Taking your dog to the groomer can get incredibly expensive. Especially if you need to have your pup groomed on a frequent basis due to their luscious coat of fur, fast-growing nails, or need for special treatment due to illnesses or irritations. If you’re anything like us, you want to take care of your dog in the best possible way, but are searching for a way to reduce the cost. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best grooming tools out there that you can use right from home. These are particularly great for pups who hate car rides or experience extreme anxiety outside the home.
When hunting down the best dog grooming tools, we wanted to consider ease of use, safety, and affordable price point. From grooming brushes to deshedding tools and clippers, you can find everything you need to keep your dog looking great.
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Brushes and Deshedding Tools
A sturdy dog brush is the number one dog grooming tool. There are lots of different options; but did you know that dog brushes can be categorized by function? There are slicker brushes, rake brushes, bristle brushes, and deshedding tools. Consequently, each category of dog grooming brush is designed to tackle specific needs. To make it easy, we’ve broken down each type and give you their defining characteristics. Plus, you’ll find some excellent brush recommendations.
A slicker brush is one type of dog brush and is particularly designed to remove mats and knots from your dog’s fur. They have fine bristles that easily and gently brush through just about any fur. We highly recommend them for short to medium-haired furbabies that tend to get their fur in a bunch. When using a slicker brush on your dog you must keep in mind that because the wires are so close together, you have to brush your dog slowly to avoid discomfort. Take your time and try not to rush through it. If you move to quickly, it might pull at their coat when you run across knots.
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
In particular, the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is best designed for both small and large dogs, as well as cats. The bristles are fine and thin, allowing you to deeply massage your pet’s fur and increase blood circulation without hurting them. Instead of just combing through your dog’s top coat, this brush enables you to reach down into the undercoat without scratching skin.
We also found that the brush is designed for comfort. You can brush your dog or cat for a long time and your hand will be in a comfortable position. Even though your dog’s comfort comes first, it’s not a bad choice to have something designed for yours as well.
You’ll also love that the brush is self-cleaning. When you’re finished grooming your pet, just push a button and the bristles will retract. If you have ever battled with a standard hair brush, you know just how messy it can get trying to pull out all the hair stuck in-between bristles. Whether you are using this recommended grooming product as a brush or a detangler, you’re life it about to get one-step easier.
Rake brushes are another type of dog brush. They are designed for dogs with long hair such as German Shepherds. These longer-haired pooches tend to build up dead skin and fur in their undercoat that can be difficult to remove, especially during shedding season. These brushes go deep into the fur, easily detangling and removing any knotted hair or dead undercoat.
When searching for a rake brush, you want the bristles to be about the same length as your dog’s fur. Also, keep in mind that the bristles tend to be sharp to ensure all of the dead fur is removed. This means you will only want to use minimal pressure when combing. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating skin irritation.
Furminator Rake Brush
The Furminator Rake Brush has one row of bristles. The pins are rounded to reduce the risk of scratching your furbaby’s delicate skin. Plus, it has a flexible head to dig out all of the dead fur and skin under your dog’s fur. We have found this to be very useful for dogs with long hair, just gently brush through the knots and your dog’s hair will end up smooth and shiny. You may, however, find that it’s much easier to use the rake after your brush through your dog’s fair with a slicker brush.
Bristle brushes are a necessity for short haired dogs. This type of dog brush will get rid of all that pesky hair that seems to just shed off constantly. Bristle brushes will also massage your dog’s skin and spread the oil around to promote a shiny coat. When choosing a bristle brush, you should keep in mind your dog’s fur length. If they have longer fur, choose brushes with longer bristles that are further apart. This will make the brushing experience more comfortable for your pup.
For Your Dog Bristle Brush
The For Your Dog Bristle Brush works great on dogs with shorter hair. It has two sides, one bristle brush side, and one pin brush side. The pin brush side will loose dead fur and skin and remove mats, and the bristle side will deshed your pup and spread oils around. If you use this brush on your pet once a week it should significantly decrease the amount of fur spread around your house. In detail, the brush is 9” long, so it’s ideal for either small or large dogs.
Deshedding brushes and tools will save you a ton of time cleaning up after your pet. They will reduce the amount of shedding your dog produces with just weekly use. If you buy the right size tool, you will be able to remove almost all of your pet’s excess fur with each use. We find these extremely useful for any dog with longer hair. Although, deshedding tools won’t be able to get out knots or mats in your dog’s fur. For that you will want a slicker-style brush.
Furminator Deshedding Tool
The Furminator Deshedding Tool is definitely one of our favorite grooming tools. It removes 90% of the excess fur from your pup without any pain or discomfort. The Furminator is designed specifically for different size breeds and different hair lengths. There are five sizes available, in either a short hair or long hair version. Not only does the Furminator remove excess hair, it also reduces the amount of shedding your pup does between brushes. We absolutely love this product! You’ll definitely be getting more than what you pay for with this purchase.
Dog Hair Clippers
Dog grooming clippers are a great way to cut down the fur on long-haired dogs. Especially in the Summer, clippers can be a huge help to keep your pup cool in the heat. You can easily trim your dog’s legs, around their face, or just trim down the entire coat in a matter of minutes. We would highly recommend clippers to any dog parents that need a quick way to cut down their pup’s fur. The only downside to clippers is that they can be loud and scare some pups. As long as your dog is comfortable with them and you go slowly, they’re typically a great investment.
Wahl Dog Grooming Clippers
The Wahl Dog Grooming Clippers are a staple for a lot of dog owners, and we can see why. When you order through Amazon you’ll receive the clippers, blade guard, storage case, oil, cleaning brush, scissors, styling comb, mirror, and four guide combs – all for around $20. The clippers themselves are also of high quality. They’re built to last trim after trim, and they’re even self-sharpening.
No matter how long your pet’s fur is, you’ll find these to be very handy. They’re also designed with fur feeding technology to prevent any pulls or cuts. Even if you don’t know how to clip your pup, the Wahl clippers come with an instructional video for beginners! They’re very efficient and will make your grooming time a cinch.
Shampoo & Conditioners
We all know our dogs get dirty from time to time and it’s necessary to make sure their skin and fur get clean. But, shampoos do far more than just cleaning. They can help out with dry or oily dog skin, and keep your pup’s coat smelling good. Shampoo can also eliminate germs and prevent your dog from getting sick (we know how many questionable things our dogs get into on a daily basis). The conditioner can also moisturize their coat to help it feel and look its best.
Unfortunately, you can’t necessarily count on using a regular human shampoo or conditioner on your pup. The fact of the matter is: your dog’s skin has a different pH level than us humans. Certain chemical compounds found in regular bathing products can cause irritation for them. Therefore, it’s best to spend the extra buck and get a shampoo and/or conditioner specifically formulated for dogs.
Paws and Pals Shampoo & Conditioner
Paws and Pals Shampoo & Conditioner is especially great for dogs with dry itchy skin. It’s soothing shampoo and conditioner made with ingredients like essential oils, aloe and oatmeal to moisturize your pup’s skin. It will also moisturize their coat, leaving it shiny and healthy. We love their shampoo and conditioner because it’s made with a special formula that doesn’t irritate your dog’s nose or eyes, so you don’t have to be worried about where your pup is splashing. It’s also environmentally friendly, so you can feel good about the purchase.
Not only is this shampoo and conditioner designed for relieving itchy skin types, but it can help to reduce hot-spots. Basically, you get hydrating and healing wrapped up into one! Even if your worried about how it may react with your pup’s sensitive skin, they offer a small 3oz. bottle for under $5. This gives you a chance to test it out on a small patch of fur before committing to the larger 20oz. bottle. When switching to any new dog shampoo or conditioner, we highly recommend testing it out in a small area first.
Looking for USA-made dog products? You’re in luck here because the Paws and Pals Shampoo & Conditioner is made right here in the USA. For a closer look at other highly-recommended bathing products for dogs, head over to our in-depth article on Dog Shampoos You’ll Want. There you will get a great look at five amazing options.
Bathing Tools and Accessories
When it comes to giving your dog a bath, there no doubt you’ll get a bit soapy and wet. Most dogs have a terrible time getting into the tub (and staying in it). Even if you go with the “hose in the yard” method, there’s no telling when your pooch is gonna shake and run wild. Give yourself a break and look into some inventive dog bathing accessories.
Aquapaw’s Bathing Tool
The company of Aquapaw has one of our all-time favorite dog bathing tools. This hand-held contraption fits over your palm and allows you to hold and comfort Fido during bath time. A hose-like tube is attached so that water flows seamlessly out from your palm. Plus, soft bristles on the palm help trap soap and give a sudsy massage. The result: you have more control on your dog and you can comfort them. For a more in-depth analysis of the Aquapaw’s Bathing Tool, take a moment to look through Aquapaw’s Bathing Tool and Slow Treater.
K9 Bath Buddy
The K9 Bath Buddy is a dog bathing tool that will help you keep your furbaby distracted and occupied in the tub while you wash them. For many pups (and owners) bath time is stressful because the water and physical restrictions induced anxiety. However, this tool helps to delight your dog’s taste buds; giving them a treat while you wash. All you have to do is stick it on the bathtub wall and it will suction-cup itself in place. To prep the K9 Bath Buddy, smear peanut butter on it’s paw-shaped surface. To learn the ins and outs of how it works, check out our full article on the K9 Bath Buddy. Ultimately, this “treat during bath” technique may just make your dog excited to hop in the tub!
If you clip your dog’s nails at home you’ll save yourself a ton of money. However, we should warn you that it can be a bit intimidating your first go-round. There are things to watch out for, like accidentally crushing your dog’s nails or cutting too close to the quick. Luckily, If you buy the right clippers, it can be a comfortable experience for both you and your dog.
If your dog’s nails get too long it can make it not only uncomfortable for them, but also painful. Scissor clippers are great because they cut cleanly through the nail, and it’s harder to accidentally hurt your pup. They’re also strong enough to clip through thicker nails as long as you can get the right grip. If your pup does happen to have really thick nails, it may take some muscle to clip cleanly through.
Other types of dog nail clippers include guillotine clippers and grinders. Depending on your dog’s nail type and temperament, you might actually find one of these other options to be easier. First, guillotine clippers give you a designated spot to place your dog’s nail. They will hold the nail it place so you can cut it back in one motion. The Best Guillotine Nail Clippers is an entire article dedicated to giving you an insiders scoop. Second, dog nail grinders are going to be your perfect pick for gaining more control during nail trimming. They work like sand-paper and slowly grind down your pup’s nail to the desired length. The Best Nail Grinders for Dogs will lead you in the right direction for this option.
Boshel Nail Clippers
Boshel nail clippers are great scissor clippers and are just about as basic as you can get, but with quality. They’re simple to use, which is why they’re recommended by both vets and trainers. The clippers are made of 3.5mm thick steel, easily cutting through even the toughest nails with comfort. We highly recommend these scissor clippers because they also come with a safety stop; this will prevent you from clipping your dog’s nails too short and hitting the quick. The Boshel clippers will allow you to easily give your dog a clean cut every time, with a comfortable grip. Considering the low price of these clippers, you’ll get more than your money’s worth as these clippers are sure to last.
Dog Ear Cleaners
For one reason or another, you may find your vet recommending the need to clean your furbaby’s ears. This could either be due to their breed’s natural tendencies or to deter ear infections.
Epi-otic ear cleaners are a great antiseptic and non-irritating way to clean your dog’s ears. Not only do they remove debri and wax from your dog’s ears, they also create a protective layer to prevent bacteria and other harmful objects from getting in your pup’s ears. With routine use, you can ensure your dog’s ears will stay healthy no matter what they get into. Cleansers can also remove odor from your dog’s ears and keep them smelling great naturally.
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced ear cleaner
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner is a non-irritating cleanser safe for both cats and dogs. The formula has a neutral pH and contains no chlorhexidine or alcohol as well. The Virbac Ear Cleaner is a great choice because it won’t irritate your dog’s ears, and will prevent infection, bacteria, and dirt build-up. You can purchase an 8 ounce bottle for under $20, that will last you quite a while. In our opinion this is definitely worth the investment to keep your dog’s ears healthy.
If you’re like us and want to compare dog products before purchase, you can check out Doggie Ear Infections. Not only will it provide you with more informative knowledge on dog ear infections, but you’ll find more ear cleaning options.
Dog Deodorant Spray
After bath time you can add a unique finishing touch by spritzing your furbaby with a dog deodorant. Regular human sprays may have chemicals that are harmful to your dog or may irritate their skin, nose, and eyes. Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to enhance the smell of your dog, we highly recommend finding something specifically designed for dogs.
Dog sprays and deodorants are not only a fancy, final touch to grooming; they also allow you to reduce your pup’s smell between bathing. Most use all-natural ingredients, which is absolutely essential for any product you put on your dog. It’s always better safe than sorry. While we have many favorite dog deodorants, Bodhi Dog and TropiClean are at the top of that list.
Bodhi Dog Pet Cologne comes in five different scents. From the scent of sugar cookie to the refreshing smell of baby powder, they’ve got a good range of smell types for any nose. Not only are their sprays USA-made, but they are completely safe and non-toxic (all made in recyclable bottles). Even better, they are known to work on any type of dog fur or skin sensitivities.
TropiClean Deodorizing Pet Spray
TropiClean is going to be your best pick of an environmentally friendly dog deodorant. In fact, 70% of its ingredients are organic! Especially if you have a sensitive-skinned pup on your hands, organic ingredients are going to be your best friend. Additionally, their product is USA-made from 50% reusable materials. Coming in five different scents, each one will sweep you off your feet to a tropical paradise. They feature smells like papaya and peach.
Further information on Bodhi Dog Pet Cologne and TropiClean can be found in our full article on The Best Dog Perfume and Cologne. You’ll be able to see our entire list of favorite dog deodorants and learn what makes each own unique and affordable.