You may find yourself clipping your dog a lot more often than you imagined before you were a dog owner. It depends on what breed of dog chose you for his owner, but you could be looking at a doggy haircut as often as every couple of months.
There is a thriving and competitive small business industry in dog grooming, and there is good reason why. More people than ever have dogs who are companions and members of the family, and much more than just a pet stuck in the backyard and left to get all shaggy.
You want to look after your pup and keep him looking good, but you may not want to be putting the dog groomer’s kids through college. A lovely compromise is to buy your own set of clippers.
How often should you be clipping your dog’s hair?
How often you are trimming your dog’s fur depends on a few things, including your dog’s breed, size and how long you like to keep their hair. Little dogs may need a trim every 1-2 months, while big dogs or breeds with short, coarse hair may be able to go as long as 4-6 months in between trims.
Mainly for health and hygiene reasons you should pay attention to trimming:
- Around the eyes so that your puppy’s vision isn’t hampered
- Hair around the bum if poo is getting trapped
- Hair around the mouth where food may get trapped
Your dog may also have allergies or skin conditions that require you to pay more attention to looking after his hair, and if you live in grassy or hot environments you might also need to get his fur trimmed more often.
The longer you keep the hair, the more you have to worry about looking after it. If you like your pooch’s locks long and luscious you would need to be more on the ball with washing, brushing and trimming anything caught up in the fur.
Some awesome benefits to having your own clippers
Dogs, god love them, really like rolling around in gross stuff. Whenever you take your pooch for a walk, he is almost guaranteed to get into something. Having your own handy set of clippers not only means you are ready for the regular haircut, but it also means you are prepared to quickly clip out the burs and snares that he somehow manages to get caught up in his fur on every second walk.
If you walk your dog using a harness he is less likely to scamper off and roll in prickles and burs, but harnesses can also make the fur a bit more matted. You may find that if you use a harness you need to still brush and even trim your puppy’s hair regularly to deal with the matting. Having your own clippers will be handy for this as well.
If hair gets matted it can affect the skin underneath, causing moisture retention and encourages infection, so it pays to keep on top of this. Especially for dogs who are not fans of brushing or who get matted spots often you will really appreciate having a set of clippers on hand.
Is it difficult to clip your own dog’s hair?
The earlier you get your dog used to the idea of you grooming him, the better. This is probably not something to take up when he is fully grown, especially if you are taking on the task because your groomer has quit because your dog is so badly behaved.
Start very young and get him used to sitting still while you brush; you want this time to be as stress free as possible for you both. Gentle brushing is often not a problem, but if you get to snares or matted patches it can be much easier and kinder to clip these rather than brush them out.
Comparing the best dog clippers on the market
When looking for clippers for your puppy you need to remember that you should get ones specifically for dogs. You shouldn’t really be doing double duty by using the same clippers for your menfolk and your dog (for all sorts of reasons!). Dog clippers have a very high running speed to allow the blades to consistently trim the fur without causing damage to the dog.
Andis AGC Super 2-Speed Professional Clippers
- 2 speeds 3300/4000 strokes per minute
- Cool to use
- Maintenance free
- Ergonomic shape
Light and quiet, these clippers glide easily through dog hair, generally making the whole grooming process a lot quicker and less stressful for everyone. They are corded which means they have a good strong power source and are easier to use for a bigger, hairier dog or for a longer time.
Slim and sexy, they also come in a range of colour options.
Because they are corded if you have a puppy that likes to run rings around you, these might not be the pair for you. The price may also put you off.
Andis are awesome enough to offer a number of YouTube instructional videos to help you use their products and give your beloved pup the best groom possible, such as this one talking about the proper use of different speeds:
Wahl Multi Cut Dog Clipper
- Single speed
- Taper control and four attachment combs with variable clipping lengths
- High carbon steel blades
These clippers are a fantastic budget buy and enormous value for money. They come with a handy carry case, are quiet and easy to use, and have lots of nifty attachments. The quietness makes dogs less nervous around these clippers which is good.
The instructional DVD is also a nice bonus and very helpful.
They are not really made for heavy duty hair, so if your dog is bigger, shaggier or coarser then you might need to invest in a different model of clippers. They are corded, so not for rowdy dogs either perhaps.
Wahl Pro Series Dog Clipper Mains/Rechargeable
A step up from the cheapest set, but with plenty of extra features in that price are these clippers. Small, light, and reasonable quiet, they run on a rechargeable battery and will give up to 45 minutes grooming time.
This makes it easy to groom outside or with very energetic dogs; even 45 minutes should give you enough time to do even the most rowdy puppy.
- Cordless with up to 45 minutes power
- Multiple attachments for different hair length
- Rust resistant
- Carbon steel blades
- Instructional DVD and handy carry case
The cordless capacity is one of the driving features behind this model. Many cordless clippers are in addition heavy, loud and may vibrate a lot, because of the battery power needed in the handle, but this is not the case with these clippers.
Suitable for most types of dog hair, and incredibly well priced for what you get included.
May not suit some dogs with the thickest or rattiest hair, and battery power will not last if you are a professional groomer or have more than one dog. For the average pet owner and the average pet this product is more than enough however.
Wahl are another brand with a series of instructional videos;
They also have a cool series that are delivered by real world groomers reviewing their products at the same time, so are well worth a look.
Oster Golden A5 2 Speed Clipper
- Two speeds 2,220 and 3,200 strokes per minute
- Variety and range of blades
- Cool, light and quiet
Very popular with poodle and poodle cross owners as it manages their coat beautifully. These clippers are durable and high quality and easy to use. This product is corded which makes it light and quiet, and it also stays lovely and cool in your hand if you have a big pooch or one with lots of hair. The lead is nice and long.
These are a well-made product and should last forever if looked after. The package contains oil for proper blade maintenance, so make sure that you use this.
There are very few cons with this product. It is corded, so may restrict some customers by keeping them indoors or near a power outlet, but this is a minor drawback really. They are not cheap but are of excellent quality and will literally last you a dog’s lifetime.
Masterclip Pedigree Pro Professional Dog Clipper
These are a good quality, middle of the range product. They are suitable for a whole variety of breeds and are the favoured clippers of many professional groomers, which should be a good indication of their standard.
- Two speeds including 2300RPM and 2900RPM
- High quality German steel blade
- Comb guards in four lengths
The comb guards allow you to groom pooches with a variety of hair lengths, so these clippers are great for very shaggy pups or those that get themselves matted easily. They are easy and quick to use, even on the long tresses of a dog like a spaniel.
At under £100 these are good value for money for a gold standard product.
Again, these are corded clippers which may be a con for some owners.