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Dog Grooming Tips and Supplies

Bathing your dog prior to grooming or shaving is not recommended. Bathing a dog frequently dries out the skin unless you use a good conditioner. Long-haired dogs are prone to matting and water tightens those mats making them hard to remove and hurting your dog in the process. 

Day-to day grooming, brushing, and combing is essential. This helps you spot problems like fleas, ticks or other skin disorders.

Dogs shed all year. Removing loose hair daily keeps your dog comfortable. Not grooming long-haired dogs daily causes painful mats to form. Unattended these mats can cause health issues.

Shaving a dog in the hot summer months is thought to keep them cooler. But hair on the dog works two ways; keeping the dog warm in the cold, and serving to protect against heat and sunburn. Shaving a dog completely is not necessary. If your dog has a thick undercoat, good lucking finding a pair of clippers to do the job.

Brushing your dog

Start at the head and follow the flow of the hair. Pay special attention to behind the ears, and the base of the tail. These areas tend to get overlooked. Fleas gather there. Mats tend to form on the chest, flanks and near the tail. In the winter, pay special attention to the feet. Check the pads for cracking or sores.

Keep flea and tick treatments on your dog especially on outdoor dogs. Be sure that the treatment is safe. Before using an over-the-counter product on your dog call your veterinarian.

Removing ticks is done carefully. If the tick’s head is imbedded, pulling the parasite off your pet can break the parasite in half leaving the head inside. This will cause a nasty infection. You need to wear gloves then dip a q-tip into a flea product (that also kills ticks). Rub the q-tip on the exposed part of the tick. This causes it to raise its head out of the host. Carefully grab the tick’s head with a pair of tweezers and pull it off your dog. Drop it into a jar of rubbing alcohol to preserve it until you can get it to the vet for identification.

Watch the spot carefully. Make sure no swelling or signs of infection are present. To safeguard from infection, once the tick is removed wipe the area with iodine. If you see any problems take the dog to the vet immediately.

Trimming the nails

Exercising your dog on pavement regularly knocks back claws nicely. Otherwise you will need to trim the claws. Use a trimmer that is designed for dog’s claws. Also have a septic pencil on hand in case you cut into the quick (or the pink) of the nail. This is the blood supply and the nail will bleed. You just want to cut off the bare tip of the claw.

Learning how to groom your dog for the show ring can take years to master. Seek out the advice of a professional dog groomer before undertaking such a task. Know that once you start, you will experience bad hair days.

Below is a list of items you should have on hand before tackling this part of show dog grooming.

Grooming table- Tables come standard, electric, adjustable, stationary and portable. Non-skid mats and grooming arms are purchased separately. Starting price $100.00



Clippers- You’ll want a set of clippers that will work for the breed you own. Be sure there is a cooling system (as clippers can get overheated). Look for WAHL, Oster and Clipmaster.



Brushes and Combs- Fine-tooth combs for little dogs, slicker brushes for medium haired. Rakes for long-haired dogs. Wire brushes irritate sensitive skin. Starting price $4.00


Grooming scissors- Clips ear hair, face hair and hair on the back of the legs and feet. Starting price $9.00


Shedding tools- For long-haired dogs pulls out the loose hair, dander and undercoat. Starting price $12.00


Nail Clippers- Dog nail trimmers are made to fit the curve of the dog’s nails. If the dog’s nail is too tough, you can stand the dog in a bath for a few minutes to soften the nail. Starting price $5.00


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