Pet Health Tips, Pet Products

Dog Grooming Tips

Dog grooming can be rewarding, saving you time and helping you bond with your furry friend. Plus, you can control the cut and style you want. The key is in knowing how to select the right dog clipper and blade. Beth, a Customer Care Pro at Revival Animal Health, explains the differences in clippers and attachments. She also gives tips to get you started and how to maintain your equipment.
How to Choose the Right Clipper & Blade

What is the Difference Between Dog Clippers and Trimmers?

A dog clipper is more for the body, for all around the dog’s body. The dog trimmer you’re going to want to use around the paws, around the hard to reach areas, around the ears, just in those teeny tiny little areas that the large clipper can’t get to.

What Clippers Should I Get for My Dog?

You want to decide if first if you want a cordless clipper or a corded clipper. Consider where you’re going to be grooming, what does your grooming station look like. Is an outlet nearby? How long do you need the clipper to last for each grooming session? What type of coats are you going to be grooming on a regular basis? There are some clippers that run either cordless or corded so you also want to make sure that wherever the outlet is and you have a corded clipper that you’re not getting tangled up in it all the time. If that would be the case then you might want to go to a cordless trimmer where you just charge it between appointments and then you don’t have to worry about dragging the cord everywhere. If you hold a heavy clipper for a really long time your arms are going to get tired so you want to make sure that you find a clipper that’s just the right weight for you. Not all dog clippers weigh the same. You want to make sure that it fits comfortably in your hand but it doesn’t put a lot of stress on your arms. All clippers make some sort of a noise so the best practice is to bring the dog to the grooming salon or if you choose to groom your dog at home just get them exposed to the noises of a grooming appointment. The sound of a clipper or the sound of a blow dryer will just help them be less stressed and it will prepare them for a lifelong time of getting their spa days.

What Does SPM Mean in Clippers?

SPM means strokes per minute which means that the blades move from one side to the other and the spm is how often it moves per minute. You want a higher strokes per minute if you have a lot of dogs coming through because then it the clipper will be able to keep up and won’t it won’t get hot on you or anything.

What is the Difference Between Clipper Blades

There are regular blades and finishing blades. A regular clipper blade is where it’s a single number so like a four or a seven and having and it also has a skip tooth assembly so it will leave the hair slightly textured. If you choose a blade with an F behind it that’s a finishing blade so a 4F or a 7F that will give it a nice smooth finish for you. If you have a cat or dog coat that requires a little bit more TLC you’re going to want to start with a skip tooth blade first so like a four or seven just to get the bulk out and then you can always come back with a finishing blade to finish it up. If you’re attempting to clip a thicker coat with a finishing blade it could catch on the dog’s fur that can cause it to pull but then it will also make the blade work harder. We really don’t want the blade to work harder you want it to work smarter. When choosing a blade you’ll want to make sure it’s a cool running blade because you’re going to be running the clipper for a long time and you don’t want that blade to get hot. Remember that even if the blade says it’s cool running while you are grooming no matter what blade you’re using just put it to the inside of your wrist every once in a while. If it’s warm for you, it’s going to be warm for the dog too. If you clip it too short dogs get sunburned just like humans do. If your dog did have surgery and that part is is clippered up you just want to put a little bit of sunscreen on it or something just to keep it nice and just away from the sun. A blade number will determine what type of cut you get so the higher the number the blade the shorter and finer the cut. For example, a 40 blade is at the skin it’s a surgical cut where it goes all the way down to the skin where a four blade leaves the coat longer. If you’re not sure how short you want the hair to be you can always put the blade, put a blade guard or people also call them attachments on the blade which will leave the hair even longer so then you can really play around with what type of length you want the dog’s hair to be and you can always go shorter but you can’t you can’t put it back on. If you want just like a clean buzz cut you’re gonna go with just the blade itself but then the attachment is if you want it to stay a little longer.

Are Human Hair Clippers Safe for Dogs?

It is not recommended to use a human clipper on a dog. Use one designed for a dog because dogs have a lot of different hair types but they also have a lot more hair than humans.

More Dog Grooming and Pet Care Tips

If your dog is anxious during the grooming experience there are things you can do to kind of help calm his or her nerves. Taking frequent breaks is really great. You can also do lots of petting, reassuring and you can also give them a lot of treats just to make a more positive experience. If you’re grooming a dog breed that has a super heavy coat like a golden retriever or a Siberian husky you really don’t even have to use a clipper on them because they have that built-in cooling system so it actually may cause more harm than good if you if you use a clipper on them. You’ll actually probably just want to give them a really good scrub down give them a good bath, you’ll want to brush them out get all that excess fur out and then just take a scissors and just lightly scissor around. With those cooling systems you could possibly do more harm than good if you clipper it because they’re used to that, they like to have that double coat because then they stay cool in the summer and then it also keeps them warm in the wintertime. To learn more about dog grooming and clipper blade choices mentioned in the video, check out the Revival Clipper Blade Chart. For more tips on pet grooming, check the article Pet Grooming Tips and Tricks in the Revival Learning Center.
Shelley Hexom

Written by: Shelley Hexom

Content Manager

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.

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