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Grooming Dogs: Your Guide to Selecting the Perfect Dog Grooming Tools

By PetcoBlogger on Mar. 7, 2017

New Pet Companion Care PackGrooming is an essential part of keeping your puppy or dog's skin and coat healthy. Brushing and combing helps keep tangles and mats from their coat. It will also help spread natural oils onto their lustrous coat, making your dog look and feel better.

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The Right Grooming Tools Will Make the Project Go Faster

The volume and variety of grooming products available can be overwhelming at first, so here is a breakdown of the brushes, combs and techniques:

  1. Brushes

Whether you have a curly-haired Poodle mix or a short-haired Dalmatian, brushing is a duty best done daily. There are a few different types of brushes that are used for different coat types: 

  • Pin or wire brush. Pin or wire brushes have straight, metal or wood bristles on a rubber base. These types of brushes provide deep coverage and are excellent for fluff-drying long fur.
  • Bristle brush. Bristle brushes have soft, straight bristles on a flat base. Because this design doesn't penetrate as deeply as others, it works best for short coats. Made for removing loose, dead hair from smooth or medium-coated dogs like Labrador Retrievers. 
  • Slicker brush. The most common brush that will work for most all coats is a slicker brush. It is the most versatile brush and works well for a variety of coat types. The short, bent, wire or plastic bristles grab and remove loose undercoat, and frequent use helps prevent tangles and matting.
  • Deshedding tools. These specialty tools are designed to reduce shedding by up to 90% by easily removing the undercoat and loose hair. 

2. Combs

 Combs come with different sizes of teeth and different spacing between the teeth:

  • De-matting comb. The widely spaced teeth are used to separate and untangle mats. You can also find combs with widely-spaced rotating teeth for coats that have a tendency to mat.
  • Large-Tooth Comb. Designed for long-haired dogs and dogs with heavy undercoats, a large-tooth comb loosens tangles and removes excess undercoat.
  • Fine-Tooth Comb. Fine-tooth combs work best on short-haired dogs and those with thin undercoats. 
  • Half-coarse, half-fine comb. This comb features fine teeth at one end and coarse teeth at the other. It's a metal comb that is good for all types of brushing. 
  • Flea comb. Flea combs have very fine, closely set teeth. They can be used to help check your dog for fleas. Flea combs can trap pests and their debris in their close-set teeth. If you find evidence of fleas, you will want to follow up with the appropriate flea treatment.

 3. Scissors, Clippers and Gloves

  • Scissors. Use scissors with blunt ends to safely remove hair from between your dog's pads. 
  • Thinning shears. Use these shears to thin up your dog's coat for summertime without leaving an obvious cut line. 
  • Clippers. These electric shears come with detachable blades and/or snap-on combs to cut your dog’s coat shorter. Always have Kool Care on-hand to help keep the blades from becoming hot—which can cause clipper burn or scratches to your pet.
  • Gloves. A hound glove, mitt or grooming glove features rubber nubs or short bristles on a flexible cloth base that fits over your hand. These work best on short coats, but the sensation of being petted makes it a favorite of all dogs, especially puppies.

How Often Should You Groom Your Dog?

How often you brush or comb your puppy depends on her coat and lifestyle. Typically, dogs with longer hair and active, outdoor lifestyles require more grooming. Check out the following descriptions to determine your dog’s coat type. (Keep in mind that, if you have a puppy, these guidelines apply to a dog's "adult" coat). If you have a mixed breed, go with the category that matches your dog's dominant breed.

Short and Wiry: Terriers, Airedale, Schnauzers and Wire-haired Dachshunds have short, coarse coats with fur that is thick and hard with a longer softer coat on their backs.

  • Tools: Slicker brush; medium-tooth comb.
  • Method: To remove loose hair and prevent mats, brush and comb in layers from the skin outward in the direction of the fur.
  • Frequency: Twice a week.
  • Special needs: Grooming by a professional groomer every six to eight weeks.

Short and Smooth: This coat type has little to no undercoat and is sported by such breeds as Basenjis, Doberman Pinschers and Pugs.

  • Tools: Bristle brush or hound glove.
  • Method: First brush against the hair growth, which will help to remove the loose hair, and then brush with the growth to flatten and help spread natural oils.
  • Frequency: Once a week.
  • Special needs: Spray-on conditioners can help keep your dog’s coat shiny. Grooming by a professional groomer four to six times a year.

Short and Double: Labrador Retrievers, Rottweiler and similar breeds grow a short, double coat. The top coat is straight and coarse, while the undercoat is soft and thin.

  • Tools: Slicker, Furminator, pin brush and metal comb.
  • Method: Brush the coat growth to prevent mats and remove excess loose undercoat, then use a metal comb to remove the loose hair.
  • Frequency: Twice a week; more frequently in spring and summer when shedding.
  • Special needs: Grooming by a professional groomer six times a year.

Long and Silky: Breeds with this coat type, including Maltese, Silky Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers, don’t grow an undercoat.

  • Tools: Slicker brush; fine-tooth comb.
  • Method: After removing any mats and tangles, brush then comb the entire coat in the direction the hair grows.
  • Frequency: Three or four times a week.
  • Special needs: Grooming by a professional groomer every four to six weeks.

Long and Coarse: Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus and Tibetan Terriers are examples of breeds with long, coarse coats. This type has a thinner, lighter undercoat than long and double types.

  • Tools: Slicker brush, bristle brush, pin brush and fine-tooth comb
  • Method: Carefully remove any mats with a slicker brush, and then brush the entire coat with a pin brush or a bristle brush. Once brushed, used a metal comb to go back and check for mats. Always brush in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Frequency: Three or four times a week.
  • Special needs: Grooming by a professional groomer every four to six weeks.

Long and Double: This long-haired type features a straight, course outer coat with a thick, heavy undercoat. Breeds include Chow Chows, Collies and Samoyeds.

  • Tools: Slicker brush; large, wide-tooth comb.
  • Method: Brush the entire body from the skin outward. You may want to work on one small section of fur at a time. After carefully removing any mats, thoroughly comb the coat. Make sure you get the comb next to the skin and comb outward to remove the loose undercoat.
  • Frequency: Two or three times a week.
  • Special needs: Grooming by a professional groomer six times per year. Dogs with this coat shed more than any other type, so frequent brushing is essential.

Curly: Poodles, Bedlington Terriers and Kerry Blue Terriers have curly coats. Although these dogs don’t shed, their fur mats easily.

  • Tools: Slicker brush and metal comb.
  • Method: Brush in small sections with the grain of the coat to remove any tangles or mats, then go back and check with a metal comb.
  • Frequency: Twice a week.
  • Special needs: Grooming by a professional groomer every four to six weeks.

Hairless: Some hairless breeds, like the Chinese Crested, grow tufts of hair on the head, legs and tail.

  • Tools: Bristle brush or hound glove.
  • Method: Gently brush in the direction the coat grows, this will help to distribute natural oils onto skin and coat.
  • Frequency: Every other week.
  • Special needs: Apply an oil-free moisturizer daily and a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 when outdoors.

Want more grooming tips? Learn how to:

  • Clean your dog's ears here.
  • Trim your dog's nails here.
  • Brush your dog's teeth here.
  • Give your dog a bath here.

If you’ve added a new pet to your family, go to your local Petco and ask a store partner for a free New Pet Companion Care Pack! Go to petco.com to find the store nearest you.

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3 Comments
Comments
by Peter Densien
‎09-01-2016 04:40 AM

 This article is very good and informative. I was looking for an article like this to answer my queries.  Thank you for your information. I will look forward to read more of your blogs.

 This article is very good and informative. I was looking for an article like this to answer my queries.  Thank you for your information. I will look forward to read more of your blogs.

Posted on Sep. 1, 2016
by Labrador Lover
‎09-11-2017 04:54 AM

Hey there!

Very informative post. I do agree that variety of grooming products available can be overwhelming. We can't try them all out hehe Smiley Tongue

However, I wrote a blog post about 4 tools I found which suits best for most of the dogs. I would like to hear your comment.

This is the link Best Dog Brushes, please check it out. Thanks,

Ante.

Hey there!

Very informative post. I do agree that variety of grooming products available can be overwhelming. We can't try them all out hehe Smiley Tongue

However, I wrote a blog post about 4 tools I found which suits best for most of the dogs. I would like to hear your comment.

This is the link Best Dog Brushes, please check it out. Thanks,

Ante.

Posted on Sep. 11, 2017
by Braden Bills
‎10-17-2017 07:21 AM

I want to make sure that I get the right equipment to groom my dog with. I didn't know that you could get special gloves to help comb through there fur! It makes sense that they would enjoy the extra petting, too.

I want to make sure that I get the right equipment to groom my dog with. I didn't know that you could get special gloves to help comb through there fur! It makes sense that they would enjoy the extra petting, too.

Posted on Oct. 17, 2017
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