Clipper Usage Guide for Pet Owners
If you own a dog breed that requires a clipped coat, you may find you need to clip your pet yourself occasionally. Even if you take him to the groomer on a regular basis, it is important to acquire some basic clipping equipment and learn how to use it and care for it appropriately to keep your dog’s coat at its best.
What You Need in Your Basic Clipper Kit
- A pet clipper. Choose one by a quality brand like Andis, Oster or Wahl. A single speed clipper is suitable for most coats, but if your dog has a particularly thick coat you may find the drive of a two-speed clipper useful.
- A #10 blade. These blades are ideal for close clipping or for using with guide combs (which offer a longer clip). Most clippers come ready equipped with a #10 blade, but if not you should certainly invest in one.
- A set of attachment combs. These will allow you to select a variety of cutting lengths quickly and easily without having to invest in additional blades.
- A clipper maintenance kit. This should include clipper cleaner, clipper oil, and clipper coolant. Using these formulas will keep your blades and clipper running efficiently. Groomers have a kit which includes all these products in a useful bundle, available here.
- A slicker brush and medium comb. It is important you only clip the coat once it is free of any knots – these two tools will help remove tangles from most coat types.
Other General Tips and Pointers
- If you use your clippers regularly, you should consider having them serviced approximately once a year to keep them in healthy working order. You should also have your blade(s) sharpened occasional to ensure a good cutting edge.
- Never hang clippers by their power cord, or wrap the cord too tightly around the clipper body.
- Only clip clean, dry hair – this is important for the health of your blades, and will give a better finish too.
- Do not force the clipper through the coat – work at the speed of the clipper.
- Do not switch the clipper off while it is in the hair.
- Ensure you pick the correct attachment comb or blade length for your dog’s coat. Groomers have a number of guides on suitable blade lengths for popular breeds available here, and remember, if in doubt start with a longer length and cut short if necessary. You can always take off more hair after all, but you cannot add hair if the coat is cut too short!