Bone-A-Fide’s yummy smelling sprays don’t just mask odor, they actually help prevent bad smells from developing between baths. Added extracts—like nettle, which acts as an anti-itching agent, and anti-inflammatory calendula—make coats shinier and healthier. If you’re in the market for a new, liquid doggy wash, Bone-A-Fide’s are also some of the best you’ll find.
Before going to work with the blow dryer—ideally a dog-specific style that’s quiet, quick, and just hot enough—towel your dog off to get a headstart. Reach for a style in microfiber, like Soggy Doggy’s Shammy, which is generously sized and about seven times more absorbent than cotton towels. You might even be able to skip the dryer. Sunset readers receive 20% off using code SUNSET20; offer valid through August 1, 2018.
These thoughtfully designed nail clippers have a stop guard that will lessen your chances of cutting into your dog’s quick (the sensitive cuticle area that can be hard to see, especially in pups with dark nails). The product is sharp, so you get the job done faster, and it’ll last for years. Bonus: there’s a nail file in a hidden compartment within the handles.
A Florida dentist developed this user-friendly brush after struggling to find a product that properly cleaned her canine’s teeth. The 360-degree bristle design helps dog parents hit more surfaces in less time, while the finger holder style allows for a more controlled clean. The toothpaste was developed with the help of a vet using human-grade ingredients, and the breath freshener can just be added in small doses to your buddy’s water bowl to keep things fresh.
A good grooming routine starts with diligent fur control. The American-made SleekEZ has a patent steel comb design that removes hair, dirt, and dander from a range of breeds (yes, a large swath of dogs—but also cats, bunnies, and horses). This reduces shedding and keeps coats looking sharp between cleanings.
Though you may be tempted to skip conditioning, the products often have ingredients that go a long way in making your pal’s coat stronger, shinier, and cleaner for longer. To minimize your time in the tub, go for a leave-in conditioner with no additives. We like Fresh Dog’s Coat Oil, which only has two ingredients and is also known to help with dry, itchy skin.
Paw wax is the secret weapon of any dog care kit. Use it to treat dry and cracked paws, protect footsies from hot and cold surfaces, heal wounds, and provide traction on slippery surfaces. We’re partial to Oregon’s Lighting Soft Paws for its commitment to using only natural ingredients and the owner’s extra attention to details like scent and ease of application. Apply the wax before hitting the streets in harsh weather, and pamper pups with nourishing cream at night.
Wondercide’s chemical-free Repel bar not only gets coats squeaky clean, but also has essential oils that detract mosquitoes and ticks. The formula is super sudsy, gentle enough to use regularly, and it has a light scent that’s not overwhelming. And, because the soap is less than two bucks, pup parents don’t feel guilty about calling in an extra bar for themselves.
Aside from a good set of clippers (to buzz of the bulk of your pup’s hair), you’ll want to have a solid pair of dog-specific scissors for removing nasty mats and polishing the area around the face and paws. Regular shears are too sharp and risky for movement-prone hounds. Pet Magasin’s kit comes with two cutters (a longer set for body hair, and a shorter, serrated set for detail work), as well as comfy handles and rounded tips for added safety.