Today I'm doing my first product review! It's a product that I've been using for some time. It's the Zoom Groom by Kong. It's a very inexpensive grooming tool at $6.99, that for a while I could only find at PetSmart. I think that Petco has started carying them now though. I was amazed when a friend of mine told me that she used it on her dane and was able to get so much hair off. I originally tried it out on Heffner (we didn't have Bess yet) as a bathing brush. I ended up getting so much hair off of him that I had to stop or else clog the drain! I've been able to get a TON of hair off of both dogs since.
I think the only thing comparable on the market is the Furminator, but there's just no way that I'm willing to spend $45 + on a grooming tool. I've seen other people use it on short haired dogs and I think the Zoom Groom does pretty much the same job for a LOT less money! If you have a long haired dog, the Furminator is definitely more appropriate.
The picture I've included of the hair that I got off of the dogs today is only a small amount of what I got off. It was a little breezy in the back yard and a bunch of it blew away. However, I think you get the idea. The dogs totally LOVE getting brushed with the Zoom Groom too! Once I'm finished currying them I go over them with a finishing brush to get the excess loose hairs off and voila! Starting about now and through the summer I do this once a week and it REALLY helps with the shedding. As a matter of fact, there's hardly any dog hair in the house at all when I keep up with the weekly routine. When I get really neurotic about grooming I do the currying and brushing once a week and then on another day once a week I do what's called stoning. You take a pumice stone and go over the whole dog like you would with a regular brush. This gets rid of any hairs that might be sticking out and keeping the coat from looking sleek and flat. After that you go over the whole dog with a warm shammy to finish them. It REALLY brings a healthy sheen to the coat. I'll probably start doing that again this summer as well.
Brushing your dog regularly regardless of coat length and type is also really good for the hair and skin. The currying and brushing helps to distribute the natural oils throughout the hair and improve the health and look of it. Brushing also helps to clean the hair and skin by removing dirt particles that may not be visible to the naked eye. It can also be seen as a form of massaging with the benefit of stimulating the release of sebum, which is a beneficial skin and coat oil that gets released from the hair follicle. There's also the added benefit of physically inspecting your dogs entire body for any abnormalities or sensitive spots that may indicate a problem. It's little things like this that can help to keep you more in tune with your dogs health and well being!