Grooming is an essential part of daily life. You don’t really want to face the world looking your worst. The same is true with our pet dogs. However, more than for aesthetic purposes, priming our pooches can bring a host of other benefits, too, including healthier skin and coat and the prevention of certain kinds of canine conditions such as infections, inflammation, and skin irritation. It is thus, important to regularly groom your pooch. Selecting the best dog clippers may not be that difficult for some, but can be especially challenging for those who are new in the world of pet grooming. Not to worry, though, as we have dedicated our resources to coming up with the 15 best dog grooming clippers for you.
Things to Look for When Buying the Right Grooming Clippers for Your Pooch
Grooming our pets is one of the most essential aspects of pet ownership. We don’t want our pooches to develop mats which can significantly trap heat underneath, leading to skin irritation, inflammation, and even infection. You can always choose to have your pooch professionally groomed in your local pet salon, but it’s just not practical especially if you have several mutts at home and all of them happen to be long-haired. Getting your own grooming kit, especially canine clippers, should thus, be more economical while also allowing you to develop the necessary skills to better care for your pooch.
However, choosing the right trimmers for your mutt can be quite challenging especially for absolute newbies to the world of pet ownership. As such, we have prepared a list of the things that you have to look for when buying the right grooming clippers for your dog.
- Noise levels
One of the critically important features of dog trimmers that you have to pay attention to is its noise levels. Technically, any gadget or tool that is used on our pets should be ultra-quiet or embedded with some form of noise cancelling or dampening technology.
Loud noises, including vibrations, can make certain pooches anxious, nervous, or even frightened. This is more of an issue among pets that have never been trained to maintain their composure even when placed in a noisy environment. Unfortunately, even with training, the ears of canines are especially sensitive.
How well do pooches hear? Human beings are able to hear sounds in the range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz. On the other hand, your Fido is actually fully capable of hearing from a low 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz. In simple words, the hearing ability of your pooch is 7 times greater in acuity than what your ears can achieve. Another reason why mutts have very acute sense of hearing is their auditory muscles. Whereas humans only have 3 muscles that move the different structures of the ear, dogs have 18. Their ear anatomy is also very different than ours, further amplifying the sound. As such our beloved mutts often have difficulty in environments that produce unusually loud noises. The noise may be acceptable to you, but never for your pooch.
Because of this, an ultra-quiet canine shears is important to make your pooch comfortable during the grooming process. If not, you’ll be managing a highly anxious pet afterwards which can also make it especially averse or avoidant of the grooming activity.
- Operating temperature
Another important consideration when choosing a dog shaver is the operating temperatures of the gadget or how hot it can get after some time. Imagine a hot object touching your skin and you can easily get burned. Even if the object is not too hot, there will always be some degree of injury at the tissue level leading to irritation and even inflammation. Once the skin is irritated, your mutt has the tendency to scratch this, breaking the integrity of the skin, and potentially introducing harmful microorganisms inside. The end result is an infection.
As such, it is important to choose dog shears that will never heat up. As much as possible avoid getting those that have fans and air vents as these often spell trouble. It is perfectly alright if these fans don’t break down eventually or the air vents don’t get clogged or both. If this happens, then you end up with a really hot canine clipper.
The speed of the cutting mechanism of the gadget is also a very important feature to look for. This is often related to how fast you can accomplish the task which can be particularly helpful if you’re looking to trim several dogs in a day. Most trimming gadgets for pooches come with variable speed settings allowing you optimum versatility as you can easily change the speed of the cutting mechanism depending on the type of hair that your mutt has or even the degree of thickness and /or coarseness of the coat. However, for absolute beginners, it is a lot better to start with a single speed device until such time that you’ve gained confidence to work with different speed settings.
- Maintenance requirements
Strands of hair and other trimmings can accumulate in the trimmer. This means you have to remove these to ensure the device’s optimum operating performance. Otherwise, the shears will simply not be able to perform its intended function in an efficient manner, leading to stress in your pooch.
Opening shavers to maintain its operating performance can be quite tedious, messy, and oftentimes frustrating. There is also a chance that you might not be able to reassemble the different parts in their correct position, leading to sub-par performance. As such, you should choose a gadget that doesn’t require oiling or greasing or even disassembly of the device. A really maintenance-free set of hound clippers don’t require cleaning, greasing, or even oiling. You need to set your eyes on these products.
- Ergonomic design
If you have a thick-coated or even long-haired mutt, it usually takes time to properly groom it. Or, if you have several mutts at home that you are planning to groom in one sitting, your hands will ache and form blisters for holding the device for an extended period of time. It is for this reason that you will have to check the overall design of the product you’re considering on buying. Try to hold the device in your hand and feel whether it is comfortable or not. The gadget should follow the natural shape created by holding it. There should be no unnecessary pressure points anywhere along the surface of your hand that is in contact with the shears.
- Quality of blades
Have you ever tried trimming your hair with dull shears or perhaps shaved your beard using dull, rusted razors? It’s quite painful, right? The risk of cuts and nicks is increased exponentially with each episode of dulling blades. The same is true with canine shears. A dull blade can cut and injure your mutt, exposing it to inflammation and infection that may prove costly to treat. It is for this reason that you need a device that’s embedded with chemical and rust resistant properties. Not only are you ensuring the safety of your pet, you are also prolonging the life of your gadget.
Equally important are detachable blades. If you can easily replace the blades without necessarily having to go through a very tedious process of disassembly, replacement, and reassembly, then that device would be a great choice. This is especially helpful if you have several breeds of pooches that require different types of blades and attachments.
- Wireless or corded
One of the most interesting features that most newbie dog groomers look for in the best dog clippers is cordless or wireless capabilities. These provide you with versatility in working with pooches wherever you feel like it. These are devices that provide convenience and ease of operation. These can easily work on hard-to-reach areas, too, since there are no wires or cords getting in the way. Unfortunately, there are downsides to it, too. For example, you’d have to charge them more often as their batteries can only last up to 45 minutes, although some can reach up to an hour and a half. If you’re going to groom several pooches at any given time or you’re going to use it more frequently, the batteries will wear out eventually. So, you’d have to replace them. Additionally, some cordless models are simply underpowered or run slower that they cannot efficiently cut through thick or especially challenging coat.
Corded hound clippers are preferred by professional dog groomers as it gives them speed and power to effectively trim their mutts. The only issue is that the cord can really get in the way to the whole process of grooming. Nevertheless, there are gadgets that can keep the cord well out of the way.
While we don’t usually recommend exclusively looking at the brand of dog shears, it is inevitable as those companies that already have proven track record in designing and manufacturing high quality hound trimmers will often be at the top of anyone’s mind. The thing is there are quite a number of well-respected brands that you can always rely on to give you an amazing product. Andis, Wahl, and Oster just some of the well-established brands when it comes to professional dog grooming clippers that are designed specifically for average pet owners.
Benefits of Grooming Your Dog
Having a well-groomed pet dog is not only a great source of pride for you as its owner and master. It can provide a host of amazing benefits for your pooch, too. Here are some of the advantages and benefits of grooming your mutt.
- Prevents and manages skin problems
Matting is a very common concern among pet owners especially those canine breeds with long hair. Matting pulls on the skin, causing pain and discomfort, and leading to a variety of skin problems such as irritation and inflammation. Additionally, by trimming your pet’s coat, you are gaining access to its skin, enabling you to identify the presence of any health problem which would otherwise not be visible with a thick coat. This way, you are able to manage these skin problems a lot better.
- Prevents heat stress
Dogs with double coating can suffer from heat stress. Since air cannot be effectively circulated from the skin towards the outside environment, it gets trapped underneath the thick coat or even the excessive mats. This can lead to heat exhaustion, causing a lot of health problems along the way.
- Improves blood flow
This is closely related to excessive matting where clumps of hair pull on the skin, constricting tissues underneath. This prevents the more efficient flow of blood in these tissues, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients necessary for normal and optimal functioning. Grooming releases the tension exerted by matting on the skin, facilitating an overall improvement in tissue oxygenation and nourishment.
- Helps in the removal and management of pests
If you’re having issues with fleas, ticks, and even mites, trimming or shaving your beloved furry pet can help you visualize these pests a lot better. You can then individually pick them out using tweezers. There are many diseases spread by fleas and ticks including Ehrlichiosis, dermatitis, Bartonellosis, Lyme disease, tapeworm infestation, Rickettsiae, and even meningoencephalitis. You don’t want any of these diseases affecting your pet or even you and members of your family. Part of its eradication is the manual removal of fleas and ticks and other pests from your pet. You can easily do this if your mutt is properly groomed.
- Strengthens or reinforces the special bond you have with your pet
One of the most obvious, and perhaps the most important, benefits of grooming your own pet by yourself is the strengthening of the special bond you have with your mutt. Holding it close to, soothing it before making the trim so it will not be anxious, and giving it some form of treat or reward afterwards can help convey to your dog just how much it means to you. Everyone knows Fidos thrive on social companionship such that they feel happier, more contented, and become well-balanced pooches if they can sense that their owners love them so much. This is one of the reasons why many dog owners simply strive to learn how to properly groom their pets to further strengthen that special relationship they have.
- Facilitates understanding of your pet’s anatomy
While you may not have a degree in veterinary medicine, grooming your hound can open up many opportunities for you to better understand its body, particularly its anatomy. Since grooming doesn’t only entail trimming or cutting your furry pal’s hair but also includes eye-, ear-, nail-, teeth-, and anal- care, you are in a position to understand these body parts of your pet. You can then supplement these with adequate readings from reputable resources.
Trimming your pet’s hair is just one aspect of dog grooming. It also entails taking care of their ears, eyes, paws and nails, teeth, and even their anal sacs so they will achieve optimum health and wellness. Cutting your pooch’s hair can provide you with a host of benefits that range from the promotion of their optimum level of wellness to the prevention of infections, inflammation, heat stress, and even the infestation of pests.
It is therefore, important to know how to choose the correct dog trimmers so you’ll enjoy all of these benefits for your mutt. Noise levels, operating temperatures, speed, ease of maintenance, and the quality of the blades are just some of the factors you’d have to consider when buying a dog shaver. Nevertheless, our 8 best dog grooming clippers should give you a headstart.
Maintaining and Cleaning Your Dog Clippers
Regardless of how technologically-advanced your dog grooming clipper is if you don’t know how to clean it and keep it in its optimum operating condition, you will only be graced with a few months’ use and you’ll already be discarding your unit. While learning how to groom your pet yourself is important, equally important is learning how to clean and maintain your dog clippers.
The good news is that it really is not very difficult since manufacturers already provide very detailed instructions on how to clean and maintain your device. Manufacturers also provide information on replaceable parts as well as compatible parts that can be used on your device.
High-speed clippers should always be lubricated using the correct type of oil. Some products already include a lubricating agent in their package. All you have to do is to apply the oil onto the blades. Remember that the blades are not constructed of wood or plastic. These are made of metal. With each cutting stroke, they generate heat because of friction. Heat can lead to a variety of problems, not to mention possibly injuring your pet through burns. Always keep your blades well-lubricated to minimize friction and keep it operating at optimum levels. Depending on the model of your do clipper, greasing and oiling can be done every 3 or 4 weeks.
Clean the latch and hinge areas free of hair and other debris. You can use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush, vacuum, or even force dryer to remove such things from your dog clipper. Check your unit if it has a replaceable blade drive. Double check also the recommended lifespan of each blade drive. Here’s a hint. Professional dog groomers who have to take care of at least 5 dogs everyday are required to replace the blade drive of their clippers every 4 to 6 weeks. You can do the math to determine when is the most likely time to replace your blade drive.
As for the blade latch and hinge of your clipper, these are ideally replaced every 4 months. However, if it is simply not functioning normally anymore, then you’ have to replace it even though it’s not 4 months yet.
If you’re using corded clippers, make sure to visually inspect the length of the power cord. Check for any sign of damage and replace this as needed. As an added precaution, don’t ever wrap the power cord around the clipper as this can lead to breaks in the wire.
You may also have to check the clippers’ carbon brushes. You may need to check your manual again on how to inspect this part of the dog clipper. Some manufacturers have carbon brushes that need replacement after 3 to 6 months. There are, however, carbon brushes that can last many years. If the carbon brush is not DIY-replaceable, it should always be sent for professional servicing.
Whenever you have to clean the blades always point the clippers downwards. This is to help prevent any cleaning solution to get into the case of the dog clipper where the sensitive electronics and motor are confined.
For cordless dog clippers, regular cleaning with force dryer or vacuum is highly recommended. The connections on both the chargers and the batteries can also be cleaned with a cotton swab.
For pet clippers that come with 5-in-1 blades, frequent cleaning is a must as very little maintenance is needed by such systems.
Make the Experience Enjoyable for Your Pet
Not all dogs love being groomed. The noise of the device plus the vibration and heat generated by the clipper can all make the experience quite traumatic. However, there are certain things you can do to make the grooming experience more enjoyable for your dog.
Ideally, all pets have to be groomed at an early age. For puppies, this should be at age 16 weeks. Always go slow whenever introducing a puppy to something new. Make sure it gets familiarized with all the tools needed for grooming including clippers, combs, brushes, scissors, and even dog grooming tables. Once they’re accustomed to the presence of these things, you can start using these items one at a time. Patience is something that all pet parents must have if they want their young puppies to learn to enjoy the grooming process. Treats and toys always work when it comes to acclimatizing puppies to the experience.
In case your pet is already an adult and this is its first time being groomed, make sure to bring in its toys and treats or anything that can calm it down. By this time, your dog will already have a more or less predictable behavior especially in terms of what it likes the most. It could be its favorite chew toy or interactive toy or perhaps even a really yummy treat. You can think of it as bribing your pet, but it surely works. The whole point is to associate the grooming session with anything that is positive and pleasurable in your dog’s life.
Cesar Milan and the other celebrity pet behaviorists always tell their clients to project a more positive vibe towards their pets. While it is quite difficult to explain just how, there is this prevailing observation that dogs are built with very sensitive mechanisms that allow them to smell fear and anxiety in people. If they sense that you are not confident about grooming them, then they will be very anxious, too. Instead of having fun during grooming sessions, your dog will also be a nervous wreck.
How to Deal with an Anxious Dog When Grooming
There will always be dogs that are overly anxious every time they are placed on dog grooming tables. As always there are ways you can deal with an anxious dog when grooming.
One of the best ways is to expend this nervous energy through more constructive means. You may want to take your dog for a vigorous exercise first to help dispense of the nervous energy. This makes it relatively calmer and more relaxed by the time you get it onto the dog grooming table.
Did you know that your touch is all that your dog needs to feel safe while it is being groomed? The way you touch it actually matters especially when trying to soothe its anxiety. Most dogs become anxious at dog grooming tables because of the sense of uncertainty. But if you can convey your presence through your touch, they will feel more confident and safer, too. So be gentle whenever you’re holding your dog. You may be tempted to exert a firmer grip especially if it’s squirming already. Again, the key here is to have a calm and positive attitude towards grooming and touch your pet in a gentle, reassuring, and soothing manner.
Bringing in your pet’s favorite toys or treats can also help alleviate any anxiety that your pet may have about the session.
Q: Why can’t I use human hair clippers on my dog?
A: Don’t ever get this idea that you can use human hair clippers on your dog. First, their motors are more powerful than dog clippers. More power means more noise and more vibrations. Dogs are especially averse to the noise of hair clippers. The quieter the motor, the safer it is for your pet in terms of not provoking any anxiety attacks. Secondly, the blades of human hair clippers are designed to ‘chop’ more loosely-spaced human hair than pet hair. This makes human clippers largely ineffective when ‘chopping’ off pet hair. Third, human hair clippers have closer brush-blade distance. If you use this on your pet you actually risk cutting your pet’s skin. Fourth, dog clippers always come with attachments designed specifically to work on pet fur. These are different, although they may look the same, from the grooming kits of human hair clippers.
Q: What speed should I use when grooming by dog with clippers
A: The choice of speed of the clipper motor actually depends on the type of coat that your dog has. Technically, if your pet has a single coat or requires only a light trim, then a single-speed clipper should be enough. However, if you have a dog with a double-coat or one with a relatively thick undercoat, you’ll do better with a 2-speed or even 3-speed dog clipper. The idea here is that you’ll need a blade system with speeds of 3000 and upwards to work through mats and tangles on your pet’s coat. If your pet is gifted with downy, never-tangling fur then a lower-speed clipper will do just fine.
Q: Is it safe to groom my dog’s ears, paws, etc.?
A: Provided you know what you’re doing and you’re comfortable grooming your pet’s ears, pas, and other parts of its body, yes you can actually groom these. The whole idea about grooming is not just to produce a neater, cleaner look but also to check for any abnormalities that may exist in your dog. For instance, grooming its ears will allow you to inspect it for any sign of ear infections. Too much hair growing from within your dog’s ears can also facilitate the growth of microorganisms. The same is true with its paws. If the hair is not trimmed off, these will cover your dog’s paw pads. This can reduce the traction between your dog’s paws and the ground. Remember that the paw pads are formed with mini ridges that allow them to grasp onto surfaces so it will not be slippery. Covering these with pet hair increases the risk of injuring your pet.
Q: How old should my puppy be before it gets its first groom?
A: It is important to start grooming your dog while they are still puppies. While most pet parents wait until the 6th month of their pet’s life before they are introduced to grooming sessions, the pup may have already developed certain habits that it can use to associate the grooming with negative things. Ideally, you should start grooming your puppy at 16 weeks of age or roughly 4 months. This should allow them ample time to acclimatize to the feeling of being groomed. This also helps them feel more at ease every time they are set on dog grooming tables.
Our Top Pick
For the best dog clippers it was important for us to identify the best from the two different categories of pet clippers: corded and cordless. While there are systems that offer both corded and cordless functionalities within a single device, we decided to pick the best from each one instead to give a head’s up to those who prefer either a corded device or a cordless type.
For the cordless dog clippers, we were quite lost as to which among the different brands would take home the plum. Sminiker’s Professional Rechargeable Cordless Grooming Clippers look formidable with its extra-quiet and low-vibration motor. Wahl’s Lithium Ion Pro Series was also great especially since it has a 2-hour runtime after only an hour of charging. However, it is Bonve Pet that won our nod. It has a really sleek and elegant profile that is exceptionally ergonomic. Its principal advantage is its low-vibration and low-noise motor at less than 50db. It has a combination of titanium and ceramic blades, too.
For corded clippers, Oster’s A5 would have been formidable, but we find its 4000 SPM maximum to be insufficient. Wahl’ Deluxe U-Clip Pet Clipper has an exceptional 7,200 max SPM, but it is only intended for light to medium coats. After carefully evaluating the pros and cons of each, we picked Andis ProClip because of its compatibility with other blade systems especially with Oster blade systems. It may only have 4,400 max SPM but it is powerful enough to even cut through the densest coats. It is super-quiet, too.
And in case you’re wondering for a combination of corded and cordless design, Wahl’s Home Pet Pro-Series is always a good bet. Its PowerDrive motor and self-sharpening blades plus a 45-minute charge time and runtime make it an ideal product to have. Best of all, its motor and blade systems are designed for heavy-duty use so you can cut and trim your pet regardless of its coat type.