Published: July 31th, 2016

Make sure that you have these five tools in your tool box to keep your dog’s coat looking it’s best in-between trips to your dog groomer.

Flea Comb: Don’t let the name fool you, this comb is not just used to find fleas. This small, fine toothed comb is one of the best tools for “carding” or pulling out dead hair and undercoat. The small size of these combs make them perfect for dogs that are skittish around having their face combed. The combs can be easily palmed and with a practiced slight of hand, the dog is unaware that your are combing the gunk from their beard until you’re almost done. These combs are also the perfect size for getting in-between the pads and detailed grooming around sensitive areas like the anus. At a few dollars a pop, keeping one of these in your toolbox is a no brainer

 Steel, Medium Sized Comb: This is the most used tool in a professional dog groomer’s toolbox..hands down..period. No other tool gives the groomer a better feel for what’s going on underneath the top coat then a steel comb. Try this test at home, take the comb and run it down your dog’s coat. If the comb passes easily through the coat, then your doing a great job keeping up with coat care. If the comb snags, but with a light, gentle tug then pulls free,  you know it’s time to do some home coat maintenance. If the comb snags and cannot pass through without effort, then it’s time to visit your professional groomer, your dog’s coat is more than likely matted.

Coat Rake: These may look scary, but don’t let that deter you from learning how to use one. This tool will be your go-to tool when your dog is shedding. Nothing pulls out undercoat like a rake.  Rakes come in all different shapes and sizes and each works  differently depending on the  type of coat your dog has. Rakes usually feature a handle that connects to a long row of metal teeth or curved steel blades.  The rake passes through the top coat and catches the undercoat, in which the blades or teeth successfully pull out. When used properly, rakes are a fast, safe and effective way of deshedding your dog. The Furminator is a popular brand, Mars Coat King is another. A million dog owners will tell you that they can’t live with their dog without one. We highly suggest that you visit a professional groomer in your area and ask them to suggest the best rake for your dog’s particular coat and to show you how to use it properly.

Ear Cleaning Solution and Cotton Pads:  Dogs end up with all types of junk in their ears which can cause painful yeast infections and expensive trips to the vet. Swabbing your dog’s ear with a good quality ear cleaner and some cotton pads on a regular basis will help prevent build up and infections. Remember to only swab the parts that you can see, don’t enter the inner ear canal, that should only be done by a veterinarian.

 

Toothbrush and Toothpaste:  Who would’ve guessed 20 years ago that we would be brushing our dog’s teeth? We now know that keeping your dog’s teeth free of tartar reaps huge health and quality of life benefits as your dog gets older.  Head over to your local pet store and buy a dog specific toothbrush and toothpaste. They make dog  toothpaste in chicken and liver flavors and most dogs actually love the stuff. The important thing is stay consistent and try to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Like with all new things, start slowly, try just  letting your dog lick the toothpaste of the brush the first 2-3 times.  Once they understand that the toothbrush equals a tasty treat, then gently lift one lip and start slowly brushing one side of your dogs mouth and only for a few seconds at first . Take your time, and do only short sessions once a week. As your dog becomes accustomed to the sensation , you can adjust the frequency and length of time.

By keeping your dog well maintained on a regular basis not only keeps them looking and feeling their best but also makes the next trip to the groomers a faster and more enjoyable experience for your best friend.