8 Dog grooming essentials to have at home

You can handle routine grooming tasks with these tools and hire a professional for a more thorough grooming.

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Are you hoping to groom your dog yourself to save money while ensuring your pet always looks and feels fresh? It’s all about having a proper and complete set of dog grooming tools. 

Here’s a list of tools and equipment for grooming a dog properly and efficiently. You’ll also find tips on how to pick the best dog grooming tools. 

1. Brushes for dog grooming

While there are different kinds of brushes available on the market, your pet doesn’t necessarily need all of them. 

Below are some general guidelines on dog grooming brushes:

  • Shorter-haired dogs require short bristles.

  • Long-haired dogs require long bristles. 

  • Wiry-haired dogs require stiff “wiry” bristles like those of a slicker brush. Avoid using long, wiry bristles on short-haired dogs, as you might injure their skin. 

Slicker brush 

slicker brush

A slicker brush is a special grooming tool made up of wires angled away from your pet’s skin. What’s great about slicker brushes is they help remove debris and hair that’s already fallen off. They’re helpful grooming tools for wire-haired dogs, such as German wire-haired pointers, Border Terriers, and Schnauzers. 

Metal comb

metal comb for dog grooming

Metal combs are excellent at removing tangles and mats from your pet’s fur. They’re also great for finishing and fluffing a dog’s fur – especially for long-haired breeds. For the best results, use a slicker brush first, then do a once-over with a metal comb.

Bristle or pin brush 

bristle brush for grooming

Is your pooch a short-haired, smooth-coated breed like a Pug, Chihuahua, or Boston Terrier? You should get them a bristle or pin brush to remove loose fur and tangles. The bristle side makes the coat look smooth and shiny by redistributing the natural oils in your pet’s skin. 

Deshedding comb or glovedeshedding glove for dogs

Depending on your dog’s breed and lifestyle, they may shed heavily a couple of times a year or all year round. To help lessen the fur flying around your home, you’ll want to use a deshedding comb or rake on your dog several times a week. 

Some of the best combs available right now “rake” your pet’s undercoat (safely, of course). You’ll easily get rid of all that dead hair and stop it from getting all over your furniture! A deshedding glove is another nifty tool for removing loose fur and debris on your dog. 

2. Ear cleanser for dogs 

applying ear cleaner to a dog's ear

An important part of grooming or bathing your dog is cleaning their ears. You’ll need a vet-recommended ear cleanser and a soft washcloth to do this.  

Ear cleaning once a month is ideal for pointy-eared breeds, while long- or floppy-eared dogs may need a cleaning every other week. If you’re not quite confident doing the task yourself, you can hire a local dog groomer instead. We’ve also written a guide on how often to wash your dog

3. Dog nail trimmer 

trimming a dog's nails

There’s quite a variety of nail trimmers on the market, including plier-style clippers, guillotine-style ones, and nail grinders/files. Don’t get intimidated by the names of these nail trimmers! These tools are safe for your pet as long as you use them properly. You should also gently introduce your dog to the idea of getting their nails trimmed. 

The best nail trimmers are quiet and won’t startle your pet, are comfortable for you to hold, and are the right size for your pet’s nails. 

4. Dog grooming hammock 

A dog grooming hammock is a nifty solution for anxious dogs that squirm or fidget a lot during grooming sessions. This device lets you suspend your dog in the air, so you can cut their nails easily. You’ll also be able to easily groom your dog’s tail, clean the eyes and ears, and administer medicine. 

Here are some tips to consider when using a dog grooming hammock: 

  • Get the right size of hammock - The grooming hammock should fit your dog just right. If the hammock is too big, your dog will still be able to wiggle around. 

  • Consider making your own - A DIY dog grooming hammock ensures you get the right fit and saves you the cost of buying one from the store. This brilliant DIY tutorial shows you how to make a harness (for small dogs) with a towel and hooks. 

  • Hang up the grooming hammock from a stable rig - If you’re hanging your hammock from a shower rod, make sure it’s actually screwed to the wall! Other rigs you can use are a grooming arm over a table, or a hook and chain hanging from the ceiling. To ensure your pet’s safety, you can hire a local handyperson to properly rig up your dog grooming hammock.

5. Grooming scissors trimming a dog's fur with scissors

When looking for grooming scissors and shears, make sure they’re made of high-quality metal that won’t dull quickly. They should also be comfortable to hold and manipulate. Moreover, grooming scissors should be the right size for your pet and trimming purposes. 

Here’s the difference between large and small grooming scissors:  

  • Large blades are ideal for curly coats and large surfaces.

  • Shorter blades are used in areas that require more precision, like inside the hind legs or along the tips of the ears.

Finally, a good pair of grooming scissors must have safeguards to keep your pet safe, even if your dog moves during the grooming session.  

6. Dog clippers  

trimming dog's fur with dog clippers

You’ll want to buy clippers designed for your pet’s breed since different dogs have different grooming requirements. Next, make sure the clipper is comfortable for you to hold and use. Double-check the blade details as well. A beginner-friendly clipper set should have a guide for the length of each cut. Lastly, check the noise level; You don’t want to scare away your pet with a noisy metal object! 

7. Dog toothbrush and toothpaste  

brushing a dog's teeth

Make sure you use special dog toothpaste since human toothpaste can be toxic for animals. You’ll want to get a special brush as well. Some pet toothbrushes are long-handled (great for long-nosed dogs), while other models can be worn on your finger to give you more control.  

8. Dog grooming table 

dog sitting on a grooming table while owner trims its fur

If you have a knack for grooming dogs and want to earn extra cash, consider investing in a dog grooming table. A dog grooming table should be large enough to accommodate the dog and high enough for you to see what you’re doing. 

Extra tip: A grooming table with an adjustable grooming arm is great for grooming dogs of all sizes. Larger breeds need a higher grooming arm and sturdy table!

☞ Also read: 

Get top-tier dog grooming even while at home.  

If you’re still struggling with grooming your dog at home, you can hire an experienced mobile dog groomer to take on the task. After your pet has been brushed and trimmed, you can also book a dog bath to get your pup looking and smelling fresh again. From dog grooming to bathing, Taskers are here to help with all your pet care needs! 

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FAQs on dog grooming tools

There is really no one best dog grooming kit. It would all boil down to the kind of dog you have, their needs, and your budget.

No, human clippers can end up injuring your dog. Human clippers are also noisier than pet-grade clippers and can end up traumatizing your pet.

First, remove any fur that’s caught in the blades or bristles. Then, fill a basin with hot water and antibacterial soap, and soak the tools for around 20 minutes. Finally, dry them off and put them back in your toolbox.

If your dog’s breed is native to snowy, chilly areas, they’ll likely have an undercoat. Examples of dog breeds with undercoats include the Siberian Husky, Samoyed, German Shepherd, Japanese Spitz, and Chow Chow.

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