Grooming Products for Dogs, Jacksonville Vet

Grooming is an essential part of caring for your canine companion, but with retail shelves lined with products, how can you tell which dog grooming products are best for your pup? Our Jacksonville vets provide a few tips on what to look for, and what to avoid.

Wading Through a Sea of Dog Grooming Products

A well-groomed dog is a joy to snuggle up with and cuddle, but how can you get your canine cuddle buddy looking and smelling great while protecting the delicate skin and coat? Regular grooming is a great place to start, but it's important to choose the right products to get the job done.

Grooming too often or with products that are too harsh can leave your pup's skin itchy and irritated. So, which products should you use when grooming your dog? Here are a few tips to help you make a good choice.

1. Avoid Human Shampoos & Hair Products

Avoid: It can be tempting to reach for your own shampoo when bathing your pup, but this could lead your dog's sensitive skin to become irritated and uncomfortable.

Best Choice: Dog-specific shampoos and grooming products are formulated the pH levels of your dog's skin and coat, making them gentle on your dog's skin while giving their coat a clean and healthy shine.

2. Match the Product to Your Dog's Coat Type

Avoid: Try not to fall for a pretty fragrance, fancy packaging, or a great sale price. Generic one-size-fits-all shampoos and conditioners may not give your pet the healthy skin and silky coat you are hoping for.

Best Choice: Look for products that have been formulated to provide the best results for your dog's specific coat type. Whether your pup is an Irish Setter with long flowing hair, a shaggy husky, or a sleek Doberman, with a little research you will find products that keep your pet looking their very best. 

3. Check the Ingredients

Avoid: Sulfates and parabens are common in many dog grooming products but can lead to dry, irritated, itchy skin and a dull coat. Avoid these harsh ingredients whenever possible.

Best Choice: Look for products that are clearly marked as sulfate-free and paraben-free to help keep your canine companion's skin looking and feeling great.

4. Choose Hypoallergenic Products for Dogs with Sensitive Skin

Avoid: If your four-legged family member has sensitive skin that is prone to reactions, avoid harsh or heavily scented products that may lead to irritation and discomfort.

Best Choice: Look for quality dog grooming products that are labeled as fragrance-free or hypoallergenic to minimize your sensitive fur baby's risk of having a reaction.

5. Try Soothing Oatmeal

Avoid: While medicated shampoos are readily available, too much of a good thing can lead to skin that is itchy, dry, and flaky. Always consult your veterinarian before using medicated shampoos when grooming your pup, and be sure to follow your vet's instructions for use.

Best Choice: Looking for an inexpensive and medication-free way to soothe your fur baby's dry, itchy skin? Look for products that contain oatmeal, or create a cheap and easy oatmeal bath for your pup.

Simply grind plain, natural oatmeal to a fine powder, add about 1/3 of a cup of oatmeal powder to a warm bath (not hot). Swish the water around a bit until the bathwater looks milky then simply bathe your dog in the oatmeal water. Do not use shampoo or rinse afterwards. For extra moisturizing you can add a tablespoon of olive or avocado oil to the bath when adding the oatmeal.

6. Condition for Shine & Manageability

Avoid: Once again, it's important to avoid the temptation of reaching for your own conditioner, no matter how great it works on your hair. These products are formulated to work for our specific pH levels, not that of our furry friends. It's also important not to skip this stage, especially if your pooch has a long or thick coat that could become tangled or knotted.

Best Choice: Look for a dog-specific conditioner formulated to give optimal results for your pup's coat. You will find conditioners to provide great shine and/or prevent tangles and matting to make brushing easier.

7. Brushing Your Dog's Coat

Avoid: Don't just grab any ol' brush off the shelf. Cheap brushes can tug fur and scratch your pet's delicate skin. 

Best Choice: It's important to do some research, and speak to your vet for advice. The best brush and/or comb for your dog will depend on their coat length and thickness, as well as how much they shed. Consider investing in a high-quality slicker brush for dogs with longer, thicker coats. A rubber curry brush or natural bristle brush can be excellent for dogs with short hair, and double-coated dogs benefit from regular grooming with a shedding rake at certain times of the year.

8. Keeping Ears Clean & Healthy

Avoid: Keeping your dog's ears clean and dry is essential when it comes to avoiding infections and protecting ear health. Avoid using homemade ear-cleaning solutions or any product containing alcohol.

Best Choice: Speak to your vet to find out which product is best for your dog's ears. While some dogs need frequent ear cleaning to maintain a healthy inner ear environment, other dogs need minimal ear cleaning. Your vet can let you know which products and which approach is best for your pooch.

9. Trimming Nails

Avoid: To avoid turning this grooming essential into a giant fuss, it's important to get your furry friend accustomed to nail trimming while they are young. Do not use cheap nail trimmers or grinders. Cheap trimmers break easily and become dull, leaving your dog's nails ragged.

Best Choice: To make nail trimming quick and easy choose guillotine-style or scissor-style nail clippers with a safety guard to help prevent cutting the quick.

10. Blow Drying

Avoid: Human hair dryers are noisy and can become very hot. These are definitely not recommended for use on our four-legged friends.

Best Choice: A good towel dry followed by natural air drying can be optimal for many breeds, but if your dog's coat could benefit from a blow dry, be sure to invest in a dog-specific dryer with adjustable heat and airflow to avoid overheating your pup or drying out their skin.

A Final Word

Grooming is an extremely important part of caring for your beloved dog, but each dog's grooming needs are as unique as their individual personalities. If you have questions about the best dog grooming products or practices for your pooch, speak to your vet or professional groomer for advice.

At Pet Doctors of America, we provide professional grooming for dogs of many breeds and sizes and can provide you with tips on how to care for your dog's grooming needs at home, between appointments with us.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our professional groomers have all the tools and dog grooming products required to help keep your furry friend looking, feeling, and smelling their very best. Contact Pet Doctors of America to learn more about our dog grooming services.