If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen my recent DIY dog grooming story. Every few weeks, I bust out my grooming table, blow dryer, buzzers, and scissors to make my toy Poodle, Gigi, look spiffy. Since sharing that post, I’ve had a bunch of poodle-parents reach out to me. A lot of you are asking for grooming tool recommendations. So, I’ve rounded up my go-to products.
A quick note: I’ve had most of these tools for YEARS! While I used to take Gigi to a professional groomer, about a year ago I decided to take on that task. It’s a way of easing her nerves and also saving some $$. But, while taking over 100% of Gigi’s grooming needs is still somewhat new to me, my mom groomed her poodles for about a decade. So, the tools I use now are passed down from her! (They’re all high-quality and in tip-top shape).
From nail trims to hair cuts, I get a lot of use out of my Midwest grooming table. For me, propping my pup up onto a sturdy table and bringing her closer to eye level makes everything a lot easier. For my dog, it provides a steady and safe place to stand while I work on her.
Depending on your unique needs, you may need a different table than I use. If you’re a professional groomer who is working on a lot of different dogs, for example, then you’ll likely go for a top-of-the-line electric or hydraulic pet grooming table — one that lets you automatically adjust the height and has some other great features.
If you’re just grooming one or two furry family members at home, though, you can opt for something simpler and easy to store. Mine is:
- Foldable for easy storage. It has strong locking “goal post” style folding legs with thick rubber no-skid floor caps to provide maximum stability.
- A good weight (making it sturdy).
- Has a ribbed, non-skid rubber standing surface (so my pooch doesn’t slip).
- Features a regular arm (AKA the bar that lets you attach a noose restraint).
My Midwest grooming table has been in my family for more than a decade and is still in great condition. It has worked great for standard, mini, and toy poodles, but, this table does come in 3 sizes!
Note: My Gigi is super tolerant when I groom her and she just stands in one place. So, I don’t use my table’s arm. But, if your pup is a master wiggler then you may want to get a sturdier restraint attachment. Check out this video:
If you ask me, investing in a professional hair dryer that’s made specifically for dogs is essential. The temperature-controlled, powerful airflow dries hair quickly and thoroughly. There’s really no comparison to your personal hairdryer. Along with shaving off a lot of time, it makes the hair a gorgeous texture. Just think about the silky look your pup has after he/she comes home from the groomer. Well, a great dryer will help you achieve that.
I personally use the Double K Industries ChallengAir and LOVE it. This baby has got some serious power to it. With two speeds, even the lowest setting offers up super strong airflow. Given the power and the noise, your dog will need a little time to get used to it. But, it’s great!
I have a bunch of different hairbrushes in my home-grooming kit.
Dog Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush – Does your pup have awful mats in her hair that you struggle to get out? This brush will help break through knots and tangles. The fine bristles are designed to penetrate deep into the coat without scratching your canine companion’s skin. This brush also has an easy clean-up button!
De-Matting Tool To Remove Tangles, Knots, and Dead Hair – This is another type of de-matting tool for those really hard to get tangles and knots.
Stainless Steel Finishing Comb – While this is another tool that is great for eliminating tangles and loose hairs, I mainly use it for fluff and finish. I can always tell a clear difference when my girl is freshly combed and styled!
Andis Professional Corded Clippers – This is the bad boy I use when shaving Gigi’s body. I like that it features two speeds, has good power behind it, and there is an extremely large variety of clipper blades available for any cut. While you may want your dog’s hair a different length, I use a 5 on Gigi’s body and a 10 on her legs. The higher the number, the closer the shave. A 10 is short for legs, but I love when my girl has skinny little legs 🙂
Wahl Professional Cordless Clippers – This is perhaps my favorite clipper of all time and I have nothing but great things to say about it. It comes with two rechargeable batteries, so I always have an extra in case one runs out or I forget to charge one. Also, unlike your average clipper, this clipper never overheats. So I don’t have to worry about accidental burns after the blade has been running for a little while. It’s gentle on faces and genital areas. All around – this is a great grooming product!
Small Clippers For Paws – It can be hard to shave in between the paw pads and toes with a big buzzer. In the past, I have carefully used my Wahl cordless clippers for this job. But, a super narrow buzzer is way better! This cordless version by VISSON is a perfect size, doesn’t overheat, and recharges by USB.
While my Wahl cordless clippers never overheat, traditional clippers do heat up pretty quickly. Once they start getting hot, you’re forced to pause so the blade doesn’t burn your fur baby. To help cool the blade quickly, there are actual cooling sprays. A bottle won’t break the bank and can save you precious time!
There are a bunch of different scissors on the market and they all have their own purpose. For me, I use a curved scissor to shape my poodle’s head and straight scissors to help clean up her legs. But, depending on your dog’s size, breed, and how much of a grooming expert you are, you may have different needs. Watch this video for a quick overview:
Unfortunately, I can’t find my scissor set online (it’s old and I don’t think the brand is around anymore). So, I did some research and am sharing a top-rated set instead.
This set by RUBOLD comes with a 6-inch straight scissor, 7-inch rounded scissor, 6-inch thinning scissors, and a grooming comb! They’re stainless steel and people are saying the blades are perfectly sharp. My favorite part about these? They have a rounded tip for extra safety. I love that so much I’m actually ordering a set of these for myself 🙂
Advice From One Dog Parent To Another
When starting your home grooming journey, spend some time watching YouTube videos that are geared toward your dog’s specific breed. Today, so many professional groomers create videos that are filled with useful tips for pet parents who wish to take matters into their own hands. There are also plenty of guidebooks on the market!
My best advice? Get the right tools, spend time educating yourself, and be patient. Every time I groom Gigi, I get better and better. It’s about taking your time and staying calm. If you need to do the bathing and drying at one time and then take a break before the buzzing and cutting then do that!
Proud Dog Mom’s Grooming & Good Hygiene Guides
- 7 Common Mistakes Dog Parents Make During Bath Time
- Tips To Demat Your Dog’s Tangled Coat
- How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
- How To Cut Your Dog’s Nails
Have any great home-grooming tips? Drop a line in the comment section below!