Pet Grooming Buying Guide

Grooming your own dog or cat can be a challenge, but it saves money and gives you more control over your pet's health and appearance. This pet grooming buying guide will get you started.

Pet Grooming 101

Professional pet grooming can be expensive and inconvenient. With a little patience and practice, you can easily learn to shampoo, cut and trim your pet’s hair at home. Effective pet grooming also involves regular brushing. It's good for your pet's health, strengthens your bond and reduces the housework needed to clean up shed hair. Dog grooming and cat grooming require some basic pet supplies, including clippers, scissors, brushes, bathing products and nail clippers. You should also consider buying pet toothbrushes and toothpaste to keep your pet's teeth healthy and sparkling white. By establishing a grooming routine early, you can win your pet’s trust and make it a fun and relaxing time for both of you.

Types of Pet Grooming Tools

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Pet Clippers & Scissors

Make sure you have the proper selection of clippers and scissors for your pet’s particular hair type and thickness, and for the type of cut you’re going to give. You can buy these items individually, or purchase an electric pet clipper set complete with an assortment of interchangeable blades and guide combs. If your pet's skittish around regular electric clippers, you have two options: try using the "silent" variety of electric clippers, which are designed to minimize noise and vibrations, or go with manual scissors. A high-quality pair of grooming scissors will stay sharp longer and give you the confidence to trim unruly tufts of hair in delicate areas around paws, toes and hindquarters. 
 
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Pet Brushes & Combs

A general maintenance dog brush or cat brush can be used for everyday grooming of almost any type or length of pet hair. Look for more widely spaced bristles if your pet has a long coat or tight bristles. A slicker brush with rounded pin tips is ideal for removing dead, loose or matted hair and lightly massaging your pet’s skin. Heavier animals with thick, multi-layered coats may require a rake brush. A mat comb or mat rake is helpful in detangling mats in longer-haired cats and dogs. A shedding blade is useful for removing excess or floating hair to minimize shedding on rugs and furniture.
 
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Pet Grooming Gloves

If the mere sight of a brush causes your dog or cat to bolt, there's a crafty alternative. With a grooming glove, you can convince pets they're getting a friendly massage while you groom their coats at the same time. Rubber nubs on the palms gently collect excess hair, leaving your pet feeling happy and looking great. A grooming glove does extra duty sweeping pet hair from sofas and bedding.
 
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Pet Shampoos & Conditioners

Pet shampoos and conditioners are specially formulated for dogs and cats and sometimes for specific breeds. Using human cleansing and conditioning products can strip away natural oils, leaving your pet's skin prone to dryness and irritation. In general, you should bathe your dog about once every three months and just prior to heavy grooming. Cats are typically lower maintenance, requiring a trip to the tub only in emergencies. Some cat and dog shampoos use botanical ingredients in place of harsher chemicals. Speciality shampoos can help brighten white pet hair, while medicinal formulas target fleas and other parasites.  
 
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Pet Baths & Tubs

There’s nothing wrong with shampooing your pet in your own bathtub, but there are plenty of reasons not to. Fragile bathroom décor and simple cleanup issues might convince you to seek a pet-friendly alternative. Pet bathtubs are designed to simplify the cleansing process. Some are small and portable so you can take them outside or place them on a table to save your back. Others provide raised steps for your pet to easily climb up and into the tub. Look for models with nonslip surfaces, because a sure-footed pet is less likely to be fearful during bathing. 
 
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Flea & Tick Sprays

A flea or tick infestation is trouble for your whole family, not just your pet. To rid yourself of fleas on dogs and cats, you need to treat both your animals and your home. Be sure to treat all of your pets, even those not showing obvious signs of fleas or ticks. When treating your home, it's important to spray your upholstery and curtains to terminate nesting and breeding bugs. Flea and tick sprays are generally recommended for affected animals aged 12 weeks and up. Some products using natural ingredients require that you massage the product into your pet’s coat. Treatments specified for dogs should not be used on cats and vice versa. 
 
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Pet Dental Care

Inspecting your pet’s teeth and gums should be part of their regular health and wellness routine. Bad breath or discoloured gums can be evidence of dental problems or poor hygiene. You can help prevent problems by brushing your pet's teeth daily or at least several times a week. Look for specialized dog and cat toothbrushes and toothpastes. You may need to experiment with different toothpastes to find one your pet likes. Just like with humans, brushing your pet's teeth kills bacteria, guards against decay and slows tartar buildup. Special chew snacks or supplements added to drinking water can freshen your pet’s breath between brushings.
 
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Pet Ear Cleaners

Most pets love to have their ears scratched. That’s your cue to take a peek and inspect for anything unusual. Healthy ears are odour-free and pink inside, with no discolouring or messy discharge. Excess earwax or particles can be safely removed with a pet ear cleaner solution applied with a clean piece of gauze or cotton ball. Take care to swab gently and don't wipe toward the ear canal. Never attempt to clean inside the ear channel itself.
 

Dog Grooming Tips:

  • Frequent brushing prevents matting and keeps hair clean and shiny
  • Establish grooming routines when your dog is still a puppy
  • Keep grooming sessions brief, fun and relaxed
  • A healthy diet will promote a shinier coat and healthy teeth and bones
  • Check for any changes in your dog’s skin and coat and report them to your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual
  • Avoid shaving as a quick fix for shedding: it can alter the texture of the coat, disrupt the natural shedding cycle and affect your dog's ability to regulate body temperature

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Cat Grooming Tips:

  • Brush often to remove excess hair and avoid matting
  • Provide a scratching post to help control nail growth and clip sharp claws
  • Don't groom your cat around other pets: cats feel vulnerable when on their back and will be more nervous
  • Begin by stroking the fur with the back of the brush to help your cat trust the grooming tool
  • Always start off brushing with a gentle stroke to get your cat in the mood to be groomed
 
 
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This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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