Ultimate List of Essential Grooming Tools

Alright, alright. Here it is. The meat and potatoes. The nitty gritty. You just want the list of necessary items to accomplish this grooming goal of yours?

My suggestions are below. Get a more indepth look at functionality and the purpose for each tool during every step by checking out the rest of the blog posts.

But first:

Commit to every step.


Regular grooming that is performed properly will result in a healthier and happier dog inside and out. It is so important to understand that improper grooming can introduce new, worsen ongoing, or exacerbate preexisting issues. No slacking, okay? Commit, for the sake of your babe, to the following:


  • Value grooming as an essential method of health care maintenance and respect the process.
  • You get what you pay for. Invest in appropriate and quality tools and supplies.
  • Start slow. Introducing your sweet friend to each part of the process is critical to overall success. You’ll find the pace that works best for both of you throughout the series of steps. 
  • Learn how to properly bathe – yes, it’s probably more in depth than you think!
  • Understand the importance of drying. 
  • Know that grooming is a skill and will require dedication, patience, and practice. 
  • Please, for the love of dog, recognize signs of stress. This goes for yourself and your pet. If you find yourself struggling, take your dog to a professional groomer or veterinarian! 

Here you go, friend.

Remember how I mentioned we don’t really want to cut corners? A brush with great integrity (yeah, I said it) goes a long way. Your selection will depend upon your dog’s specific coat. Hair that is longer, thicker, or double coated would do well with a pin brush. The same coats may be more prone to matting and will benefit from a slicker brush. And woof, that undercoat will need a rake. A short haired breed may just need a short bristle brush. And the holy grail of knowing you’ve got every possible knot out, the comb. We’ll talk about the proper use of each tool in an upcoming post.
One thing to mention immediately: don’t you dare bring any of the brushes above into the tub. The levels of sharpness may harm your babe’s skin while his coat is wet! The specific bathing brush I recommend is a rubbery one. The longer the coat, the longer the rubbery prongs should be. Bathing to a groomer is like tending to a rock garden for a Buddhist monk. At least that’s how it seems to go for me. We’re prepping our canvas for the next stage of the grooming process by using these tools, so let’s look at the options:
Drying is a vastly important step that often gets overlooked. Besides being monotonous and sometimes boring, taking the time to ensure that no pockets of wet hair exist is of utmost priority. Read about my tips here. Options: Wanna be resourceful? Have a shop vac? Reverse that sucker and use it as a dryer! If you’ve got a hair dryer at home for a human, that could probably work. Please just don’t get too close to your pets skin and coat with the high heat. If you’re looking to spend a buck, here are some Amazon options. These are not brands I have tried, simply just the most reasonably priced for the style I had in mind. What I have used in the past was in the $400 range by Liberty Star and is not sold on Amazon.
Okay. Clippers. Blades. There are so many options. For the sake of our collective sanity, I won’t go down the route of describing the different materials like ceramic vs steel, battery vs cordless, plastic guards vs steel ones, and blade lengths. Clippers come in many price points and there are a few ways to customize your set that will suit your dogs needs best. To reiterate, you’re gonna get what you pay for. This is true for every bit of gear you purchase. Pro tip: Don’t use your clippers on a dirty dog. Take care of your gear and only use on clean hair and fur. As far as base equipment goes, my favorite US brands are Geib for blades and Andis for clippers. I’ve chosen a few options for a novice that is willing to invest in this endeavor.
This a really advanced step but for the novice, you can cut corners here on spending. Any basic set of Amazon dog shears will do just fine. When you’re ready to trim up your schnauzer’s beard, between the eyes of your maltese, or your wild mix of a babe’s tail, here are a few options in different price points.
Grooming Table
With the benefit of having your dog elevated to an easier level for you to brush and clip and comb, this investment also provides an element of safety. Tables will typically come with a grooming arm and loop and are equipped with a non-slip surface. 

Once you have your quality gear, we are ready to introduce the little one to this big process. Remember to take this slow.


PLEASE STOP if you witness these warning signs that your dog is not having a good time: heavy panting, ears back, whimpering or crying, teeth showing, growling. You know your dog best. Every dog is different. Do not push their limits. Listen to them. Teachable moments are everywhere! Grooming should absolutely be full of them.  
Now, onto the next post! 

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