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Dog Grooming Tools: What Dog Grooming Tools Do You Need?

Aug 24, 2008
Going into a big box pet care store and looking for dog grooming tools can be overwhelming. There are so many choices. What dog grooming tools do you really need?

The basics that every dog owner needs are relatively few. Your first step is to get a shoebox, or basket to hold all the tools and stash them conveniently in one place. A portable makeup box with a closeable lid makes an ideal container.

Nail clippers are a necessary tool. Get the size that fits your dog. A Great Dane needs larger and stronger clippers than a miniature poodle because their nails are bigger. That just makes common sense. Some clippers come with a guard that prevents you from clipping too much nail at one time and exposing the quick. The quick is a small blood vessel that runs down the nail but not to the end of the nail. In addition to the nail clippers, styptic powder should be in your dog grooming tool kit. Styptic powder very quickly stops the bleeding if you've cut into the nail quick.

Tweezers are useful for removing stickers, debris and splinters. Dip them in alcohol before and after each use to sanitize the tweezers. A small bottle of alcohol should be in your kit for this purpose.

Small blunt ended scissors can cut out mats, tangles, and plant material, such as thorns, from your dog's coat. Manicure scissors could be used but you have to be careful with their sharp pointed ends. If your dog moves suddenly you could end up jabbing him.

A soft brush and a wire brush are both necessary. The wire brush detangles long fur and rakes out dead hair. The soft brush is used to finish the coat after the wire brush. Even if your dog is short haired like a Jack Russell Terrier he will still need brushing to remove dead hair, dust, and dirt from his coat.

Most dogs need their teeth brushed several times a week so a good dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste are in order. Don't use people toothpaste, it's not meant to be swallowed and that's what your dog will do. Dog toothpaste comes in flavors so dogs love the taste. It contains enzymes that help break down tarter and freshen breath.
Sterile eye cleaner should be included with your dog grooming tools to clean your puppy pal's eyes and flush them out if they've got that green gooey gunk.

Ear cleaner is a must if you have a long eared dog but is useful for any dog.

Cotton pads to wipe out the ears and eyes after they've been cleaned are useful. Use a clean pad for each eye. Squares of old terry cloth wash clothes can be used to clean the ears, but don't use them on the eyes, they're too rough and may end up scratching the eye.

Once a year go through your dog grooming tools and see what needs to be replaced. Dump eye cleaner, ear cleaner, and toothpaste that are more than six months old.
About the Author
Find more about dog grooming tools. Dee Power is the author of several nonfiction books and the novel "Over Time." She is the proud companion of Rose, the Irish Setter, and Kate the English Springer Spaniel. Read Rose and Kate's blog.
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