Regular Grooming For Dogs With Long Hair
Yes, I Said Regular Grooming
If you have a dog with hair of any length, you understand where I am coming from. Grooming a dog can be a chore! There are people that will do it for you for monetary gain. I am going to be naive here and assume they all do it because they like handling dogs. In the end, they are making money. Not that that’s is a bad thing, everyone needs to provide a service to make money. Bottom line is, it is a business, a job, a service provided for folks who need their dog groomed.
As stated above this needs to be done regularly. Some people can or would prefer to take a dog to the groomer and have it done professionally. It usually turns out great! I still take my dogs occasionally to have their hair cut and keep them shaped the way they should be. That is not regular enough to keep them clean and pretty though. When I say regularly, that means at least once a week. Depending on the breed that still could not be enough.
There are some variables here that you need to decide on for your situation. What breed of dog do you have? How long is the hair? Does the dog shed a lot or just moderately? Don’t forget the personal questions, do I want my dog to be shaggy? Is it worth my hard-earned money to take them to the groomer on a regular basis? How much hair do I want on my carpet or on the couch? Some dogs or owners could need grooming nearly every day.
This Might Help
I always thought grooming my dogs was a chore. Turns out, I was doing it wrong and didn’t know any better. This made it seem like I was doing a lot of brushing for nothing. Now that I have done the research and found the right tools and what order to do it in, it now takes half the time and yields better results.
For those of you looking to cut down on professional grooming costs and self perform the regular grooming on your own, help is here. I have been through this already. My goal here is to help you discover a few things that will make grooming easier for you and more enjoyable for your dog.
If you have spent any time grooming a dog, you know this can be a back-breaking chore. I have invested in one of these, the dogs don’t mind it and it sure makes it easier! That is my main goal, to make life easier and better for all the coolest dogs on the planet. As an Amazon associate, I have made this table available to you just by clicking on the picture to the right. This is one of the best investments I have made. It makes it so much easier the dogs get groomed much more regularly now.
In the next topic, I am going to let you know what I have discovered from several failed attempts. Hopefully, this will save you the time, expense, and trouble that I went through.
Starting In The Right Direction
Let me help you get started off right. I am going to show you the four essentials. If you are grooming regularly enough, you may only need two of these at some points. Then the other two only on occasions.
You need to have four different tools. I am not sure if you have read any of the other posts so I will list them again here in the order of use with a short description of what works for me. This is assuming we are starting with a dog who is in need of a great deal of attention. If you see one you need you can also click on the photo or click here and browse for other things your dog might need.
Start with a Slicker Brush. It is a flat brush with multiple tiny wires that are very close together. These wires are thin and stiff enough to get through the hair you see to the undercoat. The wires are so close together they are good for pulling out any loose or shedding hair that is ready to come out and land on your couch or carpet. They are so close together if you do come across a mat you will know. It gets stopped. Use this brush to remove shedding hair and identify mat locations.
At this point, you have to evaluate the situation. How bad are the mats? This will determine the next step. If they are small and easy to get to you can work at them with the slicker brush. It will untangle some small mats. If the mat is too much, it’s time to move to the next tool.
The next tool is the Metal Dog Comb. This tool looks like a regular comb on steroids. It is made of metal, the pins are much heavier, and further apart than the slicker brush. This allows you to handle the mats individually as needed. With the thick strong pins, you can shove them into and through the mat hoping to untangle them and break them loose. This will work fairly easily on small mats (sometimes called pin mats). They should come out easily.
In your evaluation before the metal comb, if you discovered the undercoat was completely entangled and thick like carpet, skip to the next tool. If it is too bad, it may already be to the point the dog needs shaving.
Considering the dog is not bad enough to need shaving and just has clumps or spots that have matted. Now you move to the Dog Rake. This tool is shaped sort of like a very large razor you would shave with. Only this tool instead of having the razor parallel with the cutting tool they are perpendicular. The blades are very sharp and intended to cut through tough matted hair. They are separated and protected by thick metal rows to prevent cutting anything they are not supposed to. Just be mindful of parts that could fit in between the metal rows.
This dog rake is used to drag through the mats and actually cut the hair that is tangled together. Once cut through, you may need to go back to the comb to remove the mats still.
Once you have removed mats and were able to run the slicker brush through all the dog’s hair without snags. You are on the last tool.
The Bristle Brush is the most widely purchased brush and is likely the most misused. It looks like a brush you would use on your own hair. Some have two sides, one with metal pins and one with bristles. This is used to finish removing all the loose hair and making it look pretty. That is all this brush is good for. That is why a lot of times, just like myself, people work and work and work at getting their dog’s hair untangled and it doesn’t work.
The fine, soft bristles do a great job of grabbing the loose hair and collecting it so you can pull it from the brush and throw it in a trash can. This is a much better alternative than rubbed all over your clothes right before you leave to go out!
Back To Regular
OK, now you are probably thinking this guy is full of it. That was a lot of work! I just gave you a description of grooming a dog that was in pretty bad shape. One who had been neglected for a while. It is easy to do. Their outer coat can look completely normal and the undercoat is like a carpet woven together over their entire body.
Once you have gone through this process, if you stay on a regular schedule, it becomes much easier and you do not need to use all four tools. You will find, if you start out doing this at least every couple of days to start you can just use the slicker brush and the bristle brush because there are no mats. Matting is the result of not separating the hairs on a regular basis and they become tied together forming a mat.
If you stick to this you will find out it is much easier, takes less time, and becomes enjoyable. The dog will actually like it. From this point, you can gradually lengthen the time between brushing and determine just how long you can go in between brushing then adjust the length of time between professional grooming. This is where you save the bucks!
Buy Some Tools
I am making you a promise right now. If you buy the tools I have mentioned on this website and follow the guidelines I spelled out you will save money in the long run. You can do that by clicking on any link on this page or clicking here to go to the recommended products. Also, you and your dog will have developed a regular time together that you will both enjoy that brings you closer. They will love you for it! Isn’t that why we get dogs in the first place?
Four simple tools used properly takes the hassle out of brushing your dog and turns it into a favorite pastime. My suggestion from the experience I am sharing with you. Buy a slicker brush, metal dog comb, dog rake, and a bristle brush (you probably have one of those already).
Again, you and your dog will be happier for it!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post on this blog. I will do my best to answer any questions.