Most pet experts and veterinarians will stress the importance of keeping matted and tangled fur out of your pet’s coat, which prevents health issues such as thrush, scratches and other skin irritations. Grooming of the pet’s coat is a very important aspect of your pet’s care, and apart from revealing possible external parasites on the skin, such as ticks and fleas, it also establishes a lasting bond between the pet and their owner. Depending on the type of coat your pet has, daily or periodic brushing is necessary to keep the coat free of dirt and also to spread the natural oils throughout the coat.
Preparing to trim your pet’s coat
You will need most of the following items before attempting to trim your pet’s coat.
- Professional grade clippers that runs cool, very silent (less noise or vibration that will not make the pet uncomfortable) during this process – Crown Majestic PRO CP-9000 is recommended for its easy grip and two speed variation. A cordless type clipper may run out of power before the job is completed
- Lubricant or coolant that keeps blades from getting too warm
- Snap-On guides (plastic combs attached to blades for an even trim and also to attain the desirable length of fur), e.g. ½” guide will yield a ½” finish length of fur. Guides also shield the pet’s body against blades if they become hot
- Scissors & Thinning shears – to work around the paws, tail and ears for a neat and tidy look.
- Slicker brush – to remove dead undercoat and matting
- Pin brush – used primarily to finish and fluff a well brushed coat
- Under rake – to remove loose undercoat especially for double coated dogs
- Apron and selected area for easy cleaning of trimmed hair
- Use “Skip Tooth” cutting blades for pets who are matted or have a very thick undercoat near the skin
Additional Blade Specifications and usage
The list below provides you with additional information regarding the various blade numbers and the length of cuts they will achieve, if you elect to use blades directly instead of Snap-on guides.
Blade #3 or #3F – recommended for an approximate ½ “ or 13mm coat length
Blade #4 or # 4F – recommended for an approximate 3/8” or 9.5mm coat length
Blade #5 or #5F – recommended for an approximate ¼ “ or 6mm coat length
Blade #5/8 – *recommended for clipping between the toes and feet
Blade #7 or #7F – recommended for 1/8” or 3.2mm coat length
Blade #7/8 – *recommended for clipping between the toes and feet
Blade #8 1/2 – recommended for an approximate 7/64″ or 2.8mm coat length
Blade #9 – recommended for an approximate 5/64″ or 2mm coat length
Blade #10 – recommended for an approximate 1/16″ or 2mm coat length
Blade #15 – recommended for an approximate 1.2mm coat length
Blade #30 – recommended for an approximate 0.5mm coat length
Blade #40 & #50 – *these are normally used for short surgical cuts
Consideration may be given to the size of blade used during the Summer and Winter seasons.
Usually the best time to start trimming you pet’s coat is at an early age where he/she grows accustomed to the periodic routine. Having said that, you will start off by using the rake to thoroughly take out loose hair and matted fur from the undercoat of the pet’s torso. Then use the slicker brush to remove dead or excessive hair. Please ensure that you are using the right type of brushes for your pet’s coat, since different kinds of brushes are used for different types of coats. Now firmly attach the Snap-On guide – this is important, since if the guide is not properly attached, it will become loose in operation and result in hair gouging. It is recommended that you should start by using the next size above the desired level of cut you hope to attain, to ensure that you are using the clippers artfully and to gauge the actual amount of hair the clipper will take off. Remember…you cannot undo what’s done with hair cutting.
We recommend that you start clipping the under body of the pet’s torso first, moving the clipper in the direction of the hair growth. Cutting against the flow of the hair growth will yield an uneven cut. As you continue to cut, brush away the excess hair that accumulates around the blades. Be sure to turn the machine off before brushing around the blades, since the brush bristles can be caught in the cutting blades. Use the desirable blades or guides for specific areas such as the feet, eyes and tight corners. It should be noted that the areas around the pet’s genitalia, anus, ears and tail should be handled with care, since these are sensitive parts of the pet’s anatomy. Use the scissors and trimming shears to work around these areas for a neat and tidy look. The trimming shears is the most user friendly of the two, since it does not need to be fully compressed to cut – you may use your fore and middle fingers as a guide, when using the scissors in very tight areas. Refrain from cutting too much hair from the pet’s ears and be careful not to nick the leather part of the ears. Finally, the edges around the pet’s paws should be tapered into a neat oval shape. Continue to brush the body occasionally to get rid of all loose clippings.
Cautionary Notes and Equipment Care
- Clean blades requires less sharpening and a longer life span
- Clean and lubricate blades after every use – run clippers while applying lubricant
- If blade gets hot during usage, spray with coolant or simply give the clippers a rest
- Sharpening of blades must always be done by a professional
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