaft allowing cleansing agents to wash away dirt and grime, while conditioning agents close the hair shaft, nourishing the skin and hair and locking moisture inside.
For dogs with long fur that is prone to tangles and matting, conditioner is a must.
We always encourage dog owners to comb or brush conditioner through long hair before rinsing to ensure product is evenly distributed.
A Leave-in Conditioner like Underwater Dogs Conditioner will aid in the rejuvenation of dry, sensitive itchy and allergy prone skin.
So a good conditioning treatment will go a long way to alleviating those itchy-scratchie, sensitive skinned dogs.
For those who are not so sensitive, it’s just as important to build great skin elasticity and hydration especially throughout the Winter months, or for those who swim a lot in Summer.
Hint: Keep your pups locks luscious by using the conditioner that is made to go with your shampoo of choice, as quality formulations are created to work together.
If you’re not a fan of that wet-dog smell, or Alpaca sh*te, dead-fish or possum pooh.
Or, you’ve just been way too busy to wash the dog (even though he’s been on the nose for a couple of days)… and the neighbour’s are on their way over for dinner…
Reach for the doggie deodoriser!
When you can find a deodoriser that doesn’t make your dog sneeze (or run-away), you’re onto a winner.
With a few sprays, just before they jump into the car from a morning at the beach or doggie park, you’ll never have to hold your breath (all the way home), again.
Might we suggest Underwater Dogs Gloss Spray Deodoriser… Smells like a Pina Colada (pineapple & coconut), and the doggo’s LOVE it!
Combs and Brushes
No matter the length or feel of your dog’s fur, there is a comb or brush that is appropriate.
If your dog is a heavy shedder, such as a Siberian Husky, a rake style brush can help you remove loose hairs, while an undercoat rake is important for removing the undercoat that sheds in the summer months.
For wiry haired dogs, a porcupine brush is necessary, while a pin brush is good for dogs with medium length hair.
Unsure which is best for your pet?
Best consult your veterinarian, groomer, or breed specific dog website.
If your dog is one that requires frequent haircuts, investing in a good pair of clippers can save you infinite amounts of time and money.
Look for a brand from a trusted company that is rated for the length of fur your pup has.
Nothing can be more embarrassing than breaking a pair of clippers designed for a Chinese Crested on your Chow Chow and having to explain to a groomer why your poor pup is missing half its fur.
Straight Edge Scissors
If your dog requires touch up trims around the ears, muzzle, eyes, tail, or feet, straight edge scissors are the best tool for the job.
Just like they sound, they contain two straight blades that create a straight and even cut.
Again, ask a professional as to which scissors will get you by when Fluffy’s bangs are touching her nose.
Another way to save money over the course of your pet’s life is to do the nail clipping at home.
Look for the best style of clippers for your dog (Guillotine style is best for small to medium sized dogs – while scissors are proper for larger canines).
….and if you didn’t exactly pass your beauty school exams and happen to hit the quick of your dog’s nail, styptic powder will help stop the bleeding (don’t worry though, this truly happens to everyone.)
Give your pup the entire spa treatment by cleaning his or her ears afterwards (this is especially important if any water happens to get into your pup’s ear canal).
Remember to use cotton wool in the ears at bath-time, to help stop water from entering. Dogs with long, floppy ears are the most susceptible (like Cocker Spaniels).
Using of a professional ear cleaner before bath-time, as well as post bath will help stave off any residual moisture, and regular ear cleanings will help keep infections and parasites at bay.
There are many professional ear cleaners on the market, so ask your Vet for a recommendation.
Unless you want your house to smell like wet dog for the rest of the day (yum!) a great grooming chamois is the perfect way to remove water from your dog before they leave the bath-tub or shower.
Super duper absorbent and easily squeezed for re-use in a moment.
Or, you could invest in a couple of super absorbent microfibre dog towels to ensure your pet dries fast if you prefer this option.
This way, you won’t have to wonder exactly what the puddle on the couch is you’re sitting in.
Spray Nozzle for Faucet
If your dog’s bath area of choice does not have a shower head attachment, consider purchasing one from your local pet store.
Using the bucket brigade method to rinse off your dog may be cheaper, but it certainly is less convenient.
The shower head gives you more control over exactly where the water goes, and perhaps more importantly… not on the floor.
Doggy Tooth brush and Tooth paste
Finally, if you are choosing to groom your dog at home your pet may be missing out on an important component of a professional groom, which includes an old-fashioned teeth brushing.
According to the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is an important step to keeping your pet’s mouth healthy.
Note: it’s important to always use dog-formulated toothpaste, as some human brands contain xylitol, which is toxic to pets.
Overall, grooming your pet at home is a great way to bond with your pet while saving money.
With just a few important tools such as clippers, nail clippers, proper shampoo and conditioner, and items for ear and teeth care, you can give your pet a professional treatment in the comfort of their own home for a quarter of the price!
Pup-Update – 1-2 Years
And so, Jerry keeps maturing. I’m still continually amazed at his energy levels – but play now comes with a little more strategic emphasis. Being a Cocker Spaniel, he’s completely food focussed, doing anything I ask when there are treats on offer. Unfortunately, he’s not so obliging when there’s a simple treat-less command – although Jerry’s Dad holds the authoritative Alpha-Dog status in the household – and his ‘look’ is enough to remove Jerry from the couch before words are spoken. What is that about a Mumma’s-boy? He’s mine all mine until Dad steps through the door…
Ash Sukhwani a.k.a. Mother of Jerry
Jerry – Born ‘Royoni Naughty-on-Arrival’ June 17, 2017
Follow Jerry’s adventures on Instagram @jerrythecockerspan
Now that you have all the necessary supplies in your grooming arsenal, we’ll discuss tips from grooming your dog next.
Watch this space – Chapter Twenty-one – Coming Soon
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A Life with Dogs is brought to you by the Underwater Dogs Haircare Co.
A professional haircare company for dogs, promising you the cleanest, softest most delicious smelling dog on the block!
Professional grooming salon formulas, naturally moisturizing shampoos and conditioners soap-free, paraben-free and pH balanced especially for dogs.
I love the Underwater dogs range! Max’s coat is nice, bright and white. I can brush him and the comb just slides through his coat. All of the products are great! I love them! The gloss spray makes his coat soft and shiny. The detangle/deodoriser is really convenient, I spray it on Max when we are going for a car ride and the car never smells doggy. Congratulations on a great range of products.
Jeni Galbraith & Max
We’re proud of our product range and reassure all dog-loving customers that our quality ingredients, and scientific formulations will not let you down.
All products are backed by the Underwater Dogs 100% Money Back Guarantee.
Photo Credits: Banjo, Max, Lily @lilylashes_cavoodle, Lewis @lewis_cavoodle, Benji @benji_the_cockerspaniel, Coco @coco_the_peekapoo, Boris, Summer, Milo, Bear @littlebrownbearlab, Molly @molly_poppoodle, Jerry @jerrythe cockerspan
Next up: tips for grooming your dog now that you have all of the necessary supplies!