When it comes to caring for your dog's health there are a lot of pet products and dog health supplies to choose from. The pet product industry has grown with leaps and bounds over the last few years. No matter what dog product you're looking for, you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of options online, in pet specialty stores and on the shelves of “big box” retailers. Dog grooming products are no exception.
When selecting your dog grooming tools and products that you will use on your canine, there are may factors to keep in mind. His coat type and skin condition are the two biggest variables. You'll want to select dog grooming products that are specifically designed for use on his coat type, whether it is wiry, thick, long, or short.
You'll also want to be sure that you don't use dog grooming products that will irritate your pet's skin. If he has sensitivities or allergies, be mindful of those when shopping for your pet grooming supplies. There are many canine shampoos and conditioners that are specially formulated for sensitive skin or for dogs with specific conditions like itchy skin, hot spots, or skin allergies.
Throughout my pet parenting and dog grooming career, I've tried countless dog grooming products. Some have been amazing and others have been falsely advertised. My advice is to do some research, select a product that will meet your dog's needs, and when you find one you like, stick with it! Over the years I've found a few go-to grooming products that I really enjoyed, so I will list those below.
Pro Groomer's Favorite Dog Grooming Products for Home Use
I've had my dog for two years, and I've gone through a ton of different dog grooming supplies. I now have a list of very special products that are the only ones I will use because of how easy they make it to keep my dog looking fantastic. They do exactly what they say they will do, and they are all reasonably priced.
RELATED: How to Calm Your Dog Before Grooming
My short-haired, yellow dog is a pit bull–golden Lab mix. Even though she does not have long hair, her coat still requires quite a bit of upkeep. In this article, I'll show you the products I use to keep her nails trimmed and smooth and her coat clean and shiny! Remember that your dog's coat may be different, so you may not get the same results from these products as I do. However, they are top quality products that will work well for most dog owners.
Hartz Groomer's Best Nail Clippers and Nail File
My dog cannot stand to have her nails clipped. She gets panicky, nervous, and just does not enjoy it. For a long time I couldn't figure out why, but then I took a good look at the product I was using to clip her nails and realized why. I was using big, cumbersome, store-brand nail clippers that obviously freaked her out.
So I made the switch to Hartz Groomer's Best Nail Clippers. These clippers are lighter, smaller, and don't swallow her entire nail. They’re recommended by multiple groomers and used in many salons, so I thought I’d give them a try. After all, she couldn't behave any worse than she did with my original clippers.
I was pleasantly surprised because for the most part, using the new nail clippers actually seemed to calm her down. I also learned a special technique when I took a grooming course at a local college that works really well with these clippers. Most people trim their dog's nails by holding onto the pads of their paw and applying a little pressure to the toes.
While trimming your pet's nails you actually should never hold the paw this way. The proper way to clip a dog's nails, as you can see in the picture to the right, is by holding the paw behind the wrist. This helps give you more control over the paw so you don't cut the nails too short if the dog decides to pull his paw back and it slips out of your hand.
I really enjoy the smaller size of these dog clippers. You can easily maneuver them, which makes the process of nail clipping easier and faster. An added bonus is that there is a nail file included with the nail clippers that is extremely useful, and I love it. Before I found this clipper set, I used one of my own nail files to smooth out my dog's nails after clipping them, but this one works so much better. It's crafted for dog's nails, which are a lot tougher than human nails, so it does the job more quickly and efficiently.
After I've cut my dog's nails down to size, I use the dog nail file like I would to file my own nails, and I also go around the edges of her nails to ensure they’re smooth. Most
people cut their dog's nails and stop there, which is something you do not want to do. The jagged edges of the cut nails can catch on things and tear, causing your dog unnecessary pain.
You're cutting your dog's nail's to ensure that they don't scratch anything, but if you don't file them afterward, you’ve created a bigger problem. Your dog can do more damage when he scratches things now because his nails are sharper and more rough from being trimmed but not filed.
Perfect Coat Waterless Shampoo
I also use waterless shampoo on my dog because of her allergy to grain. Many shampoos contain grain, so I use waterless shampoo just to be safe. I like Perfect Coat Waterless Shampoo because it smells great, dries very quickly, and doesn't irritate my dog's skin.
I've used this brand multiple times during my grooming class as well, and not just on my own dog. Waterless shampoo works by cleaning and deodorizing the dog’s coat and getting down to the skin to give him a nice fresh scent.
You can spray it on and work it through by giving your dog a good brushing, but I prefer to use my hands. I spray a light layer all over my dog, from head to tail, and then go back over her coat and work it through with my fingers.
Remember that waterless shampoo is great, but it can't be the only shampoo you use. Professional groomers usually say that for every 3 baths your dog gets with waterless shampoo, he needs one bath with regular dog shampoo and water. This way all the dirt and dander aren't continuously building up in his coat.
My Secret Grooming Weapons
Of all the dog grooming products I have ever used, these three are my absolute favorites. They are all incredibly simple to use, get the job done, and my dog does not complain as much when it comes to grooming anymore. I highly recommend these products for all dog owners even if new to grooming.
Just be sure to do your research and select grooming products that are recommended for use with your dog's coat type. If you're unsure about what products to use consult with your veterinarian or a local dog groomer. Trained associates at a local pet store, especially one that offers in-house grooming, may also be able to help you.