Pet supply stores have a dizzying variety of tools and products to assist in dog grooming. There are combs with fine teeth, combs with medium teeth, and combs with coarse teeth, combs with handles and without. There are brushes with short metal pins, brushes with slanted metal pins, brushes with flexible plastic pins, oval-shaped brushes and rectangular brushes. There are shedding blades for thick-coated dogs that shed gobs of undercoat and nubby gloves for smooth-coated breeds.
There are shampoos and rinses and gels and whiteners and conditioners and supplements to clean and soften coats.
A basic home grooming kit for a long-coated dog should include a soft wire slicker brush, a comb that has both fine and coarse teeth, a Universal brush and mat comb for dealing with the tangles that do form, and an oil-based conditioner that is applied before brushing or combing the coat. We recommend using the furminator to remove the dead undercoat of thick haired dogs. The mat comb has long teeth that are inserted into the mat rocked in a sawing motion to loosen the hairs.
A kit for medium-coated or short-coated dogs should include a slicker brush or flexible-pin brush. Bony dogs should be brushed with a soft brush or one with blunt bristles. Feathery hairs on the legs, ears, and tail should be combed. A nubby glove or coarse rag is suitable for grooming faces and for stimulating the skin and conditioning the coat on short-coated dogs.
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