Dogs have an average of 220 million olfactory receptors in their noses. Humans, on the other paw, have around 5 million. For an animal with such a great sense of smell, they sure have a hard time deciphering a favorable fragrance from a stinky stench. Every dog owner knows the struggles of keeping these loveable dirt-magnets clean. Having the right tools in your arsenal can make grooming easier on you and your dog. By grooming and bathing your dog at home--or on the go--you can not only strengthen your bond but leave your dog feeling safer, too. Here are seven grooming essentials for your Dog Owner Survival Pack.
1. The Right Brush:
Regular brushing can do wonders for your pets’ coat and overall health. Choose the right brush for your pet based on breed and coat consistently. Choosing the wrong brush can be harmful to your dog causing irritation, brush burn or infection. Many coats, especially heavier coats, may require different types of brushes to remove hair from different levels of the coat. Check out our resource here to check what brush type is best for your pup and why brushing your dog is important.
A muddy, stinky dog is a sign of a good day at the dog park. He sprinted, he fetched, he wrestled. Now, it’s your chance to wrangle and wrestle your muddy mutt into the b-a-t-h. Find a quality dog shampoo that has plant-based ingredients, not harsh chemicals. Some shampoos, like Wahl’s Four in One Dog Shampoo, include a conditioner that can help detangle mats and moisturize your pup’s skin.
3. Between-bath Grooming Wipes:
If there's something that stinks, likely your dog has already found the source and explored it, if not rolled in it. Constantly patrolling the fence line for suspicious squirrels, and other pesky things and odors, our pups will quickly abandon their post to dive into the source. Could be anything; and since you’re a dog owner, you know what we mean. The constant stench can lead to the need for frequent bathing. However, frequent bathing can lead to dry skin. Instead, pick up some grooming wipes for a quick and dry way to leave your pup smelling fresh and clean.
4. Flea & Tick Prevention:
You have to hand it to dogs, they take the road less traveled. Sometimes, it’s not a road at all. Or a path. In fact, they make their own path leaping and bounding through tall grass, flushing out birds, vermin and other less desirable guests like fleas and ticks. Keep your pet safe from these blood-suckers by applying a monthly flea and tick preventive.
Don’t settle for a cheap clipper that won’t last. Find a clipper with a powerful motor, especially if your dog has thick fur. As the primary groomer, find a clipper that is sized correctly for your hand to ensure comfort and precision when it comes time to clip. Do your research to find out how the clipper holds up over time or if the temperature rises when operating. “Is this clipper loud?" is especially important to ask if your dog, like many, fears the dreaded Mr. Vacuum.
6. Nail Clipper:
Cutting your dog's nails is both an art and a science. Some dogs are more accepting than others, but any dog can be trained to tolerate this monthly task with a little persuasion (hint, treats). Cutting the nails often and accurately will cause the quick to shrink, receding back into the nail. The quick contains blood vessels and nerves. If you knick the quick, it can be painful for your dog. If your dog yelps or you notice any bleeding after trimming the nails, use these steps to stop the bleeding and reduce the risk of infection. For a dog with clear nails, it’s easy to spot the quick. Black nails are often a bit more challenging. Choose a nail clipper with stainless steel blades so your pup’s manicure can be as quick and precise as paw-sible.
7. Toothbrush & Toothpaste:
Dogs specialize in finding all things disgusting, licking them and then quickly licking their human’s face. To combat tooth decay, halitosis and dreaded doggy breath, make sure you have a specially formulated doggie toothpaste and toothbrush. Most vets will push owners to brush daily, but for many, this isn’t practical. At a minimum, try and brush your pooch’s chompers monthly when you give him/her flea prevention and heartworm prevention.
Regular grooming helps your pet look good and feel good. If you notice a change in behavior after grooming your dog, seek medical advice from a trusted veterinarian. Wahl offers a variety of high-quality pet products that make grooming easy. Click here to shop our full inventory of brushes, shampoos, clippers and more.