Grooming your own pets gives you control over the style and cut, and bonding time with your furry friends. A little dog clipper maintenance can go a long way to make the grooming process easier and more comfortable for both of you. Shelley and Beth share tips on getting ready for your grooming session.
Keeping Your Clipper Blade Sharp and CleanWhen properly taken care of dog clipper blades can last a long time. If you’re finding your blades are getting dull too quickly, you may want to look into what is causing your blade to become dull. Believe it or not, starting with a clean animal will help keep your blade sharper longer. So before even turning the clipper on, give your dog a bath using a pet safe shampoo such as Vet Basics Oatmeal Protein Shampoo. Then completely dry it before starting. Also, give the dog a good brushing first. There are times when you are not able to brush through mats so do the best you can to not make it a bad experience for the dog.
What Size Blade Should I Use to Cut My Dog’s Hair?Make sure you have the proper blade setting for the type of dog you are about to groom. Not using the proper blade can cause it to dull faster and just makes the whole grooming process a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Have an idea of what you want your dog to look like when you’re done, and choose the best blade for that look. Learn what each blade is for. For example, a 40 blade is at the skin, meanwhile, If you’re looking to leave the hair longer you’ll want something like a 4 or add an attachment to the blade. Keep in mind it is always better to start long. You can always go short, but you can’t make short hair any longer. Just remember though, not all blades fit every clipper so make sure the blades you get fit your clipper. The Clipper Blade Chart helps you choose what blade is best. Many people don’t choose the right blade then end up having more troubles, so take a little time and do your clipper blade research. Just like human hair, dog hair comes in lots of textures and lengths so make sure you have the proper blade. If you’re grooming a breed that has a heavy coat such as a Collie, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, be aware that they also have a built in cooling system so it can cause more harm than good to clip them so you’ll want to keep that in mind. If you have a dog with a built-in cooling system, you might want to consider using scissors. You can still make it shorter but will protect the built in cooling system and their skin. And remember dogs can get sunburned if you clip their fur too short.
Dog Clipper MaintenanceOnce you are done grooming, always using a blade cleaner such as ProVet Logic Groomers’ Tool Sanitizer. This is great for cleaning clippers and blades because it not only cleans, but it also kills most bacteria and viruses found in animal facilities including canine parainfluenza virus, ringworm and E.coli. If you are using this clipper on multiple animals, you don’t want to accidentally pass something onto other dogs. If you notice your blade is starting to smell or has a lot of fur build up use Andis Cool Care Plus because that lubricates the blade, removes hair and buildup and also deodorizes the blade. It is also a rust preventer. Remember, blades need to be cleaned after every use to help keep them cool running, so you want to make sure you have something that cleans, but also lubricates as well.
Dull Blades-Sharpen or Replace?Dull blades are not helpful. When blades are dull they pull hair and that hurts your dog. The biggest sign of a dull blade is that it pulls hair and causes the grooming experience to be unenjoyable. If the blade is dull, it’s best to purchase a new blade. If you prefer to sharpen your current blade instead of buying a new one, depending where you live, you can usually google and find a place near where you live that will sharpen them for you locally. If you’re still not sure which blade and clipper to get, call our Pet Care Pros, they will listen to what you need and help you choose the best clipper and blade for your pet!
Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.