Having a dog at home is synonymous with grooming: nails, hair and teeth! It is bothersome to many people who simply bring their dog to the salon and let a professional handle this grooming situation.
Groomers are amazing in what they do, but it’s often overkill. If you are showing your dogs, you definitely require a groome… but if you are just a regular dog owner, you can do all the grooming works at home and save big bucks!
Let’s see how you should gear up and what equipment you need to at least get started with grooming your pooch at home.
First on the list, nail clippers are a must-have simply because I feel like I am clipping my dog’s nails all the time. They grow so fast, and then you start hearing this tapping sound on the floor, and it’s time to do it again.
There are different kinds of dog nail clippers so it’s up to you to pick the ones you feel the most comfortable with:
- guillotine-style clippers
- plier-style nail clippers
- dog nail grinders
The first two are manual clippers where you need to avoid cutting the quick — the little nerve acting as blood supply in your a dog’s nail. I recommend nail grinders since they are a lot less intrusive and don’t require any ‘cutting’.
Organic Dog Shampoo
Animals and dogs in particular have very different skins than humans; and our human shampoos should never be used on dogs. All canines and felines tend to have a skin that easily gets irritated or patched, this is why dog owners must use a good all-natural shampoo.
Veterinarians recommend a full shampooed wash twice or three times a year, no more. So using it that little means you can invest in the best one on Amazon or at the store, don’t be greedy! Make sure it re-moisturizes and promotes healing.
If you are in the DIY realm, you could make your own homemade natural shampoo using apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, organic dish soap, and a little bit of baking soda.
Whether it is a DIY or commercial shampoo, start by using it as a quick trial on a small patch of your dog’s skin and wait a day or two to see whether it created an issue or not. If not, you can go ahead with the full shampoo. Otherwise, there is a problem and you need a new formula that is less abrasive.
Once your dog is clean and smells fresh, it’s time for a dry. Although you could let your dog air-dry itself, it will take so long and using a forced-air dog dryer helps with flattening the knots. It’s a required step especially if your dog has a long and matted coat.
As explained above, dog skin is sensitive, and heat is not very welcome. Therefore, you should never use a human hair dryer on your dog. Instead, use a high-velocity dryer which blasts cold air at a very high speed and rids the water off the dog’s coat.
Such special dog hair dryers are more expensive that what we are used to, but you should only use these or you risk to burn your dog’s skin.
Professional Dog Clippers
Perhaps the most important piece of equipment in a home grooming kit: dog clippers. This is because you can groom a dog without a dryer, but the trimming of a dog’s coat is absolutely required.
Wahl, Andis and Oster are the main brands on the marketplace — they all offer low-end products as well as professional dog clippers! Generally, spending around $100 will get you something decent, and above $200 you are geared up like a real pro.
Overall you want to make sure you don’t just buy the most powerful trimmers, because with a lot a power comes a lot of heat, noise, and vibrations. Some groomers use a quiet model for any work near the head, and the regular clippers for the body. I would recommend you to simply buy multi-speed clippers so you can switch setting at any time during the session.
Read this amazing review of the best dog clippers available today. I would recommend the Wahl Bravura Lithium if you are on a budget, and the Andis Vet Pak clippers if you feel like splurging!
Any groomer that respects itself will do the finishing touches using scissors. Obviously, if your dog has very short hair, it’s not required. The cleaning up and trimming of the ears, the snout, the paws, the belly, the anus, and the genitals is generally performed with grooming shears and scissors.
A groomer feels more comfortable with precision work using scissors instead of clippers. Of course, if you are inexperienced and a little worried, you should use round-tipped scissors to put your mind at peace.
Amazon has plenty of options for low-priced grooming scissors and Kenchii would be the best pick if you really want to buy the absolute best grooming shears (but that would take you a few hundreds for a whole kit.)
Why Is Home Grooming Better?
Generally, people prefer to groom their dog themselves for one of these reasons:
- it’s a great activity to share with your own dog
- the closest groomer is too far
- the grooming salon isn’t worth the price tag
Most dog owners have already been to the groomer, and it’s not cheap. It’s an expense that can make a big lump sum at the end of each year if you sum everything up. Unless your dog is of a very peculiar breed with very specific needs, the results are somewhat generic.
Therefore, it is only natural for a lot of people to decide that grooming could actually be performed at home, for free. It simply requires the initial investment but this is less than $200 or $300 and is recouped on the first year or so.
Our dogs love to spend time with us, and grooming them ourselves means the world to them. It’s a particular moment fully dedicated to the dog. We’re caressing them, cleaning them, kissing them, and so on. It’s something dogs love once the first apprehension fades away (you know, the sound of clippers, or of a dryer.)