How I Met My Dog

Groomed for Success: Top 5 Grooming Tools and Tips

Bathing, brushing and trimming your dog can be a hassle, but it doesn’t need to be! Check out these tools, products and tips to make grooming a breeze.

  1. Zymox Enzymatic Shampoo and Conditioning Rinse

The first step to a successful grooming session is a clean pup. Clean, dry dogs are much easier to brush and trim. If you have a shorthaired dog that doesn’t require brushing, a bath may be your first and last step on spa day so make it a great one! Zymox shampoo and conditioning rinse is specially formulated for dogs (or cats) with dry, itchy skin, which means that it’s hydrating, gentle and good for dogs with any type of coat. Zymox smells amazing and the shampoo lathers up with lots of suds so you can reach every smelly, muddy nook and cranny. The Conditioning rinse can be left on or rinsed off. Zymox does not contain harsh detergents, steroids, or petroleum by products and it provides natural inflammation relief.

Bath Tip: No matter what shampoo you use, be sure to rinse your dog VERY well. When shampoo is left on your dog it can cause irritated skin and hot spots. Hot spots are inflamed areas of the skin that can be painful and itchy for your dog. To avoid these, double and triple rinse your pup after shampooing.

 2. K9 Bath Buddy

If your dog is not a natural fan of bath time, make your life easier with the K9 bath buddy! This very clever product is a silicone mat with a suction cup on the backside. The suction cup sticks to your shower or bathtub wall and the silicone mat is perfect for spreading a little bit of peanut butter on to keep your pup distracted during bath time.

Health Tip: Check the ingredients of your peanut butter before sharing it with your dog. If your peanut butter contains Xylitol (a commonly used sweetener), it could be deadly for your pup. Instead, use natural, unsalted peanut butter like this one from Teddie Brand.

3. Andis Gentle Dry Blow Dryer

Sometimes, a towel just isn’t enough to get our furry friends dry after bath time. If you’re in a hurry to get your grooming done and can’t wait around all day for your dog to dry after their bath, this blow dryer is safe and effective. Andis is a brand known for their reliable pet grooming tools. This 650-watt (low energy) dryer has two temperature and airflow settings and it’s durable and compact. The low wattage keeps the sound down so you won't over stimulate your pup and hurt their sensitive ears while drying them.

Hair Tip: This dryer works great on human hair too! Its affordable price makes it perfect for drying your pets hair and your own.

4. Strip Hair

Shedding dogs leave hair behind everywhere they go. Save yourself the hassle of non-stop vacuuming and lint rolling and use Strip Hair! This awesome product is AMAZING at removing hair, dust and dirt from your dog (or cat or horse!) The easy to use one step tool does not damage your dog's coat, it helps to evenly distribute natural oils and the massaging motion of using the Strip Hair can help calm your dog's nerves and lets them enjoy grooming time. This product can even remove pet hair from furniture and clothing. All in all, strip hair is an awesome product for removing excess pet hair in a healthy, safe way.

Strip Tip: The strip hair is a super helpful bath tool too! Use it to spread shampoo or conditioner and watch it remove excess hair while you bathe, saving you grooming time when your pup is dry.

5. Lillian Ruff Ear Cleaner

Keeping your dog's ears clean is a great way to avoid ear infections and keep your dog smelling great. We often forget to check our dog's ears for wax, dirt and ticks so making ear cleaning part of your grooming regiment is a great way to keep tabs on your pet’s health and keep them comfortable. The Lillian Ruff Ear Cleaner is a super gentle solvent that helps dissolve wax and dirt. It’s made with aloe and essential oils so it’s safe, sensitive and calming on contact.

To safely clean your pup’s ears, take a cotton ball or cotton pad (not a Q-tip) and pour a reasonable amount of Lillian Ruff Ear Cleaner onto the cotton. To avoid dripping solution directly into the ear canal, don’t soak the cotton in solution. Next, lift your pup's ears to get a good visual and gently rub away the wax and dirt with the cotton. Dogs have very deep ear channels that aid their excellent hearing. Be cautious yet effective when cleaning ears. Going too deep into the ear canal can be uncomfortable and painful for your dog, but don’t be afraid to gently stick your finger with cotton in the dirty nooks and crannies of the ear.

Grooming 101

In this article, we’ve laid out a few of our favorite bath time and grooming tools and products. There are endless grooming items on the market and tons of different ways to style your pet. Keeping your pet clean and free of excess hair, ticks, dirt and mats is a great way to be sure that they are happy, healthy and smell free (kind of!)

Check out our Easy Does it: How to Easily Trim Your Dog’s Nails article for advice and products related to nail trimming. 

Pawsitive Experiences

Activities like bath time and grooming can be stressful or scary for your dog. To make them pleasant, remember to reward your dog for positive behaviors and to pay attention to their body language. If your pup is stiff as a board, panting or shaking, they're probably nervous about what's going on. Try taking things slow and using treats and a calm, happy voice to give praise to your dog. Eventually they will associate activities like bath time and grooming with happy feelings and may even learn to love them.

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