The Best Dog Grooming Tools for Short and Long Hair

From shampooing to de-shedding, grooming your own dog is a great way to save money and bond with your pooch.

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Best Dog Grooming Tools for Short and Long Hair
Needed: the best dog grooming tool for long hair. Photo: Arild Andersen

Have you tried to take your dog’s grooming into your own hands, only to find yourself confused at which tools are best to use?

At-home grooming can save a ton of money, but buying multiple brushes, clippers and more as you search for the right ones can get expensive.

Here are some tips on making the entire process a little more streamlined.

Best Dog Grooming Tools for Short and Long Hair

Depending on your breed of dog, grooming can be a lot easier when their hair is short. Bath time is quicker, there’s less detangling and certain hard-to-reach spots aren’t quite so tough to get to.

That being said, be extra cautious with the types of tools you use. Working that much closer to their skin (and any bumps, moles, sensitive spots, etc.) can be tricky without the right equipment.

Longhaired dogs typically need a little more effort. Clippers and scissors come into play, bath time becomes longer and brushing needs extra attention. The good news: There are tons of grooming tools on the market that can make your job a lot easier.

Whether your dog has short or long hair, there’s a solution. Take a look at the following list of the best at-home grooming products to see which tools are right for you.

1. Brushes

  • Short hair: If your shorthaired dog sheds, the Kong ZoomGroom Dog Brush is a must. It has soft, rubbery bristles that won’t irritate your dog’s skin, and it works like a charm. You can use it on wet and dry hair, so it’s a great tool to add in during bath time.
  • Long hair: Choosing a brush for your longhaired dog is a little easier. You can use the same Kong ZoomGroom on them or choose something like a slicker brush.

Some people hesitate to use slicker brushes on their dogs because the ends of the wire bristles have no covering or protection. If you’re using too much pressure, you can irritate your dog’s skin (this is also why it’s best not to use them on shorthaired dogs).

However, if you’re careful with the amount of pressure you apply, you shouldn’t have any problems. There’s one thing to note: If your dog has any bites or irritations on their skin, use a different brush until they heal.

Does your dog need a specialty shampoo? Photo: Hubert Figuiere

2. De-Shedding Tools

  • Short hair: There are more than a few de-shedding tools available for at-home grooming. Not all are the same. You might have heard of (or currently use) FURminators. They’re excellent for removing undercoats and reducing the amount of hair on your floors and furniture.

For shorthaired dogs, choose the correct FURminator. Buy the short blade length along with the appropriate size (if your dog is small, for example, get the small size).

  • Long hair: The FURminator is great for long hair, too, but again, choose the correct blade length and tool size. Use this on dry hair, and you could reduce your dog’s shedding by up to 90%.

For a great combo, use the FURminator before bathing and the Kong ZoomGroom during bath time. You can even follow up with the ZoomGroom again once your dog is completely dry if they’re really heavy shedders.

3. Clippers

  • Short hair: Depending on your breed, your dog might not need clippers or scissors, which means less work for you. If, however, you have a shorthaired dog with a thick coat, a set of clippers might come in handy.

Andis EasyClip Pro Animal clippers are a great option. They’re lightweight and have a powerful motor for trimming through thick coats. Make sure to use the blade attachments to keep your dog safe.

  • Long hair: Try the Oster Lithium-Ion Volt clippers. You can use these on your shorthaired dog, too, but their powerful battery makes time-consuming long hair cuts a lot easier. They’re also lightweight, cordless and have a powerful motor, so you should be able to get the job done no matter what type of dog you have.
The right tools can make grooming your dog a cinch. Photo: Jennie Robinson Faber

4. Shampoo

The length of your dog’s hair won’t necessarily dictate which type of shampoo you use, but other factors will come into play.

To start, decide which type of shampoo your situation calls for. Do you need a regular cleansing shampoo, or are you looking for medicated, no-rinse or specialty shampoos?

If your dog has skin sensitivities, you might already have a medicated shampoo from your vet. In that case, always follow the directions on the bottle to increase its effectiveness.

If you’re looking for an all-around best pick, try Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo. It’s completely natural and biodegradable, which makes it safe to use on your dog, no matter the hair type (it also comes in about a dozen scents, so no more smelly dog).