Whether you have a shorthaired dog or a longhaired dog — or even an adorable wirehaired terrier — there are some must-have grooming products for your dog. When it comes to grooming products for dogs, your dog can have more brushes, sprays, shampoos, conditioners and gadgets than you do! Here’s the low-down on grooming products for your dog.
- 1 Shorthaired dogs
- 2 Longhaired dogs
- 3 Wirehaired dogs
You may think that shorthaired dogs don’t need much grooming but you’d be wrong. Shorthaired dogs are some of the champion shedders of the dog world. They may not have long hair but they have just as much hair as their longhaired brethren. It’s just shorter. For dogs that have sleek, fine coats, such as Beagles, German Shorthaired Pointers, and Labrador Retrievers, they seem to shed ridiculous amounts of fur. Owners and breeders of these dogs will tell you that it’s necessary to brush them at least a couple of times per week to prevent these short hairs from collecting all over your furniture and rugs.
If you have a shorthaired dog you will probably need some of the following grooming products for dogs for basic grooming:
- A good boar bristle brush
- A slicker brush — helps with the shedding
- A curry comb — some people prefer a curry comb instead of a slicker brush or use both
- A hound glove — works to massage the dog and loosen dead fur
- A Greyhound comb — to help with trimming
- Scissors — for trimming
Your longhaired dog will most likely need to be groomed at least a couple of times per week. Whether you have a Yorkshire Terrier or an Afghan Hound, it’s not the size of the dog that matters. It’s the amount of coat. Some long coats can be quite labor-intensive. Other long coats, such as those on Setters and Spaniels, will just need to be brushed and combed. These are things that you should find out before you get a dog in order to make sure you have time for your dog’s grooming needs.
If you have a longhaired dog then you can count on it taking much longer to bathe your dog, too. You will need to condition his coat. You may also have to blow dry the coat, depending on the breed and the amount of coat.
If you have a longhaired dog you will probably need some of the following products for basic grooming:
- A good boar bristle brush
- Pin brushes — for brushing out furnishings and long coat
- A Greyhound comb
- Scissors — for trimming
- Thinning scissors
- Stripping knives — not really knives, they are used to strip out dead hair on the body
- Stripping stone — a piece of pumice to strip away dead hair
- A blow dryer
Unlike shorthaired dogs, many longhaired dogs do not shed all the time. Many of them keep their hair close to the body and the dead hair needs to be “stripped” to leave the body with a clean, firm outline and appearance. Then the “furnishings” — the long, fluffy coat that hangs around the legs, chest and stomach — are brushed and fluffed with the pinbrush. Of course, every breed is different, so grooming will depend on the individual breed.
If you have a wirehaired dog then you will likely have choices to make. For the show ring, wirehaired dogs are hand-stripped and hand-plucked to obtain the look they have. This is very labor-intensive and can take a long time to do. Besides patience and work, it also takes skill to do this kind of hand grooming. Many pet owners choose to have their dogs clippered instead. Clippering gives the dog a similar neat appearance but the dog won’t have the same (correct) harsh texture to the coat as the show dogs. If you take your wirehaired dog to the groomer they will probably use the clippers on your dog since most of them don’t have the time to hand-strip a dog and it would be very expensive to pay a groomer to do it.
(You can learn to hand-strip and hand-pluck your wirehaired dog yourself. It’s not that difficult but it does take some practice.)
For grooming your wirehaired dog at home, in between trips to the groomer, you will need some of the following products for basic grooming:
- A slicker brush — great for wirehaired coats
- A curry comb
- A hound glove — good for massaging your dog and loosening dead hair
- A Greyhound comb — good for whiskers and beards
- Scissors — good for any trimming in between trips to the groomer, such as around the eyes
Most people with wirehaired dogs do need to take them to a professional groomer two or three times a year to have them clippered into a nice cut. This works for breeds that typically have a close “jacket” such as the Airedale, the Welsh Terrier and others. If you have a terrier breed that does not have a jacket, such as a Scottie, then you will probably still want to use a groomer periodically so they can take care of your dog’s coat needs, even if they don’t clip the coat close to the body.
No matter what kind of dog you have you will need to choose a good shampoo and conditioner. There are good shampoos for all coat types. If your dog has any special skin or coat problems, look for a product that is designed for that kind of coat. For instance, there are many good shampoos for dogs with dry, itchy skin. Many of them have oatmeal and other natural ingredients to soothe the skin. If your dog has allergies or other skin problems you may need to look for a product with tea tree oil or neem oil.
There are many products for whitening dingy coats but you should be aware that many of these whitening shampoos can be harsh. They may dry out your dog’s coat so always follow up with a good conditioner.
You can usually find a good conditioner from the same company that makes your shampoo. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are designed to be used together.
If your dog’s coat is especially dry or oily, look for products that can help these problems. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in your local pet store try online. There are many sites used by professional dog groomers and dog show people that have grooming products for dogs of all kinds.