I have two favorite spots where I prefer to get my grooming supplies. They both have in store sales and an online sales sites and their delivery charges out to the middle of nowhere are reasonable. The links to their sites are listed under Favorite Links in this blog. Now if all a person wants is something to hack a matted burr out of their dog’s coat…the products offered at any pet store will do okay. If however, one wants a better look; professional equipment and products are the answer. There is really no question about the fact that you get what you pay for…and that translates into a better look if used correctly. Can one do a good job with cheap scizzors etc…maybe but it will be frustrating getting it done. I cannot be definitive about one brand over another but I can attest to the fact that quality counts big time. The following photos show an assortment of the equipment and products that I use.
This is my own basic kit for dog grooming which includes a brush, comb, straight shears, blending shears, matt breaker, ear hair pullers, nail trimmers, and nail file. I have curved shears as well but I find that I seldom use them. I get all of my shears sharpened as needed and….make every effort to NOT EVER DROP THEM. If they get dropped…they will needed sharpening and adjusting by a professional. Both Excalibur and Showline take care of my sharpening needs.
The quality of clippers that one uses will affect not only the look of the finished coat and the ease of handling but also the longevity of the equipment itself. I use clippers that have interchangeable blades and an assortment of clip on comb attachments so that there is no limitations to getting the length of coat requested. These blades can be sharpened and resharpened many many times. Just as side note of great importance…the blades I use are all finishing blades i.e. #10F. I never use the skip tooth blades that are available…for me it is just not worth the risk of slicing a dog’s skin which is more apt to occur when using the skip tooth blade.
This assortment of equipment is of an optional type. I make full use of these as required but not as often as the other things in my arsenal. I use the cage type muzzle because it is kinder and just as effective as the strap type. A dog can pant freely while wearing this type of muzzle therefore it can be left on through out the entire grooming process if necessary. The strap type must be removed after no more than 10 minutes to prevent the dog from overheating. The tooth brushing equipment is only used on my own three dogs. In my own opinion, if not used on a daily basis it is pointless to brush a dog’s teeth…much like our own teeth the plaque will build up without daily care. I seldom make use of the “large dog” nail trimmers…unless the dog happens to have massively thick nails the small nail trimmers work just fine and I can see what I am doing much better. The shedding comb and the rubber curry are excellent for removing undercoat from smooth coated dogs. The rubber curry is a favorite for both me and the dog…kind of like a massage…they love it! I have a assortment of shampoos for specific usage. The basic for average coats, the hypo for sensitive skin, the aromatic for my own dogs in spring and summer when th black flies and mosquitos are really voracious, and the gentle on eyes type for faces. I use a couple of products for making matts more manageable…note these really only work on light matts. I use Odor Terminator on a dry coat after the bath to kill the wonderful “rolled in it” smell that will not come out in the bath.
I have not had occasion to use this flea control product but I keep it on hand just in case. In this area fleas infestations are not a common problem due to the very cold winters. However it is possible for a visiting dog could bring them in so I am ready to spray the shop if necessary.
I also have a flea and tick shampoo on hand just in case. It works a bit for lice but lice really require the treatments available at a vet. I use Grease Magic along with shampoo on dogs with greasy coats such as Cockers or my little friend Diesel that hangs out in a mechanic’s shop…it works like a charm. The ear cleaner is a staple used on every dog. The Kennel Maid is a disinfecting solution that is safe to use on surfaces that dogs come into contact with. I use it between grooms on the grooming table and to clean the kennels as well.
This is my wonderful electric grooming table…so glad I spent the bucks for something that changes heights with ease. If I were only grooming dogs of a specific height the basic table would do fine. It came with one grooming arm and I bought an extra arm that I use to double loop dogs that will not or can not stand up long enough. The cat is not included.
I also have a forced air dryer that blows the moisture out of the bathed dogs coat. I never use a dryer that has heat as this is damaging to the coat and overheats the dog too readily. The fan blowing on the dogs face takes care of drying the face as I work and I also use a room de-humidifier to control the moisture in the shop.
As a final note the above pictured book is excellent reading. It covers all of the breed trims and many basic grooming techniques. It is the manual used where I was trained to groom and although very expensive it is well worth it.
All of the products and equiptment and many variations of the same can be found at a reputable pet grooming supply outlet.