Owning a dog is quite a big responsibility. Apart from training and lots of playtime, you also have to consider their grooming needs. If you’re the owner of a larger dog or a dog that sheds quite a bit, it means that you’ll probably need to purchase a dog grooming kit for home use.
The good news is that most dogs don’t require daily grooming as humans do. Of course, that all depends on the breed of dog that you have. Dogs with thick coats might need daily brushing, but ultimately, you’re not going to have to worry about brushing their teeth and cleaning their ears every day as you might with a child (or even yourself!).
So, what’s included in a dog’s hygiene routine?
You can count on ear cleaning, brushing, nail trimming and regular bathing for sure, regardless of the breed of dog that you have. That’s why professionals recommend the following essential elements for most dogs. Chances are, it looks a lot like what you’ve got in your own at-home grooming kit as well!
7 Items Every Dog Owner Needs in a Dog Grooming Kit
So, if you’re planning on keeping up with your dog’s grooming at home, what do you need?
First, let’s take a look at long-haired breeds (or dogs with double coats or curly fur like Poodles). They need regular brushing, but they also might require a different type of brush, which we’ll get into below.
While reading through this list, try to think about what the grooming process looks like between you and your dog. If you need to keep your grooming sessions quick and effective, keep that in mind when selecting the right kind of (and the right quality) dog grooming products.
#1: The Right Brush
Regular brushing not only allows you to efficiently collect and remove dead skin and fur that your dog has shed, but it also helps stimulate your dog’s skin oils for a shiny, healthy coat! However, if you choose the wrong brush, you might harm your dog’s skin, which can lead to irritation or rashes. Ask your vet which kind of brush they recommend for your pup, given your dog’s size, breed, and any medical conditions they might have.
No dog grooming kit is complete without a great shampoo! Find a high-quality shampoo that your dog tolerates well, and try to stick to plant-based, all-natural ingredients when you can. Just as humans do better without harsh chemicals, dogs (even more so) also tend to react better when you’re not throwing harsh chemicals and perfumes on their skin.
While frequent, regular bathing is a key component of any grooming routine, bathing too often can lead to dry skin! Instead of bathing your pup too frequently, look for wet wipes or disposable washcloths that you can use to freshen up your dog in-between washes. These also work great if you need to clean your dog’s paws or fur while out and about at the park.
#4: Flea & Tick Prevention Medicine
Keep your pet safe from bloodsuckers such as fleas and ticks by applying a monthly preventive against these pests. Find a flea and tick medicine that works best for your dog and throw it into your grooming kit so that you actually remember to use it.
#5: Coat Clippers
We use the word “good” here because we want to emphasize the need for an actual good pair of clippers that work on your dog’s specific coat. Don’t settle for a cheap razor that won’t last. Look for a razor with a powerful motor, especially if your dog has a thick coat.
#6: Nail Clippers
The best nail clippers for dogs often feature stainless steel blades so that your pet’s manicure can be quick and accurate. If your dog has larger nails, you might need to size up. Or, if they’re a bit uncomfortable with this, you might leave the task to your groomer.
#7: Toothbrush & Toothpaste
To combat tooth decay and the dreaded dog breath, make sure you have a specially formulated toothpaste and toothbrush for dogs. Most come in meat and mint flavours, so try both to see which your dog enjoys the most. At a minimum, try to brush your dog’s chewers monthly.
The Importance of Dog Grooming
Now that you know what you need in your dog’s grooming kit, it’s time to really dig into the importance of dog grooming on a regular basis. Check out our guide on how to find the right dog groomer near you first because there are certain aspects of grooming that you won’t be able to take care of yourself.
While all dogs require some sort of grooming routine, your pup’s routine will likely vary from that of others in your community. Depending on the breed, size, and age of your dog (along with, perhaps, certain medical conditions), your dog might need some daily brushing, a regular haircut, or special attention paid to its teeth and ears.
You can expect, at a minimum, to have to bathe your dog regularly. And, you’ll need to trim their nails on a regular basis as well (both for your sake and for their own health). This is why it’s so important to have a grooming kit on hand with both your favourite products and the products that your precious pup loves and prefers.
If it helps in building an at-home dog grooming kit, you might want to first take a step back and consider each area of grooming that your dog will require. Based on that, you’re then able to create a more personalized dog grooming kit.
The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog at least once every three months, but if you have an active dog, you might find that they require more bathing. During winter or if you have a dog that stays inside your home most of the time should be fine with a bath every three months or so, though. In that case, be sure to include more disposable washcloths in your grooming kit so that you have those on hand in-between baths.
#2: Regular Brushing
We suggest asking your vet about which comb they would recommend for your dog’s fur and skin. The reason we suggest this is because you might need a specific type of brush, or multiple brushes, that accomplish things such as preventing tangles and helping to remove fur that they’ve already shed.
#3: Dental Care
Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, along with a healthy diet and plenty of chew toys, can go a long way in keeping his mouth healthy. Some dogs require more frequent brushing than others, as bad breath can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If that’s your pup’s case, consider including a special type of toothpaste in your grooming kit.
#4: Ear Care
Dogs with long droopy ears will require more frequent cleaning than other breeds of dogs. This is also true for breeds such as American Bulldogs and Shar Peis. Don’t clean your dog’s ears often or deeply enough to cause irritation, and be careful never to stick anything inside of their ear canal.
Quick Tips on How to Find the Best Groomer
Again, we’ve gone over this in our guide on How to Find a Dog Groomer Near You, but let’s recap!
To find the best dog groomer, it is essential to look for those professionals who have the experience and tools to carefully care for your dog. Here are six essential items that a groomer should have for the care of your dog:
- Grooming Table
- Bathing Station
- The Right Shampoo & Conditioner
- Earn & Eye Cleaning Kits
- Various Brushes & Combs
- Safety Equipment
DIY Dog Grooming: How to Groom Your Dog at Home
Can’t make it to the groomer in time for your dog’s regular visit? That’s okay; groom them at home! It’s why you have your own grooming kit. View it as a way to increase the trust and intimacy between you and your pup. The more you groom them, the less likely they’ll be to view it as a “punishment” or “chore.”
Here’s what to consider when engaging in DIY dog grooming.
1: What to Do
● Buy the right tools specifically for your dog (not all dogs are going to prefer the same things).
● Use a brush designed for your breed of dog’s coat.
● Use a damp towel to wipe dirt off the coat before washing or cleaning.
● Check your dog’s footpads regularly for splinters or wounds.
● Keep your dog’s nails trimmed.
● Clean the outside of the eye frequently with a damp cloth.
● If possible, only use veterinarian-approved products.
2: What Not to Do
● Never use human beauty products!
● Avoid clipping your dog’s nails at home unless you’ve learned the proper method.
● The same goes for cutting or shaving your dog’s fur; it’s best to wait until you’ve learned how to do so properly.
● Never spray your dog with perfume or cologne just to make them “smell better.”
● In cold temperatures, don’t bathe your dog outside. Even when it’s not cold, it’s important to dry your dog properly.
The Best Grooming Products for Dogs in 2023
Now that you know what you need, which products do you choose? That’s a great question! As we’ve tried to reiterate, the answer to that depends on your dog’s specific needs, preferences, fur, and age.
Among the many options we have of grooming kits for dogs, we’ve hand-selected the best, including a variety of options for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages.
#1: ONEISALL High-Powered Electric Clippers
These electric clippers are a great option for most dog breeds (unless your dog has a super, super thick coat). What makes them so great is that they’re silent, which is a huge plus for dogs that are scared of the noise of regular clippers.
#2: TINMARDA Stainless Steel Trimmers
If your pup doesn’t require a full trim each month, you might want to stick with non-electric trimmers instead. This grooming kit from TINMARDA comes with thin, straight, and curved scissors for hard-to-reach areas, plus a comb for the finishing touch!
#3: De-matting Comb
Every dog with a thick coat will absolutely need a de-matting comb. GoPets’ de-matting comb is one of the top-ranked by various dog owners, in part for the ease of use it offers to owners. Simply scrape it across your dog’s coat and watch the fur fall off.
#4: Nail File for Dogs
Need to file your dog’s nails after cutting them so that they don’t catch on clothes and furniture? Try Casufy’s nail file. It features a two-speed electric nail trimmer that’s rechargeable. And, it comes with a claw that allows for filing and smoothing. If you’re scared of trimming your dog’s nails, this is for you!
#5: Burt’s Bees Dog Shampoo
Humans love Burt’s Bees, so why shouldn’t your dog be able to enjoy their products as well? They sell both shampoo and conditioner specifically for dogs. It’s tear-free (which is great for puppies) and features buttermilk and linseed.
Just like it’s not easy being a parent of a human child, it also comes with a lot of responsibilities when you have a dog because you need to cater to their different needs. If you’re planning to get a puppy and you’re not sure what supplies you need to get ready, our guide on New Puppy Checklist will help you.
We’ve recommended the different items that you will likely need to include in your dog grooming kit. But you will need to get a bag to house all these individual items together. You need to keep them organized in one place so that you can easily access them when you need them.
Alternatively, you can buy a basic dog grooming kit that has all the necessary tools included. The advantage is that you do not need to get the tools one by one. Also, you do not have to worry about forgetting to buy any tool that might be important to have. We’ve prepared a guide on the 10 Best Dog Grooming Kit that will help you pick the most suitable kit to purchase.