How Do I Choose the Best Grooming Supplies?

Don Kress

Choosing the best grooming supplies for your pet is largely a matter of selecting the supplies that you would be comfortable using. For tools such as hair trimmers and nail clippers, high quality is the key not only to your pet's comfort but yours as well. Look for grooming supplies that are constructed of solid, strong material and don't feel flimsy or fragile.

Pet groomers should be prepared to treat animals that have ticks and other problems.
Pet groomers should be prepared to treat animals that have ticks and other problems.

Pet grooming supplies fall into two primary categories, cutting tools and brushing tools. Cutting tools for your pet's grooming needs include shears that trim your pet's hair and cutters that trim claws and nails. These tools should be kept sharp while using them. If the clippers are electric, keep the blades oiled and clean.

Pet clippers should be sharp to avoid crushing an animal's nails or claws.
Pet clippers should be sharp to avoid crushing an animal's nails or claws.

Select tools that have some heft to them. How a tool feels in your hand is indicative of its quality. If the scissors or clippers feel flimsy and cheap, you will not be pleased with their performance, and your pet likely will find the grooming experience to be uncomfortable. Surgical steel blades and metal construction contribute to a firm feel in your hand and inspire confidence in your grooming ability.

Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.

Like scissors, clippers that are used to trim your pet's nails should be kept sharp to prevent crushing of the nail while it is being cut. Select tools that are of surgical steel construction, which is harder than cheaper carbon steels and maintains a more resilient edge. Although they aren't for cutting, grinding tools also can be used to trim your pet's nails and can be more comfortable for your pet, too. High-quality grinding tools utilize thick plastic housings and ergonomic handles. Low-quality grinding tools typically have housings that flex easily and will crack if they are dropped.

A light-weight and small grooming comb will typically be suitable for a small animal.
A light-weight and small grooming comb will typically be suitable for a small animal.

Brushing tools include a variety of combs and brushes that are intended to straighten matted fur, remove shed fur and comb fur to maintain a lustrous appearance. With these grooming supplies, it can be difficult to purchase bad tools, because all pet grooming brushes are constructed in essentially the same way and are inexpensive for companies to produce. Look for handles on these tools that are of solid construction. If the brush has nylon bristles, make sure that they do not pull out of the handle easily. You should select brushes for your pet that you would be comfortable using on your own hair.

Combs for your pet include typical hair grooming combs, flea and tick removing combs and special mat removal combs. These might be of metal or plastic construction, but as with brushes, look for combs that have a solid feel. Grooming supplies that have flimsy teeth might bend while you use them, making them ineffective. Like many things in life, low-quality, ineffective tools tend to do little but make the job at hand take longer and be more difficult than it would have been with good-quality tools.

Lint rollers can be used to remove loose hair from a shedding pet.
Lint rollers can be used to remove loose hair from a shedding pet.

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