The idea of getting a dog, grooming them, and taking care of one seems pretty simple, right?
Feeding them, giving them toys, regular grooming, and other simple stuff that comes with being a fur parent. But apart from food and treats, another thing that owners shouldn’t scrimp on is dog bathing supplies as bathing regularly is integral for maintaining your fur baby’s overall health. There are a lot of options for pet hygiene essentials out in the market, but which ones would be ideal for your dog?
We’ve already given you a starter on grooming tools and accessories – now let’s focus a bit more on must-have bathing supplies and equipment that will make your dog enjoy every bath time!
NON-SLIP BATHING MAT
To help your pet avoid slipping and sliding as they bathe, a rubber bathing mat would be useful. This is inarguably one of the best dog grooming supplies you can ever have! A great option is the Top Paw Rubber Pet Bathing Mat, which costs $11.99 at PetSmart.com. This particular bathing mat has suction cups that let it attach firmly to your tub or any tiled surface, protecting both your dog and bathroom floor at the same time.
A bath brush would definitely be nice to have for your dog during bath time. This tool helps you lather up soap or shampoo, and also massages your dog’s coat for an extra soothing and relaxing experience. The Bodhi Dog Grooming Shampoo Brush has rubber tips that are not too abrasive for your dog’s skin but does its job of deeply cleaning your pet’s skin and hair. It also has a hand guard which allows for a good grip. Chewy.com has these bath brushes available on their website for $8.97.
To ensure that your dog’s mane is cleared of dirt, bacteria, and nasty buildup, use a shampoo that gets rid of all unwanted residue minus the harsh chemicals that cause shedding. The Hartz Groomer’s Best Oatmeal Dog Shampoo thoroughly cleans your dog’s coat while also nourishing it. Its gentle and creamy formula soothes irritated skin – this shampoo is paraben-free and alcohol-free. A 16-ounce bottle costs only $3.47 at Walmart.
After keeping dirt at bay, it’s time to condition that fur! A good pick would be the Burt’s Bees for Dogs Care Plus Natural Hydrating Conditioner. Using this every bath time keeps your dog’s coat thick, shiny, and strong for a longer time. You may purchase this conditioner at Amazon.com with a price tag of $9.99 per 12-ounce bottle.
Now is the time to make the shift to microfiber towels if you haven’t yet! Microfiber towels are highly absorbent, making it easier and quicker for you to dry your pet. The Frisco Microfiber Towel is lightweight but big enough to be used even on large dog breeds. Head over to Chewy.com to get yours now for only $7.99 apiece.
BALM FOR NOSE AND PAWS
Specialized balms are very helpful in keeping your dog’s nose and paws moisturized. If your pet has a dry and cracked nose or paws, apply a thin layer of Top Paw Nose & Paw Balm to give relief. This balm is enriched with vitamins and is unscented, making it a safe topical treatment for your dogs. Available in 2-ounce jars at PetSmart.com for $8.99.
GROOMING TIPS FOR DIFFERENT DOG COAT TYPES
Now that you know the basic needs, time to get into more detail! Each dog breed has certain requirements for grooming. Some are more low maintenance, while others are quite demanding when it comes to maintaining their fur. We’ve put together dog grooming tips for different types of coats and breeds to guide you!
So, first things first. What kind of coat does your dog have?
Breeds: Afghan Hound, Chinese Crested (half silk and half hairless), Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter, Silky Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.
Dog grooming tips:
- Brush them regularly. You can work from the tail to the head, making sure you brush all of it and not just the topcoat. They shed A LOT twice a year and this is when brushing daily is a must.
- Using a pin brush, groom the coat through, starting at the top and working down. If the dog is shedding, a slicker brush will assist in removing any dead hair. Brush the hair through in the direction of natural growth.
- Use detangling spray every once in a while.
Breeds: Alaskan Malamute, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Bearded Collie, Beauceron, Border Collie, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Chinook, Chow Chow, Finnish Spitz, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland, Norwegian Elkhound, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Shih Tzu, Siberian Husky, and West Highland Terrier.
Dogs with a double coat have a soft undercoat that provides insulation and a tougher topcoat that repels water and shields from dirt. This acts as a double-coat, which can be short or long. They need a little bit more grooming than dogs with other types of fur.
Most double-coated dogs will shed their coat once or twice a year. This is when the inner coat sheds and there will be significant hair loss. Expect a lot of pet dander everywhere, there’s only so much you can do during this time.
Daily or every other day grooming for this week or two in the spring and fall can help to keep your dog’s coat looking great.
Dog grooming tips:
- Always start by using a wire brush or a pin brush to remove loose hairs from the outer coat and any debris trapped in the coat. Then, use a grooming rake, which is a specialized tool to get through the double coat and gently remove any dead hair or tangles from the inner coat.
- If there is some matting, be very gentle. Don’t get tempted to brush it aggressively, it will damage your dog’s skin while hurting them in the process.
- Comb from the outer edges of the mat to the center, taking small amounts of hair at a time from the edge of the mat.
- Do not pull excessively on the mat as this can damage the dog’s skin. Also, do not let a mat stay in the coat as it will simply get bigger over time.
CURLY OR WOOL COAT
Breeds: Bichon Frise, Curly Coated Retriever, American Water Spaniel, and, of course, Poodle, including the Toy Poodle variety, along with the many poodle-derived crossbreeds such as Labradoodle and Cockapoo.
Curly-haired dogs require a bit more care than dogs with a straight coat.
The coat can become tangled if it’s not looked after properly, but this isn’t the most difficult type of coat to look after, if kept at the proper length the tangles will be minimal.
They also don’t tend to shed as much, so they’re best for those with pet fur allergies.
Dog grooming tips:
- Do not use a comb to pull out knots, work them free manually or with a brush or deshedder to avoid pulling hair and hurting your dog.
- Do not over bathe your dog and strip his coat of necessary oils.
- Check behind the ears, in the groin, and under legs for knotted hair. These are areas where knots and mats are common.
- You will need to get down to the skin of a curly-coated dog to ensure the hair is adequately brushed. If you run a brush over the dog’s topcoat the undercoat will not have debris removed and mats can develop.
- Regular trips to the groomers are recommended, but you can also trim at home! Giving your pet a stylish coat trim isn’t a mandatory part of curly-haired dog grooming. However, keeping those curls cut short will make caring for them much easier.
Breeds: Affenpinscher, Border Terrier, Brussels Griffon, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Irish Terrier, Otterhound, Scottish Terrier, and wire-haired Fox terrier.
Sometimes referred to as a “broken coat”, the wiry coat is rough and coarse to the touch — feels exactly as the name suggests. It’s thick and bristly compared to other coats. The wiry coat provides them with a barrier of protection against plants and other rough objects when out walking.
This may sound like a total nightmare, but it isn’t. Dogs with this coat are favored by people who have allergies towards dogs. They don’t shed as much as other dogs, lessening the dander that is left around the house.
Dogs breeds with wiry coats require a unique grooming treatment, it is necessary that their old dead hairs are pulled or removed through hand stripping.
If you’re wondering what ‘hand stripping’ is, it is a time-intensive grooming technique that requires older hairs to be pulled out of the coat by hand or using a grooming knife. The process can take any time up to two hours depending on the dog breed.
Dog grooming tips:
- Consult your groomer as to which shampoo and conditioner would be best to use on your pup. It’s better to use one that is suited for wiry coats. It’ll lessen the stress on maintenance.
- Have a detangling comb at home. Wiry coats tend to matt and become tangled on hard-to-reach areas when not brushed regularly. Make sure you go at it gently and don’t rush this process!
- For daily grooming, use a slicker brush to help untangle the fur and remove any debris or dead hairs that may be resting on the skin. These are made up of thin wires that are angled away from the pet’s skin.
- Use the rolling and taking down technique!
Rolling the coat means plucking small amounts of hair at a time, just whenever you see some strays or think plucking is necessary, while taking down means plucking your dog’s entire coat all at one time.
There are plenty of tutorials online that can guide you through this process.
SMOOTH OR SHORT COAT
Breeds: Basset Hound, Beagle, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Dalmatian, Great Dane. Greyhound, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Pinscher, Pug, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Weimaraner.
This is actually one of the easiest coats to groom, as it doesn’t tangle and has a naturally smooth, sleek finish. A smooth coat doesn’t require as much grooming as other breeds with long or wiry coats.
Dog grooming tips:
- A quick brush every day or a few times a week to remove excess hair and dirt. It evenly distributes natural oils over their coat and will keep your dog’s coat in a healthy and shiny condition.
- Use a soft to medium bristle brush when brushing them. To start brushing, follow the direction of the hair growth. Work your way from the head back toward the tail, using just enough pressure to stimulate the skin. Be careful when brushing sensitive areas like their underbelly.
- Dog breeds with this coat tend to shed A LOT, so it’s best to have a de-shedding brush and shampoo with you at home.
- If you want your dog to have a stunning shiny coat, there are dog-safe coat sprays. Some dog parents also use coat shine supplements to give their dog that extra oomph.
- A regular trip to the groomers is still necessary for you to keep your dog’s coat well maintained.
Being a responsible dog parent means providing your dog with the best care by making sure they’re getting the proper treatment for their specific breed.
It might seem like a lot of information and it can get overwhelming sometimes, but the proper attention given to your dog will be better for everyone in the long run.
It’s best that you keep in mind the best dog bathing supplies and grooming tips, it’ll always come in handy – if not for you, then for someone else. If you ever need guidance on dog-related care, we have a variety of articles that will help you become the best dog parent that you can be!