So you took the plunge and got a new puppy (or kitten) and you’re looking for the best tools to use from the beginning or you’re just looking for some recommendations from a groomer to replace your current at-home pet grooming essentials. Below are some products that I swear by daily as a professional groomer. Wherever you are in your pet journey, I commend you for taking the time to find out the best ways to take care of your pets! These tools are going to really help you out and make sure you keep your best friend in their best shape, hopefully making the experience positive for you both!
A little about my qualifications for providing this advice: I am an in-home mobile dog groomer. That means I travel with all of my grooming equipment to your home and set up shop in your garage, patio, kitchen, or wherever you want me. I’ve been doing it this way for 8 years and find that it’s the most comfortable scenario for dogs. Free from all of the distractions at traditional groom shops, the dog can relax a more, and there’s no waiting around for it to be their turn on the grooming table. I truly believe in educating my clients on the best ways to care for their dogs at home, because I typically only see their dog once every 4-6 weeks, and in order to keep up on their beautiful coats, at-home maintenance is so important! But enough about me, here are some of the most important products I recommend for in-between grooming sessions:
**This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for purchases made using these links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use daily as a professional groomer and a pet owner.**
First up on my list is a must-have for anyone with a dog, it’s the All Systems Slicker Brush. I tell basically all of my clients that they should probably be brushing their dog’s hair every day. For long-haired dogs, this is to help prevent matting and for dogs of all sizes and hair types, it helps minimize shedding as much as possible. This brush comes in 3 sizes and has a painted wooden handle that feels really nice in your hand. The head is stainless steel with an air-cushioned rubber pad. I personally have this brush in my grooming bag and use it for every dog I see.
*Important tip: If you choose this brush for your dog, keep in mind that these pins can be quite sharp, so be aware of that and don’t press too hard with it, and keep brushing sessions to 15 minutes or less. If you choose to look for a different brush, stay away from brushes with plastic pins, especially if your dog is long-haired as these brushes will not take out mats. If you’re worried about the sharp pins, this brush is a happy medium as it has metal pins that are capped making the ends not so sharp in case you tend to be heavy-handed with your brushing. This is actually the brush my wife uses on Lani for a more gentle brushing.
The second most important tool in my grooming bag is the Andis 9 blade dematting tool. If you and your family love on your pup so much and can’t possibly keep up with all of the mats that form, or if you’ve slacked a little on your brushing regimen (no judgement, it happens to the best of us) and now your pup has a couple of mats on their ears or under their legs, not all hope is lost. This demating tool is great at getting into those mats and breaking them up and pulling them out.
To use, rake underneath the mat and as gently as possible, pull out the mat. It may require a little effort, and your dog may not enjoy this process, so make sure you have some yummy treats to keep them happy. If some of the mats are just too stubborn to come out, I highly recommend this Tropiclean D-Mat soapless solution. For their next bath, shampoo and rinse as usual, and then apply a generous amount of D-Mat product, let it sit for 3 minutes, then rinse out and blow dry.
With frequent brushing with your new slicker brush and this dematting tool (maybe even the D-Mat soapless solution too), your next trip to the groomer should be much easier on your pup and they’ll be able to keep their beautiful long coat without fear of getting shaved down because of mats and the visit may also cost you less as many groomers charge more for excessive mats.
My next recommendation is the ZoomGroom. This is called a rubber curry brush. I like to tell my clients that this is essentially a doggie washcloth and the worst enemy of a German Shepherd’s undercoat. I call it that because that’s what I use in addition to a quality de-shedding shampoo and a high-velocity blow-dry session for de-shedding treatments for my clients.
For at-home use, apply shampoo and work it in with your hands, then scrub all over with the ZoomGroom. Rinse (and condition if you choose) and dry with the highest speed setting on your hairdryer.
I often get asked by pet owners about the best nail clippers they can use at home when their dogs’ nails get too long and the next grooming session is weeks out. I always recommend a Dremel tool, like this one rather than clippers. I like to use Dremels for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that it has the perfect amount of power and minimal noise production. The biggest thing that scares pet owners about nail trims is the fear of cutting the quick and hurting their dog, traumatizing them when getting their nails cut forever. This is actually the main reason I have any issues with nail trims on my clients. Using a Dremel to grind nails rather than clipping them minimizes the potential for hurting your dog. It may take your new puppy or any dog a little time to get used to the noise and vibrations the Dremel makes when grinding their nails, so be patient with them and start out slowly just turning it on next to them with treats at the ready until they’re no longer affected by it.
If the thought of trimming your dogs’ nails at home still seems daunting, that’s totally ok. Check and see if your local groomer has quick appointments just for nail trims in between regular grooming sessions. Your dog can sense your fear if you try to do it yourself and will likely not sit still for you to do what you need to do, making the experience worse for both of you.
So there you have it. All of these are tools I use all the time to help me with my daily grooming appointments and once you start using them, you’ll see why. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or recommendations of your own, or requests for more content! I appreciate you all and hope to talk to you soon! As always, give that four-legged best friend of yours all of the love.