A very matted Wirehaired Fox Terrier (left) and her well-groomed partner: image via dogbreedinfo.comA very matted Wirehaired Fox Terrier (left) and her well-groomed partner: image via dogbreedinfo.com It costs three times more to groom my dog that it costs me to get a haircut and style, and I used to groom him every two months. Safari grooming products have saved me a lot of money lately, though, because I've been using them for regular fur grooming maintenance on my dog and cat.  Safari's grooming gadgets are very high quality, like the professional tools, but they are priced for my pocketbook and they make do-it-yourself easy!

Summer and winter are heavy shedding seasons for both cats and dogs.  I can always tell when my cat is shedding because I find I am removing her hair from my mouth - quite frequently.  No kidding!  My dog has a different grooming challenge - matted fur.  And the groomer charges extra for removing mats - $30 an hour extra!

There's an added benefit to DIY pet grooming: bonding.  Groom your pet every day, keep telling your pet how good he/she is while grooming, reward with occasional treats...  The trick is to make the experience pleasant for your pet; handled gently and patiently, these 8 grooming products make that possible.  I'll start with the toughest job: mat removing.

Mat Removing Gadgets For Dogs and Cats


1.  Safari Mat Splitter

This may be an intimidating looking gadget, but it's actually easy to handle.  The stainless steel blade starts at the root of the mat, between a tangle, never touching the animal's skin, of course.  As you move the handle up, the blade splits the mat.  After doing this gently on different parts of the mat, it can be removed gently with a brush.  Though Safari recommends this Mat Splitter for dogs, customers are very happy with its results on cats, as well. (find product)


 Safari Mat SplitterSafari Mat Splitter


2. Safari Mat Remover For Coarse or Thick Haired Dogs

Those of you who have poodles, coarse-haired terriers, pomeranians, sheepdogs, and other thick-haired dogs will appreciate the action of this Safari Mat Remover.  This comb-like mat remover actually has blades and separators to attack a wider span of mat from the bottom up.  But again, use it gently; if you place a few fingers of your non-dominant hand on your pet's skin as you use the blades, it will reduce any pain your dog might experience from the pull. (find product)


 Safari Mat RemoverSafari Mat Remover


3. Safari De-Matting Comb

The De-Matting Comb is recommended for dogs, but cat owners give it a thumbs up.  The comb works for thick and thin coated dogs, but if you have a thin coated dog, the de-matting comb is probably the gentlest.  This comb is best used from the top end of the mat, rather than the bottom.  If you hold the bottom of the mat with your non-dominant hand, your pet should not complain!  (find product)


Safari De-Matting CombSafari De-Matting Comb


Undercoat Grooming Gadgets For Dogs and Cats


4. Safari Undercoat Rake For Long-haired Dogs and Cats

One row of the rake is angled and the other straight, allowing more loose hairs to be caught in the undercoat, the Safari rake does not catch other hairs.  Use it very gently and this rake is effortless.  (find product)


Safari Rake For Pet UndercoatsSafari Rake For Pet Undercoats


5. Evolution Undercoat Rake With Rotating Teeth For Dogs

This Evolution product cannot be ignored because its ratings by cat and dog owners are extremely high. This product also has dual rows, though they are both angled in the same direction.  Reviewers point out that the rotating teeth make undercoat grooming easy on the dog.  One reviewer says this is not a product for cats. (find product)


Evolution Undercoat Rake w/ Rotating TeethEvolution Undercoat Rake w/ Rotating Teeth


General Brushing Gadget for Dogs and Cats


6.  Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats

Gentle stroking does the trick hair. The Safari Slicker is really cool because you can pull the brush back and easily remove the fur.  If your cat is not too matted, the Slicker Brush can remove them as well as the shedding fur. (find product)


Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush For CatsSafari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush For Cats


7. Safari Pin and Bristle Brush For Dogs

The wooden handle makes this brush really nice to use and the pin side works to remove small tangles, but use it very gently on thin-coated dogs.  The softer bristle side, used daily, makes your dog's coat soft and lusciously pet-able. (find product)


Safari Pin & Bristle Brush For DogsSafari Pin & Bristle Brush For Dogs


8.   Safari Cat Rubber Grooming Mit

 My own cat likes it when I use a rubber brush.  I guess it feels most gentle on her skin, but she likes to turn around occasionally and gently gnaw on the base, and put her paws around it playfully.  The Cat Rubber Grooming Mit looks like it would be a perfect every day groomer, removing loose hairs, but even more like loving and play than a rubber brush.  (find product)


Safari Cat Rubber Grooming MitSafari Cat Rubber Grooming Mit


DIY grooming saves money, but can also enhance your relationship with your pet.  Do it daily, gently (always working in the direction of the hair growth!)  reward your pet, and make grooming fun for your pet.  There will still be times you want to take your pet to the groomer for nail trimming and ear cleaning... and a good haircut.  But you can reduce those visits by half, if you can manage fur 'issues.'

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