Grooming Essentials for Dogs

Grooming is essential for all pets actually, but more so for our doggos. These fluffballs became dirtballs after their daily walks or play. It can be frustrating trying to keep them clean each time.

Every day since I started the Instagram journey of @kikithemp in end June, many people had asked me about grooming items as I’ve been grooming Kiki by myself for a while.

A disclaimer, I am not a grooming expert or a professional groomer, I am self-taught by watching Youtube videos and trial and error.

As a first time dog owner, and adopting a dog with chronic scabies, I was totally clueless of what is needed. I remembered just following the instructions of the vet and trying out various ways and means to groom Kiki in a way she felt comfortable with. We did not bring her for professional grooming during this period as most groomers we asked said that they cannot accept dogs with infestations. Kiki has to be cleared by the vet before they would let in.

For a start, Kiki’s skin was raw and bloody, she will wince and jump in pain whenever her skin touches the water and worse, shampoo. Then the ultimate nail trimming process as she refused to let anyone touch her paws. It was a long and arduous journey trying to get her used to grooming. After much patience, we finally got Kiki to be used to grooming and could stay still and let me work on her for… 2 hours straight.

I still do occasionally bring Kiki to the groomers for Full Grooming once every 3 to 4 months, and the in-between, I do my own self grooming. I believe that as pawrents, we need to do some sort of very basic grooming everyday or at least once a week so as to maintain its hygiene. A hygienic dog is a healthy dog.

Here are some of the top few grooming essentials that I used on a daily to weekly basis, which I think all pawrents should try to do as well.

Daily

  • Brush – Any type of brush that your dog is comfortable with should be fine. I typically use both a grooming comb and a slicker brush. Brush their fur at least once a day to untangle unwanted knots and matting.
  • Sanitiser – Not any kind of sanitiser is pet friendly but one which is chemical free and 100% natural would do. I typically spray it on Kiki’s paws after walks and whole body before bedtime. This helps to keep her clean and odour free too! Do you know that bacteria growth on fur is very smelly? Not only do I use it on Kiki, I also use it on the mat, bed, playpen she uses often. I recommend Pets Activated Water Sanitiser by For Furry Friends SG. (Code KIKI5 at http://www.forfurryfriends.com.sg for 5% off with free gift.)
  • Dental Chew – All kind of chews is good as long as the ingredients used is natural. Some people gives natural chews like antlers, pizzle, tendons. That works well. For me, I usually go for Absolute Holistic ones as it is not as smelly and Kiki goes crazy for it. However with all form of food, give in moderation. Kiki usually have 1 every night. It has been ingrained in her nightly routine. (Get dental chew here: https://shopee.prf.hn/l/6lPGOkY)
  • Tooth brush and toothpaste – I highly recommend brushing their teeth at least once a day to keep plague and tartar at bay. This helps to eliminate bad breathe and also with good dental hygiene they do not have to go through frequent dental scaling which may need them to go under anesthesia which can be quite scary for older dogs. I have been using Virbac toothpaste since Day 1 and Kiki loves it. She can even hold the toothbrush and brush it herself. (Get your 360 Toothbrush: https://shopee.prf.hn/l/KM0P2bp, toothpaste: https://shopee.prf.hn/l/70vGyZY)

Weekly / As when necessary

  • Ear Cleaner – This one is something I highly highly recommend to do once a week. We do not need to wait for the groomer to do it for us okay! Maintaining a good ear hygiene makes the dog a happier one. Try to go for non oily ones. I’ve gone through quite a few different brands and found that Kiki tolerate well with the Ear Cleaner from For Furry Friends SG. Also, after ear cleaning, you can also try to use a tweezer to pluck out ear fur at the outer ear canal. This helps to reduce ear irritants. This helps to reduce and prevent unwanted bacteria growth causing yeast infection and smell. (Code KIKI5 at http://www.forfurryfriends.com.sg for 5% off with free gift.)
  • Tear Stain Remover – I do this as and when I find tear stains on Kiki’s eyes using a cotton pad to soak up the stain. Kiki tend to have eye gunk every now and then and they will stick to fur near her eyes. This helps to unclump the fur and also keep their eye area clean, which makes them cuter too!
  • Pet Dryer – I cannot stress enough about this. If you do home grooming enough times, you’ll realise how ineffective our own human hairdryer is. They take ages to dry their fur and then because of the long drying process, it makes their skin so dry too?! Always go for a pet dryer if you can! I use a 2-in-1 pet dryer that has a brush attachment on it. It saved up so much of my time! A typical 20 minutes drying process is cut to 5mins! (Get it here: https://shopee.prf.hn/l/KNqJX2P)
  • Electric Pet Nail Grinder – This is another must-have item in your grooming kit. Yes, you may bring your dog to the groomer monthly, but nail maintenance is something I personally feel is a must-know. The conventional way of nail maintenance is using a pet nail clipper which many owners I know are fearful of. Like how do you know if you’re hitting the quick? What if I have shaky hands? That’s where the nail grinder comes into play. Due to Kiki’s past experience, she hates the clipper and will attempt to bite us whenever she sees it. So that’s when I researched and found out about the Grinder. It is a tool that files away the nail bit by bit. Yes, it takes longer than a traditional clipper but it is less scary and you do not need to worry about hitting the quick! No need to second guess yourself and don’t need to worry about shaky hands. Just grind away and monitor accordingly! This is one of the best grooming devices in my opinion. (Get it here: https://shopee.prf.hn/l/rpJPLxq)
  • Pet Shaver – Since we’re at the topic of nail grinder, I highly recommend pairing it with a pet shaver. Even if you are not going to shave much, get one with attachment for paw pads. Do you know that the paw pads are areas best for bacteria growth especially when the fur is covering the pads? In addition, if there’s too much fur covering, our dogs will have walking issues too! I typically will shave Kiki’s fur to a poodle feet style as I really prefer the cleanliness and effortless maintenance. (Get it here: https://shopee.prf.hn/l/7BnODJ0)
  • Pet Shampoo and Conditioner – In the humidity of Singapore, I prefer showering Kiki weekly. However it is up to personal preference, some does it bi-weekly or monthly. If your dog sleeps with you on the same bed, maybe you might want to shower it more frequently. As Kiki has sensitive skin, I normally goes for 100% natural unscented shampoo / conditioner so as to reduce any skin irritation. I uses the Gentle range from The Blep Club and it has been my favourite shampoo thus far. Best of all, it is a conditioner shampoo. So I don’t have to rinse twice!

Optional Items

  • Grooming Scissors Kit – I personally use it when I trim Kiki’s fur to give her a cute face and pretty paws but I do not recommend it if you have shaking hands. When I first started this grooming journey, I feared for both Kiki’s and my life when the scissors is very near her eyes. I was so scared of poking her eyes unintentionally you know! But with much practice and also curved scissors (inside the kit), it helps a lot! (Get it here: https://shopee.prf.hn/l/6149wWZ)

Items like the pet grinder, pet shaver, brush, dental chews, toothpaste and so on, can be easily bought from Shopee SG. You can use KIKI12 for 12% off (capped at $6) on all pet-related food and items! (If you’ve already used it, feel free to DM me on Instagram at @kikithemp for more codes. I have a long list of it!)

I know after reading this, some of you may be thinking…

“Wow, that’s a lot of things to do for grooming. I will just let the groomer do it.”

My question to you will be…

Yes, sure you can wait and let the groomer do it. But remember Circuit Breaker? Everything is closed. What if a second wave or third happens? What if it was extended for several months? No one knows what will happen. But one thing we know for sure is that our fluffballs might become dirtballs, ungroomed and prone to all sorts of problems.

So what you’re waiting for? Go get your basic grooming supply now! What’s more, all the year end sales is upcoming! Go Go Go!

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