Grooming your dog is one of the many things you can do to ensure your furry buddy stays happy and healthy.
You’ll need to learn more than a few grooming tricks, but among the most important is how to use dog clippers with combs.
We are pet parents ourselves, so we know how demanding it is to take care of a dog.
For this reason, we have prepared this guide to show you exactly how to use dog clippers and their various attachments.
What Are Dog Clipper Combs?
Dog clippers are handy devices that let you cut your dog’s hair with ease, even if they have thick and long hair.
Using clipper combs is the key to make precise and even cuts to the length you want for your dog’s hair to be at.
Depending on the dog clipper kit you get, you might have anywhere between four to six included combs.
Each of them will have a designated length.
If you want to learn how to properly use clippers with combs (along with a few tips for successfully grooming your dog), pay close attention to this.
Why Use Dog Clippers With Combs?
One of the main reasons why dog owners use clippers with combs is to save money.
While dog groomers mean well, some charge prices that might be a little high for our liking.
Then, there are also pet parents who don’t trust anyone else to groom their dog (and rightfully so) and prefer to just do it themselves.
The thing is, you may be a complete novice at grooming your dog.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a pro at it to make your four-legged friend look good.
The not-so-great news is that you might have some anxieties about possibly hurting them due to inexperience.
Thankfully, this is where clipper combs come in to play.
These combs not only do an excellent job in making sure the hair is cut to the desired length, but they also prevent any accidental nicks and cuts.
For those reasons, we highly recommend newbies to use them. If you are new to pet parenting, this detailed guide will be your best friend.
The last thing you want to do is hurt your dog unintentionally while trying to cut their hair, especially when it’s all knotted and matted.
This is why it pays to be informed of the proper practices and techniques for clipping dog hair.
Are All Clipper Combs The Same?
While this may sound a little confusing, not all clipper combs are the same. They come in different sizes and vary from one brand to the next.
Some combs are made especially for dogs that have thick hair.
One of the things that may be the same is that they snap onto the electric razor with ease.
Not to mention, they are made from durable materials, so they don’t snap off.
For your dog’s safety and comfort (and yours!), the more durable they are, the better.
Another thing that may be the same is that these combs are comfortable.
They likely won’t irritate the dog’s skin in the slightest, and it will make the whole cutting process a whole lot easier.
Compared to using clippers without the combs, the cutting won’t be as graceful.
This is because, when using regular clippers, you might be worried about accidentally injuring the dog.
This becomes an even bigger problem if your dog has a habit of moving all of a sudden when being groomed.
Plus, you’ll have a real hard time with the tangles and mattes.
If you are dealing with tangles and mattes without using a comb, there’s a really good chance that you may come in contact with the skin.
Regardless of which brand you use, these combs will come through in the clutch, especially when dealing with hair that’s not easy to cut.
If you are looking for a few go-to brands, Oster and Wahl are two that come to mind.
They have reliable dog clippers with a set of combs that are durable, precise, and easy to use. On top of that, they are actually very comfortable for dogs.
How To Use Dog Clippers With Combs
Now that we’ve covered our bases on why you should use combs with your dog clippers, we’ll show you step by step how you can put them to fair use.
You might be reading this while trying to groom your dog. In this case, read carefully and follow along.
Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Oil the blades.
If you want your blades to cut well, the best course of action would be to oil the blades first.
The main reason you should do this is to prevent any kind of friction between the blade and your dog’s skin.
Believe it or not, oiling the blades first also reduces the likelihood of pet dander building up in your blades.
A small drop or two of blade oil will lubricate the blades nicely. Make sure that you also oil the hinges, as well.
Once you’ve covered almost every inch, that should be enough to achieve a clean and smooth shave.
Step 2: Choose a comb.
While there are multiple combs to choose from, it might not be easy to find one that is the perfect size (or hair length).
Do you want your dog's hair to be short and close? The clear option would be to go with the smaller combs like the ⅛- or ¼-inch.
As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that the larger the comb, the longer the hair will be.
If you have a Yorkshire terrier with longer hair but want to shorten the strands at least half the length, go with the bigger combs (¾- or one-inch).
That may be better for your dog rather than cutting it too short to where they don’t have those flowing locks.
Step 3: Cut slowly.
This is probably the most crucial step you’ll want to follow.
When beginning your cuts, you want to be slow but steady.
Making fast, sudden cuts will make the dog more uncomfortable, causing them to make sudden movements.
Also, cutting too fast will lead to leaving “lines” behind.
Do you want a good clean cut, or do you want to make accidental cornrow hair?
It’s best to take your time and not rush. After all, the best works of art are done when done right and when you concentrate.
Step 4: Go in the right direction.
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Depending on which part of the dog you are shaving, you’ll notice that its hair goes in different directions.
That’s why it’s essential to pay close attention to the direction that your dog’s hair is going in.
Go with the grain, not against it. Seems simple enough, right?
All you have to do at this point is to keep cutting until you’re satisfied with your dog’s hair length.
Step 5: Change the blades if you need to.
When clipping your dog’s hair, one of the things that can happen is the blades can get a little too hot.
For this reason, you should change the blades to ensure that you don’t leave accidental burns on your dog’s skin.
This is more likely to happen when grooming a dog with a thicker coat.
Set aside the hot blade for a bit to cool it down.
The best way to do that is to place it on a cookie sheet and let it sit for a while. Cookie sheets absorb heat and do so reasonably quickly.
Now that you have a step-by-step guide on how to use dog clippers with combs, we’ll wrap up with a few additional tips.
These are important to follow to achieve the best results now and in the future.
Keep the combs clean.
After every use, make sure your combs are cleaned before storing them away.
Wipe off any excess hair, dander, and everything else.
Failure to do so will turn your combs into a hotbed for bacteria, which can spell a lot of trouble for your dog.
The sooner you start, the better.
Not every dog is going to receive the grooming with a warm welcome, especially when it’s done for the first time beyond their puppy years.
As such, it would make a lot of sense to start grooming them when they are a puppy.
The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be when they get older.
They’ll be so used to the process that they will be very comfortable (not to mention more cooperative) during grooming sessions.
It’s easy to use dog clippers with combs, especially when you have a guide that lays it all out for you.
Also, the additional tips will help you make every grooming session with your dog more comfortable.
Doing the job yourself has a lot of rewards, but not without a few manageable risks.
Though it may seem tough at first, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to get the job done without having to do any kind of professional tricks.
Your dog will love his or her new style every time you use a good pair of clippers with combs.
It all comes down to finding the right kind of clippers and knowing the coat of your dog’s breed so that those clippers work effectively.