10 Dog Grooming Tools to Have at Home, According to Professionals
We asked the pros to weigh in on the essentials necessary to wash, brush, and trim Fido. Here, their top picks.
The right tools can make grooming your dog at home an easy task—just ask your groomer. "No matter what kind of dog you have, or how often you may visit a professional groomer, you should have some basic grooming supplies at home for your pet," says Alyssa Taichew, owner of The Pet Spa at Brook's Edge in New Jersey. "Having quality, basic dog grooming supplies on hand will allow you to take better care of your dog, make grooming sessions easier, and help pet parents to bond with their furry friends."
So, how do you determine what supplies you should have handy at home? Nancy Chinchar, owner of Downtown Doghouse in Manhattan, says it all depends on the breed. "Different breeds have different requirements," she says. "For example, dogs with curly coats (think doodles, poodles, bichon frises), call for a slicker brush and a greyhound comb to really take care of their coat properly and prevent mats. While short-haired dogs that don't shed much, such as labs and French bulldogs, can really benefit from a rubber curry brush."
And while having the appropriate tools on hand is a big help at bath time, Ani Corless, founder of Luxury Groomer, says what's most important is to know how to use them. "Well-made tools will last longer and, in some cases, can prevent possible injuries from happening," she says. "The golden rule for any tool is to go slow and be gentle." Curious which grooming tools professional dog groomers say you should have at home? From ergonomic shears to nail files and more, here's what our experts recommended.
For dogs with hair that tangles or mats easily, Corless says to look no further than a quality slicker brush. "This is a good, standard tool that can be used on any breed with hair that's longer than an inch," she says. "Make sure to choose one that's size appropriate for your pet. If you purchase one that's too small, it will take a lot longer to brush the whole dog."
Shop Now: Chris Christensen Mark Curved Back Slicker Brush, $44, chrischristensen.com.
To remove stubborn tangles in longer coats, Chinchar says you'll need a metal greyhound comb. "I've been using this one for over 15 years," she says. "It's great for removing clumps of shedding hair that get caught in your dog's coat. Just comb against the growth of the coat (from the foot towards the body) on the thighs and chest and neck."
Shop Now: Safari Greyhound Style Comb, 4 1/2" (Medium/Fine), $8, store.ryanspet.com.
If you aren't brushing your dog daily with a shedding brush, Corless says it's time to start. "I recommend taking a few minutes every day, ideally at the end of a walk, to brush your dog with a soft rubber brush," she says. "It leaves the mess outside and promotes bonding with your pet."
Shop Now: SleekEZ Original Deshedding Grooming Tool, $21, amazon.com.
If you plan on giving your dog a quick trim at home, Erika Santos, a groomer at pupculture in New York City, says it's worth splurging on a well-designed pair of shears. "Roseline scissors have bigger, rubber-padded finger holes, so they're comfortable to use," she explains. "They create a nice, straight cut without much effort."
Shop Now: Roseline Straight Scissors, 6", from $68.95, christiesdirect.com.
Unless you're a pro at using nail clippers, Corless says it's safer to use a nail file to shorten your dog's nails. "Using a nail file often enough can be a stress-free way to keep a perfect paw-dicure," she says. "They're also great if you have small children or wood floors that get scratched by nails."
Shop Now: Dog Fashion Spa Crystal Glass Nail File, $15, chewy.com.
While most people prefer to leave nail trims to the pros, Taichew says that with the right clippers, dog owners can master nail clipping at home. "Plier-style nail clippers offer a simple mechanism and a safe, sharp blade for a clean cut (reducing the risk of injury or difficulty)," she explains. She also recommends keeping a container of septic powder nearby, to help stop bleeding (and promote healing) in the event you nick the quick of your pooch's nail.
Shop Now: Resco Original Guillotine Nail Trimmer, $15, walmart.com.
When you're grooming your dog at home, Taichew says a good grooming spray can make the process go more smoothly. "Grooming spray helps keep your dog's coat healthy, straighter, fuller, and less tangled, and makes working the hair with a brush and comb a lot less difficult," she explains. "Grooming sprays typically help reduce static, as well, so you and your pet won't experience any kind of sudden, unpleasant shocks during or after the grooming process."
Shop Now: Eqyss Premier Pet Spray, $13, eqyss.com.
No in-home grooming routine would be complete without a dog bath, which is why Taichew says you should always have a microfiber towel ready to help dry them off. "If you have a very active and squirmy pup, a dog-specific microfiber towel can help make drying them off easier," she says.
Shop Now: Green Earth Quick-Dry Dog Towel Mitts, in Midnight, $16 for set of 2, thecompanystore.com.
If you and your dog are comfortable with blow drying, Taichew says a quality dog dryer can work wonders when grooming your dog at home. "A good dog-specific dryer is especially important for breeds that have double coats, because it promotes removal of the dead undercoat during drying," she explains. "Never use a human hair dryer, as they can get far too hot, even on low settings, and burn your dog's sensitive skin."
Shop Now: shernbao High Velocity Professional Dog Pet Grooming Hair Force Dryer Blower, $97, amazon.com.
When your dog is in need of a quick cleaning, Taichew says alcohol-free bath wipes are a great alternative to giving them a bath. "The best choice is a deodorizing bath wipe meant for dogs or furry pets, rather than baby wipes for human babies, because they are designed to help promote coat health, and often include a moisturizer/conditioner to replenish any oils removed in the cleaning process."
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Multipurpose Grooming Wipes for Dogs, $6, amazon.com.