Basic pet grooming tools for the novice or the pro

Originally published in the Rolesville Buzz
March 2013

No matter what kind of pet you have – short hair, curly hair or one with swirly curls – they all need some form of grooming. To properly maintain your pet’s health, skin and coat, you must first determine what regular grooming is needed and then make sure that you have all of the necessary products to properly perform the job.

Before bathing your pet it is always a good idea to start with a thorough brushing. This will give you an opportunity to check them for mats, skin irritations or any pests that may have taken refuge in their fur.

Depending on the length of the coat and the condition, there are several brushes that are available and made especially for dog. A slicker brush is a good all-around brush. It comes in two styles: soft-bristles for around sensitive areas and hard-bristles for the other areas of the body.

For pets that shed, a curry brush is great for removing loose fur. If used prior to bathing your pet, it will help reduce the chances of the loose fur causing mats in the coat.

There are several options for combs to choose from for your pet. A medium-toothed comb is a good all-around comb to keep handy. If you are concerned that your pet may have fleas, try using a flea comb.

A flea comb is a very finetoothed comb that, when combed through the coat, will expose fleas and flea eggs. This comb is also a good resource to turn to when there are small tangles, such as those around the face and ears.

For the pets that really have issues with mats and excessively thick coats, there are mat rakes and splitters. Either of these tools is great to use on coats like that of the Labradoodle and even the long flowing tails of Golden Retrievers.

To complete the collection of recommended grooming supplies you will need nail cutters and styptic, dog-recommended toothpaste and toothbrush, eye and ear cleaner, as well as cotton balls, and if you are brave, electric clippers to trim your pet’s coat.