We have to face it. Our dog’s idea of self-care is chewing all the things and then rolling in something stinky. While chewing is beneficial, we can help them do better than covering themselves in Eau De Dead Mole. It’s our responsibility to make sure our dogs meet their emotional and mental needs… and help them stay physically fit.
Self-care is an important part of establishing a routine for your dog. That’s why we’ve put together this list of items we think every dog parent should have on hand. These are our tried and true favorites, and the DFL dogs would agree, these are the dog self-care items they think you should always keep in your cabinet.
Dog Self-Care Essentials
We’ve got so many self-care goodies to share. To check out our full list, click here.
Double-Sided Brush- Grooming isn’t just about staying clean. It’s an important part of bonding with your dog. When dogs groom each other, they’re showing a behavior called Social Grooming. This is how they build trust and show affection. You can mimic this behavior with a thorough brushing. Brushing also distributes the oils through your dog’s coat, increases circulation to the skin, and gets out those pesky loose hairs before they end up on your furniture.
We like the crbn Short Hair Dog Brush. It has plastic bristles on one side and rubber ones on the other. Don’t be fooled by the name, this brush works well on dogs with longer coats as well.
Slicker Brush- Loose hair getting trapped in your dog’s coat can be itchy and uncomfortable. It also leads to mats, big clumps of tangled fur that can even get skin caught in them if they get bad enough. A slicker brush is a tool you need to keep on hand for preventing the discomfort that loose hairs and matting can cause. Slicker brushes have very fine metal bristles on a hard back. These small bristles are closely packed to more effectively remove loose hair.
Our pick is the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. The bristles retract to allow you to clean the brush easily, and the handle has a rubber grip, making it more comfortable, and helping to prevent it from slipping from your hand.
Tick Key- This is an absolutely essential item! If you like to hike, camp, or even just go to the park, you should have a tick key. Ticks aren’t just creepy and gross. They spread diseases that can be debilitating and downright deadly. Ticks love hanging out in shrubs and tall grass, so any trip outside is a chance to come into contact with them. A tick key makes it easier for you to dislodge these grody little blood-suckers from your dog (and from you!) You simply place the opening over the tick, gently pressing down the tick key and slide it slightly forward. This pops out the whole tick, head and all.
When it comes to effectively removing ticks, we like to stick with the original Tick Key. It's been around for years and has been proven effective. It pops onto a key chain easily, so you can always have it handy.
Nail Clippers- Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is more important than you think. Nails that are too long can easily get caught in things and be torn off since they don’t retract. This is extremely painful for your dog and can cause bleeding. Excessively long nails can cause problems walking, which can lead to pain and discomfort. That’s why you need to have a set of dog nail clippers handy. No, your nail clippers won’t do. Dog nail clippers are specially designed to clip dog nails, which are thicker than human nails.
There are two tools we like to have around for canine nail care. Dog Nail Clippers are sturdy and reliable and have a safety stop to prevent over-cutting and nipping the quick. If your dog is resistant to having their nails cut, some dogs are more at ease with having their nails filed down with a small grinding tool. For this, we recommend the JBonest Nail Grinder. It has a light so you can easily see the quick, is cordless, and comes with a bonus set of clippers.
Nose and Paw Balm- Winter weather is brutal on the skin, even for dogs. Chapped noses, dry cracked paw pads, and skin irritation are all side effects of frigid weather. Of course, dry skin, a sunburned nose, and irritated paw pads can happen anytime. That’s why we like to have a soothing balm on hand all the time.
We like the Natural Dog Company ointment. These use natural, organic ingredients, and are safe for all dogs, so no worrying if you have a licker. The powerhouse bundle linked here is a variety pack… and even comes with a balm for skin folds!
Dog Wipes- There are times when your dog needs a quick clean-up… but not a full bath. Or your dog needs a bath, but you have to be out the door in 20 seconds. This is when it’s handy to have cleaning options. For muddy paws, spot cleaning, eye boogers, and rear-end cling-ons, we find it necessary to have a box of dog wipes on hand. Dog wipes are like baby wipes, formulated for a dog’s skin and coat. They make quick cleaning easy so you can stretch the time until bath time a little longer.
We like the Doggy Do Good dog wipes. These wipes are extra soft and are made with bamboo so they’re biodegradable. Best of all, they give a portion of their proceeds to rescues and no-kill shelters.
Dog Bath Bombs- We’ve kept it pretty practical so far, but every self-care kit needs a luxury item. That’s why we like to keep some dog bath bombs on hand. They make bath time a more relaxing experience for you and your dog. Good quality dog bath bombs can be soothing to dry itchy skin.
Our favorite dog bath bombs are from Fido Fizzies. They use dog-safe essential and carrier oils and smell amazing. They even have bath bombs that are made specifically for relaxation, soothing dry skin, and repelling bugs.
If you want to learn more about the importance of self-care for your dog, check out this post.
Do you have any items that are necessary for your dog’s self-care routine? Comment below!