How much do you spend every year having your dog’s hair cut?
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If we’re talking about the average dog, experts say he should have a clip, trim or cut at least once every two months, and a dog grooming session ordinarily costs anywhere from $50 to $100. That’s a minimum of $300-600 per year for haircuts that will never have to make an impression on dog show judges, let alone a prospective boss or a hot date.
If you can afford it, it’s money well-spent. A dog with excessively long hair will often suffer skin irritations or infections caused by mats, dander or trapped, shedded fur. Hair that’s too long can hide ticks and fleas from discovery, or cover potential issues like hives, rashes or hot spots – even the telltale lumps of cancer. And of course, too much hair during the summer can cause overheating. Regular clipping is just as important as the less-intimidating brushing you’d normally perform on your dog’s coat, and it’s much less expensive if you do it yourself.
The thought of cutting your dog’s hair can certainly be intimidating, but purchasing a set of the best dog clippers is an investment worth considering. Even if you splurge on the best clippers for dogs that are on the market, it will cost less than half the amount you spend each year on regular grooming appointments. And if you have a shorthaired breed that only needs an occasional touch-up, good dog clippers are even less expensive.
Choosing grooming clippers for dogs requires some forethought. The best dog hair clippers for double-coated breeds like German shepherds, Irish terriers, Yorkies, Saint Bernards and collies, for example, are very different than the ones you’ll need for poodles or Bichon Frises with curly coats that tangle up and knot quickly. You need different types of hair clippers for dogs (and different blades for them) to properly match the properties, length and thickness of your pets’ hair.
You can often find information to help you match your breed to specific clippers on the product packaging, or in the dog grooming clippers reviews published on manufacturers’ websites. Later in this article we’ll be offering our own choices, with our in-depth dog clippers reviews.
First, though, let’s take a look at how dog grooming clippers should be used and what types of clippers you should consider.
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Having the right clippers for your dog is only the first step; you also need to know what to do with them. The best way to learn how to use dog clippers is to schedule a grooming appointment for your pet, and ask the technician to explain the process as she does it.
However, if that’s not feasible or you need some reminders or reassurance, here’s a step-by-step description of how to use dog clippers.
That’s the down-and-dirty on how to use dog clippers, but don’t forget: always keep the blade flat because an angled blade will slip right into your pet’s skin, always keep the blade sharp to avoid painful tugging, and check often to make sure the blade is cool – or you could end up treating some nasty burns.
As we’ve already discussed, when you’re choosing a set of clippers you should first see if they’re recommended for your dog’s breed or type of fur. But what if you have a mixed breed, or are trying to choose between competing models with different features? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here are the most important features of the best dog clippers.
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You can, but you shouldn’t. Clippers made to handle thin human hair are slower and have their teeth set more closely together than on dog clippers. That means when you run a human clipper through your dog’s hair it’s likely to snag or jam, especially if your pet has thick fur. That doesn’t only mean a painful grooming session for your dog, but an unsatisfactory one as well. In a pinch, a human hair clipper will work on a dog with thin hair similar to ours (like a Yorkie), but it’s a much better idea to buy a set of dog grooming clippers made specifically for the purpose.
It would be nearly impossible (without going on for many pages) to list the best dog grooming clippers for every breed, type and size of dog. So we’ve broken our dog clippers reviews into what we think will be more useful categories for most readers.
Wahl dog clippers are high on the short list of brands that define high-quality pet grooming tools, and the versatility of this kit makes it a terrific choice for almost any dog (as well as most cats and other smaller animals). The groomer is lightweight with a strong motor that hits 5500 SPM (strokes per minute), there’s a “5 in 1” adjustable blade that can be set at #9, #10, #15, #30 or #40, plus four snap-on guide combs (#3, #6, #9 and #12). These Wahl dog clippers run quiet and cool for long periods of time, and the kit includes two rechargeable NiMH battery packs so you can simply swap one for the other to have enough run time to groom your pet. The Arco kit is in the middle of the price scale for our reviewed dog clippers, and worth the cost.ORDER IT FROM AMAZON
The Wahl Motion kit is pricier than the Arco, but you get a lot for the money: a full 90 minutes of powerful run time per 60-minute charge, thanks to the lithium-ion battery that drives the Motion at 5500 SPM. These quiet dog clippers are a professional model with the same “5 in 1” adjustable blade (with the same settings) as the Arco, plus six snap-on guide combs of different sizes. There are two terrific additional features as well: constant speed control that keeps the clippers running smoothly even when encountering a thick or matted patch of hair, and a removable scissor-grip handle you can adjust to accommodate different grip styles. There’s a cool LED system showing how much battery charge is left – but there should be more than enough power in the charge to groom any dog.ORDER IT FROM AMAZON
When you think of professional dog grooming clippers, you think of Oster dog clippers. The company developed the modern system of numbering snap-on blades for grooming tools, and offers some of the highest-performance clippers available. The Pro 3000i features a CryogenX #10 detachable blade, handcrafted from high-carbon steel and temperature-hardened for outstanding performance and long-lasting sharpness. The lithium-ion battery lasts as long as two hours per charge, and even though the motor only hits speeds of 3500 SPM it’s a beast. The Pro 3000i is our most expensive option, and you’ll have to purchase additional blades as needed since this is not a kit. The first time you use this Oster, though, you’ll understand exactly how professional dog grooming clippers should perform.ORDER IT FROM AMAZON
These Andis 2-speed dog clippers define heavy duty: corded, heavier and larger than most of the company’s grooming tools. The detachable, chrome-finished UltraEdge #10 blade is housed in a shatterproof housing and can easily be changed out for almost any other blade of your choice (including UltraEdge, CeramicEdge, ShowEdge and Oster A-5s), and the smart design eliminates easily-clogged fans and vents while ensuring that the blade stays cool for long periods at a time. The two selectable speeds on these Andis dog clippers (3400 and 4400 strokes per minute) let you switch between slower detail trimming and faster grooming of large areas, and make these the best dog clippers for thick coats. The long 14-foot power cord makes the work almost as easy as it is with cordless models, at a lower price.ORDER IT FROM AMAZON
A notch down on the price and features scale, this set of Andis clippers for dogs is still a pro-level tool that performs easier grooming tasks in a snap. Like the AGC Super this is a corded clipper with a 14-inch power cord, has the same cool-running design without fans, and comes with the same detachable UltraEdge #10 blade that can be swapped out easily. The AGC motor runs at 2700 SPM – not as powerful as the more impressive models we’ve reviewed, but a strong performer for hair that isn’t overly thick, with the durability and reliability you’d expect from Andis dog grooming clippers.ORDER IT FROM AMAZON
Not everyone has a couple of hundred dollars to spend on grooming tools. These Sminiker clippers are only about 15-20% of the price of the most expensive models we’ve reviewed but do a very good job, particularly on smaller pets. The titanium blade won’t rust, there are four sizes of combs included, and the battery will last more than an hour on a 3-4 hour charge. There are no bells and whistles, but price-conscious dog owners really can’t go wrong with these quality dog clippers at a low price.ORDER IT FROM AMAZON