When it hit me that I had the same grooming tools for my curly, thick-furred Welsh Terrier that I purchased long ago for my fine-haired Silky Terrier, I knew why I wasn't getting the results I wanted.... There are different strokes for different coats.
I recently purchased a few dog grooming tools made by a company called Coastal Pet. They have a line of specialized pet grooming products, Safari, that are very highly rated. The tools I bought made just a fair impression on my dog, but they made a great impression on me!
Here are some of the highly-rated basic Safari tools you will need to properly groom dogs and cats with short, long, thick, fine, undercoated, and/or matted fur.
A pin and bristle combination brush is the most common style of brush for dogs. It seems this is every dog's first brush. It is suitable for most dogs except those with very fine or very thick fur. The wire pins are rounded at the ends for your dog's comfort, and these pins get under the top layers of fur to separate hairs. The bristle side of the brush gives the top coat a nice polish.
If you don't need the bristle part of the brush, you can purchase the Wire Pin Brush on its own with a plastic handle or a bamboo handle and these come in small and large sizes. Likewise, Safari also makes the solo Bristle Brush with both a plastic handle and a bamboo handle.
This brush is terrific for dogs with thick, wirey hair. I purchased one for my Welshie and it works very well to get through his fur if there is no matting in it. You just brush your dog's fur quickly in the direction it lies and you'll get good results. I brush one area at a time and go over and over it; that gets the minor knots out of the fur and separates the strands. This allows your pup's skin 'to breathe.'
One great feature of the Safari Self-Cleaning, Retractable Slicker is that the brush is very eash to clean. Just turn the brush around and press the button that releases the fur from the bristles. This video shows you how to use the brush most effectively.
Some dogs have 'undercoats.' German shepherds, collies, pomeranians, and several other dog breeds have undercoats that they shed a few times a year. If not removed by brushing or with a specialized rake, the undercoat will keep your dog's skin from getting adequate aeration and moisture; it will also cause your dog's natural shedding to appear all over your home.
You can purchase a single row Safari By Coastal Long Tooth Undercoat Dog Rake or a Double Row Safari Undercoat Dog Rake for really thick undercoats like Chow Chows and English Sheepdogs. The pins on the Safari Dog Rakes spin as the tools are used and they have soft tips so they will not abrade your dog's skin. Use it with minimal pressure.
The following video demonstrates proper use of the tools to remove a dog's undercoat.
Here's another de-shedding tool; the Safari by Coastal Dual-Sided Shedding Blade For Dog Outer Coats will remove shedding fur from your dog's top coat, or for your dog's only coat. Use it gently as it's only intended to remove loose hair, not all hair! Don't use this blade if your dog does not shed.
This video will show you how to use the Dual-Sided Shedding Blade in two ways - with the handle closed, as you see above, and with the handle open.
De-matting can be one of the most unpleasant experiences for your dog if you don't have the right tool. But the Safari by Coastal Mat Remover is designed to minimize your dog's discomfort while getting the job done. For medium to long-haired dogs, it has very positive reviews from parents of all dog sizes. It has also received positive reviews from cat owners. Here is how the tool is used:
If you prefer a longer tined dematting tool, Safari also makes a Dematting Comb, shown below:
This comb is also intended for pets with medium to long fur. Like the Safari Mat Remover, It has double-sided stainless steel blades.
Here's a comb that gets to both layers of pet hair - the top coat and the bottom coat - so it capably de-sheds as it de-tangles. Good for short-haired dogs as well as short and long-haired cats, this comb helps remove litter box debris as well.
While most of us use the standard small flea combs to detect fleas on our pets, Safari makes a flea comb with a double row of stainless steel tines to catch those buggers on our dogs. But the tines also catch loose, flaky skin that can indicate other issues, such as skin dryness or allergies.
I would make sure your dog is fully groomed, including removing all knots in her fur, before using any flea comb.
The above grooming tools do not comprise an exhaustive list, but they are the most commonly used for the most common purposes and they will certainly help maintain your pet's coat in great condition!
Safari by Coastal makes even more specialized grooming tools and you can browse them here.
That's the buzz for today!