Sam’s Dog Grooming Picks
Have you ever tried to blow dry a wet collie or shepherd? If so, you know it takes quite a while and a big commitment. And, if you let them “air” dry, they stink and can develop serious skin irritations, so that’s never a good option.
Or, if you’re the owner of a boxer or bulldog, how much fun is it to get all of those needle-like hairs out of your clothing, furniture, and carpets?
Or have you ever tried to keep a squirming 70-lb. dog from slipping in the bath tub or tried to comb out matted Schnauzer hair with a regular dog brush?
These are just a few of the many grooming challenges dog owners face. And I know, because I’ve learned the hard way.
As you probably suspect, I’ve owned (and trained) a variety of dogs: big and small; short- and long-haired; “wash-and-wear” and those with special grooming needs. And to be completely frank, I just didn’t pay enough attention to proper grooming methods or products. As a result, I – and my dogs – struggled far more than was necessary, and after my last unnerving episode (I’ll spare you the details, but it ended with a very sore back and a funny-looking dog) I swore I would devote the time necessary to find the best-of-the-best grooming products – ones that could be used for most/all dogs and others that work best for specific dog types and/or situations.
Below is my list of favorites. If you have others, feel free to email me and I’ll check them out, and add as appropriate.
- Super Duty Dog Clipper Kit:This set comes with everything you need to safely and “professionally” clip your dog’s hair. It’s powerful and easy to use, even for novices.
- Grooming Hair Dryer for Dogs: This hair dryer is specifically designed for dogs and cats. It dries in half the time of regular “people” dryers and isn’t as hot, won’t burn your animal’s tender skin. This is a must-have for those of you with long- or thick-haired dogs (e.g. collies, shepherds, labs, retrievers) but great-to-haves for all dogs… especially those who aren’t thrilled about drying off.
- 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb: There are lots of good dog combs available, but this is my all-around favorite. It works well on long- and short-haired dogs, so there’s no need to purchase separate combs if you have dogs with differing coat types.
- Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush: This brush gently – and that’s important – removes matted and tangled hair as well as loosening dogs’ undercoats.
- Oatmeal and Neem Dog Shampoo: This premium, all natural dog shampoo is great for any dog, but particularly for those with sensitive, dry and/or itch skin.
- Essential Square Shower Mat: I’m a big proponent of showering, not bathtub bathing, dogs. And like people, dogs often slip and injure themselves or their caregivers, in the shower. That’s why it’s just plain good sense to have a sturdy shower mat. What’s more, the mat will trap most/all of your dog’s hair so you can dispose of it properly – and your drains stay clog free!
- Waterpik Handheld Shower: Not only is it difficult, but nearly impossible, to properly rinse dogs without a handheld shower nozzle. Not only does this allow you to get closer to your dog’s skin so there’s no soap residue left (which can cause skin irritations) but it’s far more comfortable for you pet.
- Midsize Dog Folding Grooming Table: This is a wise investment for anyone whose dog(s) need to be groomed fairly often. I have clients who have their dogs professionally groomed once or twice per month and many of them would prefer to groom their dogs at home (think of the money it would save). However, they say that they don’t have the tools or the “place” to do so without breaking their backs (dining room tables do not make good grooming tables). That’s why this grooming table (along with the grooming tools above) makes perfect sense! Trust me, I would never – and I mean never – have another long-haired dog without having a grooming table.
- Furminator De-shedding Shampoo: Those of you with long-haired dogs know that it’s nearly impossible to stop all shedding. However, you can kill two birds with one stone by shampooing your dogs with this special de-shedding shampoo first and then brush after.