Grooming Tools 101
Written by Jane Honnor, Expert Groomer, And Owner of PawParazzi Pet Boutique
Hopefully, you've been able to read our previous blog article regarding shampoo selection and bathing, which leads us to the important subject of grooming, and thus, picking the correct tools for the job. In the grooming shop, we often see that owners are not using the correct tools which results in matted or ill-groomed coats.
Which comb or brush should I use?
For short hair dogs, your grooming tools should consist of:
- Rubber brush, this type of brush used in a circular motion will help release the dead hair, that is stuck inside the coat
- Slicker brush picks up the last bits of dead coat that are left behind ( do not over brush one area as slicker burn can happen)
- De -shedding tools, such as Furminators and shedding blades. These go through the coat but have teeth so they help to release any dead excess hair that is left in the coat ( when using these tools care must be taken not to go over an area too many times as coat damage and thinning may occur)
For long hair dogs, your grooming tools should consist of:
- Slicker brushes are used to break up tangles and mats in medium to long-haired dogs
- Rakes and mat breakers work best on more severe tangles and mats. (care must be taken as these have sharp teeth that can damage the skin)
- Combs- after using the prior tools to work through the coat and leave it mat and tangle free. It is usually good to go over with a comb that will get deep into the coat to ensure all tangles are out-especially for a double coat dog ( such as Siberian Husky)
- De-shedding tools, such as Furminators and shedding blades.
- Double Row Undercoat Rake- If you have a double coated dog you will be amazed at how much this gets into the undercoat and removed dead excess hair
What about nail trimmers?
- Claw-style trimmers are spring-loaded and cut the nail in a scissor-like fashion
- Guillotine trimmers have a replaceable blade that cuts the nail when the spring-loaded handle is depressed
- Scissor-like trimmers do not have springs and work best on dogs with small, delicate nails
- Filing tools grind down the nails gradually and result in a smooth edge-nail. Basic emery boards can be used on small, delicate nails. Power rotary tools such as a Dremel can be used on larger nails, but always use with care so as not to cut into the quick on your pet.
- Always have Styptic powder, such as Kwik-stop on hand when trimming your dog's nails. Styptic powder can be used to stop bleeding if you accidentally cut a nail too short.
Shoud I use clippers to shave my dog?
This really depends on the type of coat and breed of dog that you have. Short hair dogs do not need to be shaved but some owners prefer to decrease shedding. Dogs with longer hair are usually shaved to stop matting and to keep your pet cool. Dogs with a double coat should not be shaved down, this will damage the coat and the composition of the coat traps the air in to actually help keep the dog cool.
When clipping, you have two main choices of tool:
- Electric clippers- there are many brands of pet clippers on the market, depending on your budget. Shaving of a pet can be very difficult but while not impossible to do you should proceed with care as clippers can cause razor burn and also cut the skin, especially in sensitive areas around the groin and under the arms.
- Scissors- there are many brands of grooming shears on the market, however as with clippers it advised if you are not a professional don't take shears to your pet and NEVER use scissors to cut out mats, use de-matting tools or clippers.
Here are some helpful photos of some tools mentioned in our article to help you shop:
Double Row Undercoat Brush
About Jane Honnor
Jane and her dog, Jaffa
Jane Honnor has 15 years’ experience working in the pet industry. Beginning as a manager in a pet retail store in her native England, she took her existing love of dogs to the next level and embarked on a three-year college course in Grooming and Pet Health for which she achieved the highest-level accreditations and graduated with distinction.
Going to work as a pet groomer in Liverpool, England led her to emigrate to Richmond Hill where she and her husband Alex Honnor purchased PawParazzi Pet Boutique and Grooming Spa in 2011. Her love for looking after her customers’ fur babies and giving them the five-star treatment, they deserve has helped the company grow and it is now the favorite pet spa and store for many of Richmond Hills residents.
Jane Honnor can be found in store with her two fur babies, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Jaffa who came from across the pond with her parents and Yum Yum a Pekingese who was rescued by Animal Control and found a loving home with the Honnors.
You can learn more about Jane and PawParazzi by visiting her website: http://www.pawparazzishop.com