Whether your Shih Tzu’s mane keeps getting tangled or your Rottweiler is shedding tumbleweeds all over the house, at-home grooming is at best a hassle and at worst a struggle for even the most patient pet owner.
Because we all want to know how to make grooming easier on furry ones, we asked experts to give us a rundown on the best grooming tools for dogs. Our panel of experts include Releash NYC head groomer Kriz Khoon-Aroon, the groomers at The Bark Shoppe, Resident Pet Expert at Chewy, Samantha Schwab, and Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian and the founder of Animal Acupuncture. Read on to find the best hairbrushes, shampoos, deodorizers, and even toothbrushes for your canine companion.
The best grooming tub
“If you want to give your pet the ultimate bathing experience without stepping foot inside a groomer’s, then the Booster Bath grooming center is your best bet,” says Schwab. The portable tub takes all the stress and anxiety out of bathing. It comes with a safety harness that gently holds your pet in place, while you get 360-degree access to wash every inch of them quickly and painlessly — which you certainly can’t do in your kitchen sink. The tub also comes in three sizes to fit a variety of breeds.
The best bath accessories
Unlike traditional shower heads and hoses, the Aquapaw gives you “direct control over your pet and the water flow for a clean and quick wash,” says Schwab. Plus, since the water flows from a scrubber in the palm of your hand, you can lather, scrub, and rinse at the same time, giving your pet a much deeper clean.
The best shampoos and conditioners
“The scent of TropiClean’s papaya and coconut shampoo and conditioner immediately sends you on a mental vacation to Mexico (even though you’re at home giving your pet a bath). And, unlike most pet shampoos or conditioners, your pet will carry the scent days after bathing,” says Schwab. Plus, a two-in-one product ensures that you spend more time playing with your pet and less time bent over the sink.
The best deodorizers
Schwab recommends this deodorizer from Skout’s Honor to ensure your pet smells nice and fresh anytime, anywhere. “Use after the dog park or anytime your pup needs freshening up, and you’ll never have to second guess snuggling up with your fur baby again,” she says.
Schwab loves the “durable and extra-wide” wipes from Pogi’s that “are perfect for getting in the nooks and crannies of your pet’s paws after a long and muddy trip to the dog park.” Use them whenever you need to quickly clean your dog up before letting them back into the house.
The best brushes for short-haired dogs
The Bark Shoppe recommends using the Furminator Deshedding tool “to help remove the undercoat and additional shedding hair.” [Editor’s Note: We’ve written about the FURminator before.] Particularly when shedding gets worse during the change of seasons. The Furminator has a metal comb with teeth that are long enough to reach under your dog’s topcoat.
Schwab loves the SleekEZ Deshedding Grooming Tool that is so effective it can be used on dogs, cats, horses, livestock, and even furniture (!). “That’s right, furniture. You can use this tool on upholstery and carpeting to remove excess fur from your home,” she says.
Best brushes for long-haired dogs
“It is important to comb and brush a long hair pet every other day or a minimum of three times a week,” says The Bark Shoppe. And a slicker brush is the key tool to keep your long-haired pal’s coat sleek and shiny. “Ergonomically designed wire brushes that serve as an all in one tool to help keep any type of long hair dog mat free,” adds Khoon-Aroon. The brush has long pins that will penetrate into the deepest layers of your dog’s coat.
Schwab recommends the FURbeast Deshedding tool for pet parents who need help detangling their long-haired dog’s manes. The FURbeast also gets top marks for comfort. “Pets will often look like they are in a state of hypnosis after a grooming session with the FURbeast,” she promises.
The Bark Shoppe says, “A common misconception is that brushing a pet removes mats and tangles but only brushing removes the tangles on the surface and matting can still be at the root.” Khoon-Aroon cites the Buttercomb by Chris Christensen as “the best comb out there for gliding smoothly through coats.” The Buttercomb features a flat spine and rounded core top which “allows it to glide through the coat flawlessly without pulling on the hair.” And while the price point is a little high, the handcrafted stainless steel pins ensure that this is a long-lasting tool that you (and your pet) will enjoy for years to come.
The best grooming products for nails
It is essential to “use a nail trimmer that has a safety guard” and “to feel confident when clipping your pet’s nails” otherwise “your pet will sense that energy and will give you a hard time,” cautions The Bark Shoppe. Schwab recommends this nail trimmer from Safari that “allows you to cut the nail with just one clip, making the process quick and easy.” Plus, the non-slip grip and safety guard helps prevent painful accidents. This trimmer is best for medium to large dogs.
The best grooming product for ears
The best grooming product for paws
The best grooming products for oral hygiene
“Ideally brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least a few times a week,” suggests Dr. Barrack. Since dogs do not spit, it is critical to use dog-safe toothpaste that they can swallow. This gel toothpaste has both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredients to fight tartar and plaque buildup, whiten teeth, and freshen breath.
Dr. Barrack notes that “toothbrushes formulated for dogs are more angled than human brushes.” Schwab recommends the Virbac Pet Toothbrush because its size “allows you to get to those hard-to-reach places in the back of the mouth” and the “soft bristles” keep your pet comfortable throughout the process. This one is ideal for small breeds.
And if your dog is fussy and brushing isn’t an option at all, dental wipes are a good alternative. Dr. Barrack also adds that “a professional dental cleaning with your primary care veterinarian” is an essential part of maintaining your dog’s optimal oral hygiene.
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