Dog grooming accessories
The dog grooming accessories you buy will depend on a number of different factors. Long-haired breeds will need significantly more grooming than short-haired breeds, as will dogs that are prone to getting muddy! It also depends on whether you intend to groom your dog yourself, or take them to a professional groomer.
If you decide to groom your dog at home, we’ve put together a list of the most common dog grooming accessories to help you get started. Remember to make sure that they are suitable for your dog, and only use grooming accessories designed with canines in mind.
Combs are just what they sound like – tools that you use to help brush your dog. Just like brushes, there are many different types of comb available. Two of the most common are the mat comb (designed to cut through mats without ruining your dog’s coat) and the moulting comb (which removes the shedding undercoat).
Not all dogs need clipping, but for those that do, a good pair of clippers is vital. These will be used to remove or shorten the hair on your dog, which may be necessary during summer or when hair is irretrievably matted.
You may find special ‘scissors’ for sale instead of clippers, but they generally do the same job. Often scissors and clippers have blunted ends to help prevent injury to your dog if they move during grooming.
A grooming glove is a useful tool that you can use to help remove loose fur and debris from your dog’s coat. Simply slip the glove on and use it to thoroughly rub/brush your dog.
Grooming gloves usually have rubber or plastic ‘bobbles’ on them that help trap fur and debris as you pass them over your dog. They’re a good way to groom your dog if they’re not particularly used to the process, as it’s more like thoroughly stroking them than brushing them!
Matt splitters do just what they say on the tin – split stubborn matts in your dog’s fur!
They help you safely cut through matts which can’t be removed through coming, helping to keep your dog’s fur tangle-free. A variety of styles are available; go to your local pet store to find the one that suits you and your dog.
Nail clippers for dogs
There are many types of nail clipper on the market, but they all do the same thing: trim your dog’s nails.
If your dog’s nails don’t wear down naturally (for example if they don’t walk on hard surfaces that wear them down) they will probably need to be trimmed. Many owners prefer to have this done professionally, but the task can also be done at home.
Nail clippers will often look like either small scissors or a ‘guillotine’ clipper (like standard nail clippers for humans). If you carry out this task at home, ensure you know what you are doing and that you don’t cut the quick. You will need styptics on hand in case this happens.
Rakes are very useful for dogs with double coats, as they are designed to remove dead hair from the undercoat whilst leaving the top coat intact. Mat rakes are very similar, but they’re designed with untangling and de-matting in mind.
Styptics mainly come in two forms: pencil or powder. They can be applied to your dog’s nail in the event that you accident cut to the quick. This will help stem the flow of blood.
Most dogs don’t need washing very often, but when they do, a dog-friendly shampoo is almost always necessary. It’s important that you don’t use human shampoo, as this can be harmful to them.
It is used in the same way as human shampoo, but of course, all over your dog’s body (avoiding their eyes). Some people may also choose to use dog conditioner, particularly if the fur is very knotted.
Read more about bathing your dog here.
These are specially designed for dogs and usually have soft rubber bristles. Don’t use a human toothbrush, as these can hurt their gums!
Other ‘toothbrushes’ look more like rubber pads that you can slip on to your finger then rub over their teeth to remove dirt and plaque. Use in conjunction with dog-friendly toothpaste.
Exactly what it sounds like… toothpaste that’s safe for your dog!
They are often meat-flavoured to make them more appealing to your dog, and are commonly used in conjunction with a dog toothbrush. They are best used as well as dental dog chews as part of a healthy dental routine.