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Top 6 tools you’ll need in your dog grooming kit

golden retriever puppy getting combed

There are a few basic tools that every owner needs to make grooming sessions pleasant for their dogs

© NotarYES - Shutterstock

As well as helping to keep your dog’s coat in great condition, dog grooming at home provides you with an opportunity to check your dog thoroughly and is a perfect bonding activity. 

By Justine Seraphin

Updated on the

Whether your dog loves playing in puddles or gives wet weather a wide berth, at some point you will need to spend some time grooming your pooch. 

Many dogs enjoy a bit of pampering but to make sure it is a stress-free experience for you and your pooch, introduce all new grooming techniques gradually

What should be in a dog grooming kit?

Make sure that you have a suitable grooming set before you start. There are so many dog products and dog grooming accessories available so where should you start? A complete dog grooming kit should include:

Dog comb or brush

The type of comb or brush you need depends on your dog’s coat. Brush gloves or curry brushes are a suitable choice for short-coated dogs, but a steel comb or pin brush is better for long-coated breeds.

Dog clippers

Professional dog hair clippers are ideal. Never use scissors as this risks accidental injury from snipping skin – particularly if it is hidden under knots or a bit saggier than expected. 

Dog toothbrush

A toothbrush is the best way to keep your dog’s teeth sparkly. A finger brush is useful when you first start brushing your dog’s teeth, but you may find a traditional doggy toothbrush more effective in the long term. Take things slowly and never put yourself at risk of getting a nip from your pooch.

Dog nail clippers

Nail clippers are useful, especially if you exercise your dog on soft ground. 

Ear cleaner

An ear cleaner that is safe to use in dogs’ ears is a useful addition to a grooming set. Consult your veterinary surgeon for advice on a cleaner that is suitable for your dog.

Treats

An occasional treat will often make grooming more fun for your dog, especially when you first start your grooming routine.

Is it worth it to groom your own dog?

Grooming your dog at home is a great way of spending time with your dog. Here are our top 5 reasons to groom your pooch:

  • Grooming keeps your dog’s coat shiny and clean.
  • Grooming is a great opportunity to check your pet for any skin conditions, lumps or bumps.
  • Spending time with your dog helps to strengthen the bond between you.
  • Brushing out loose hairs means less hair shedding round the house and less housework!
  • Tooth brushing and good dental hygiene has a positive impact on general health.

How do you groom a dog at home for beginners?

You have assembled your grooming equipment for dogs and you are all set to spruce up your pet. So now all you need to know is how to groom a dog. Take a step-by-step approach to your dog’s grooming routine and your pooch will soon love their pampering session. Start slowly, for example brushing them while they’re lying down and relaxing. Give them lots of treats and praise when they remain calm, and always take things at their pace. If they start to get stressed, end the grooming session and try again later.  Make sure your doggo is used to having sensitive areas like paws and ears handled before progressing to a full groom.

How can I groom my dog myself?

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to groom your dog at home:

1. Use the comb or brush

Brushing is a great way to keep your dog’s coat clean and shiny. It helps to distribute natural oils throughout the skin and coat contributing to that glossy finish!

2. Cut out tangles and feathering

Use clippers to remove tangles or feathering around the dog's eyes, ears, paws, legs, and stomach. It is best to avoid using scissors because the risk of snipping your pooch’s skin is high, especially round areas like ears and paws. Matting shouldn't occur if you're brushing your dog regularly enough. However, if you do find matts on your dog's out, the best solution would be to shave them off using a special dog trimmer.

3. Clean ears

Checking ears and cleaning them if needed is an important part of the grooming routine, especially if your dog is of the floppy-eared variety. Use an ear cleaner recommended by your vet. If you think your pooch may have an ear infection you should seek veterinary attention.

4. Clip nails

Many dogs wear their nails down sufficiently without the need for clipping. However, if your pooch’s nails could do with a trim, it is sensible to get a professional to demonstrate good nail clipping technique before you go it alone. Avoid clipping too close to the quick – visible as the pink bit of a white nail. With black or dark nails, the quick will not be visible so take extra care not to clip the nails too short as this can lead to a surprising amount of bleeding and will be extremely painful for your pet. This is unideal in the long-term as it can make your dog extra nervous of having their nails clipped.

5. Brush teeth

Regular tooth brushing will pay dividends in the long term. Concentrate on brushing the outer surfaces of the teeth as the tongue does a reasonable job of cleaning the inner surfaces. Start with a finger brush and some doggy toothpaste before progressing to a proper brush when your pooch is happy.

By following this simple guide, your dog will be the prettiest pooch around!

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