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grooming

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We’re lucky in that we don’t have to bathe our dogs all that often. Dottie’s grateful for that fact, too, because your girl seriously does not like getting bathed. She doesn’t pitch a fit or anything — she’s actually quite stoic, which honestly makes the whole process even worse. She just stands there in the tub all stiff and weird like she’s just going to melt into a little puddle of dog if we don’t stop the torture.

After the scrubbing and rinsing, though, is when stuff really gets strange. Dottie’s weirdo basset-hound skin literally soaks up and holds the water, and you can grab handfuls of skin and squeeze it out like a sponge. I need video or something. It’s so weird. We use towel after towel, wringing and squeezing, and still her skin is soaked through and through.

So, yeah, we need these super-absorbent microfiber towels.

These poly-blend towels absorb more water (and dry faster) than ordinary cotton towels. I’m not sure exactly how the math works out, but we’re currently using around 32 towels to dry Dottie after a bath, so these would have to be an improvement.

A pack of three microfiber grooming towels is $19.99 at Puplife.

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Kong has a line of shampoos, detanglers, and other grooming products. As in, multicolored bottles shaped like Kongs with little caps on them.

I’m just going to let that marinate as you check out this crummy iPhone photo.

Spotted at Petsmart.

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We have quite a bit of dog hair around our house. (Perhaps I’ve mentioned it before.) As a result, our Dyson gets quite a workout, and I must say I’m impressed with how good a job it does. (I’m getting a little annoyed with Dyson’s commercials, though. What’s Mr. Dyson’s deal, exactly? It’s a vacuum cleaner, guy. The overlord tone is getting old.)

Anyway, Dysons truly are champs at handling dog hair, and now Dyson’s come out with something designed to address the hair problem at its source — that is, while it’s still on your dog. The Dyson Groom is a new tool (vacuum cleaner not included, of course) that you use to literally vacuum your dog. The Dyson Groom sucks the loose hair right off Fido before it has a chance to fly about and land on your floor, your furniture, or your children and friends.

Now, lest you laugh, I have friends who vacuum their dogs (with their standard vacuum attachments), and reportedly (a) it works and (b) the dogs love it. In the case of the Groom, though, $69.99 will buy you that super-special Dyson engineering — including slicker bristles that gently pull and smooth the hair, a spring-loaded trigger and storage mode, one-handed thumb control, and a self-cleaning mechanism.

Depending on your dog’s feelings about the vaccuum cleaner, it may or may not resemble a medieval torture device.

You can learn more about the Dyson Groom at Dyson’s website.

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I moseyed over to PetSmart this weekend to pick up some glucosamine tabs for Ming and Dizz (good enough excuse, right?), but I was secretly hoping I’d finally get to sneak a peek at the new Martha Stewart Pets line. Ever since hearing that the collection would debut in PetSmart this month, I’ve been eager to take a gander at what Sharkey and Francesca’s mom would come up with.

The collection is far bigger than I thought it would be, complete with bowls, feeders, leashes, collars, clothing, beds, grooming tools, and toys. The design is clean, and the colors are pleasing. In my humble opinion, the highlights of the collection? The grooming tote, waste bag dispensers, crocheted squeaky toys, and super-affordable mattress beds.

Martha Stewart Pets is currently available in-store at select PetSmarts but should be available online soon.

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True story: One night Dottie totally pooped her bed. Even truer story: It actually happened twice.

Seriously, though, dogs are dirty. Luckily our pals at Molly Mutt have developed a new line of products to help us control the dirt and stank. Molly Mutt Clean, which launched yesterday, features Wash (a fresh-smelling dog shampoo), Soft (a soothing and detangling conditioner), and Fresh (an odor-fighting dog-bed freshener).

Molly Mutt Clean products get their power from essential oils and natural enzymes rather than nasty chemicals and synthetic perfumes. (In fact, Wash and Soft are the only dog shampoo and conditioner that meet the standards of “natural” set by the Natural Products Association.) Plus, they’re made in the USA and come in recyclable bottles. Just further proof that when it comes to dog products, Molly Mutt knows what’s up.

Fetch Molly Mutt Clean at mollymutt.com.

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My husband serves many valuable purposes around the house, not the least of which is willingly clipping the pups’ nails. It’s not that I’m incapable of the task — it’s just that I’m often consumed with such a fear of hurting them that I freeze up, Hamlet style, whenever the task presents itself. I also have a weird thing about clipping nails in general, those both human and canine — but that’s for another blog altogether, one where I talk about all my crazy, inexplicable hangups but make them seem completely acceptable and justified.

These ergnomically-designed guillotine nail clippers from U-Groom seem like they’d make the job easy enough, especially with a built-in safety guard to prevent over-cutting.

They’re sold out most everywhere online, but I think you can still fetch them from Value Pet Supplies.

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Let me tell you something about living in North Carolina. Last Tuesday, we got six inches of snow. Monday it was in the mid-60s. Our backyard right now? Pretty much a giant mud pit ├á la Woodstock ’94. Every trip out for the pups culminates with a laborious paw-wiping debacle. It’s enjoyable, let me tell you.

As much as I love our old-bath-towel-caked-with-mud routine, I’m wondering if something like these UGroom pet drying gloves would work better. They’re made of super-absorbent microfiber, can be rinsed clean with warm water, and are fast-drying.

‘Cause otherwise I’m ordering some wellies for the pups before April showers set in.

Has anyone out there tried these? Are they the answer to my prayers?

UGroom’s drying gloves are only $9.99 (but sold out!) at PupLife, but I also found them over at Doggie Depot.

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The folks over at Nootie have a simple slogan: “Why not?” Why, they ask, do we bathe our dogs with fancy shampoos and grooming products only to have them smell like, well, dogs?

To answer this question, Nootie offers a line of shampoos and spritzers for pups featuring fragrances we actually use ourselves — like Japanese cherry blossom and cucumber melon. (Mingus, by the way, is totally an Old Spice guy. Or might he *gasp!* be one of those dudes who bathe themselves in Drakkar Noir? *shudder*)

Nootie’s grooming products are soap- and cruelty-free, and their bottles are somethin’ special, too — and not just ’cause of those wicked cute little doggie drawings on them. The top of the bottle dispenses shampoo, while a smaller bottle of spritz (in the same scent) fits neatly into the bottom — for when your pup needs just a little freshening up or has a hot date at the dog park.

Check out Nootie’s shampoos and spritzers here, and find them at a store near you.

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OK, hands down, one of my favorite dog product names: the Tub Nub.

As if the name’s not self-explanatory, the Tub Nub (from FURminator┬«) is a rubber brush you use in the bath to work shampoo into your dog’s coat and give his skin a soothing massage. This definitely looks like it would do a better job at cleaning than my nubs — er, fingers.

TubNub

Fetch the Tub Nub at FetchDog.

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We got a ton of snow last week here in Asheville (in an event that was fondly dubbed on Twitter #avlsnOMG), and Mingus and Dottie were, natch, in heaven. You know what happens to dogs that spend a lot of time roughhousing out in the snow, though? They stink. Giving these beasts a full-on bath during #avlsnOMG wasn’t very feasible, though, as it would be all of, what, like 10 minutes before they’d be right back out in the snow again.

Enter dry dog shampoo. I need this stuff.

You don’t use water. So it’s not a B-A-T-H. You just sprinkle it on and rub it in, and it absorbs grease and dirt and leaves your pup smelling yummy. Brilliant.

Creature Comfort, an Etsy shop based in Milwaukee (where they know all about snow-smelly dogs, I’m sure), offers handmade dry dog shampoo in two yummy formulas, Miss Dandy (lavender vanilla) and Mr. Puppernickel (citrus clove).

creaturecomforts_missdandy

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I like these ’cause the ingredient lists are comprised of all natural stuff: cloves, orange peels, lavender, vanilla bean, oatmeal, corn meal. Sounds like a breakfast muffin.

Fetch Miss Dandy and Mr. Puppernickel here (free shipping throughout the month of December, and 10% to Etsy for Animals!).

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