Keeping the right grooming tools on hand will help your dogs look their best.
Longhaired dogs, shorthaired dogs and those with fur lengths in between—they all need help keeping their coats in top shape. And while every breed of dog will have different grooming requirements, you can help your furry friend look his best by keeping these tools on hand.
Using a comb can help you remove dead hair and stimulate the skin on a shorthaired dog (image right). A comb also can help gently tease out mats that might form in the fur of longhaired dogs. Many different types of combs are available, from all-metal versions to those with ergonomically designed handles, as well as de-matting combs, flea combs, undercoat rakes and rubber curry combs.
Combs can also come with fine or coarse teeth—in other words, with bigger spaces between the teeth (coarse) or with teeth closer together (fine). If you are unsure which type of comb is best for your dog, ask a groomer or an employee at a local pet store.
Four main types of brushes are available for grooming: slicker brushes, rakes, bristle brushes and pin brushes. Each is designed for different coat lengths and fur types—again, check with your breeder or groomer to determine which is best for your dog.
In general, though, slicker brushes are designed to remove mats from medium to long coats (image right); rakes are meant to remove mats from thick coats; bristle brushes remove loose hair from shorthaired coats; and pin brushes remove dead hair and “fluff” already brushed or combed fur that is free from tangles or mats. Regular brushing will help keep your dog’s coat in good condition.
Shampoo and Conditioner Formulated for Dogs
Just as humans can choose from a range of shampoos and conditioners formulated to address different types of hair conditions, so can dog owners choose from a range of dog shampoos (image right) and conditioners.
Manufacturers offer formulas for sensitive skin, fur that tangles easily, and dogs with allergies. Other formulas are meant for puppies, dogs with black fur or for dogs with fleas.
For the finishing touches on your dog’s appearance (and to help keep him healthy and happy), make sure your grooming tools include nail clippers designed for use on dogs (image right).
You will also need a toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for dogs. If you are familiar with their use, you mightalso want to keep electric clippers on hand to trim your dog’s coat as needed.
About the Author: Stacy N. Hackett is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years’ experience in the pet industry. She is the former editor of Pet Product News and a former staff editor with Cat Fancy, Cats USA, Critters USA and Ferrets USA. To learn more about her work, visit stacynhackett.vpweb.com.