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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in need of some advice for in between grooming maintenance. My little mini schnauzer/shih tzu just got totally groomed....I mean they shaved my baby down to almost nothing. I loved the cute little "fluffy" look....but I'm getting used to the "shaved down" look and she's just as cute now and it will be better for her during hot weather, keeping fleas and other pests off, staying cooler, etc. BUT....my question is for my budget. Grooming costs me $48 and I live on Social Security.

Now that she has all the mats gone and all the hair around her eyes, paws and bottom gone (puppy hair got out of hand), I would like to do some upkeep at home. I can keep the mats out now by getting her used to a comb, brush, etc when her hair starts growing out. BUT, I was going to buy a trimmer (links below) and/or some good shears. I'm now thinking I don't need the trimmer....just the shears to keep the hair from her eyes, toes and bottom. Can you all give me some advice on this. Every penny counts on my budget and I can't afford to pay $48 just for some hair trimming.....$10 for toenails? Yes, I can do that....but let's talk grooming tools, shall we??

Trimmer I was going to buy is "Wahl Stylique Designer Dog Trimmer Slim Pencil Shape".
Link: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Wahl-Stylique-Designer-Dog-Trimmer-Slim-Pencil-Shape/17751601?qty_0=1&registry_id=86203311031&selected_variation_0=17751601&shopFor=true&upc=0004391799513

Shears are "Oster Trim & Shape Grooming Shears with Rounded Tip".
Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047T74SG/ref=gno_cart_title_3

Do I actually need BOTH of these to keep hair trimmed in the necessary places between grooming? I got to thinking I'd only need a good pair of shears to keep all that unwanted hair at bay......plus she may not like the shears (noise).

Any advice here??? Thanks. OH....and the ear cleaning. Do I really need to get "Zymox Ear Cleanser With Bio-Active Enzymes" or are there other ways you all keep your doggie's ears clean and comfortable....plus mite free?
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Zymox-Cleanser-With-Bio-Active-Enzymes/dp/B0014HYCM0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1U95Z30E6JESK&colid=2TFFHLWVIXXPE

Thanks SO much. I've gotten SO much helpful advice here...I always come back when I need advice.
 

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Trimmers are better and safer than shears around the eyes, and you will also be able to use them to keep potty areas clean as well as foot pads. She has to learn to deal with the noise, especially if you arent going to be getting her groomed often, so dont worry about the noise. Teach her how to accept it, as well as combing and brushing so she doesnt get matted and have to be shaved again. There are many different kinds of trimmers, and the Wahl Tidbit would probably suit these needs just fine.
 

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The Stylique is too small and wont cut well for very long. You dont need Zymox or any expensive ear cleaner unless your dog has ear problems. Any basic ear cleaner on a cottonball will work just fine.
 

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Hi, I know exactly what you mean. I have been grooming my dog for the past 3 years and it definitely can be an investment that saves you money on grooming costs for years to come. I use Andis dog clippers for my dog. Their products are state of the art and they continue to update their newest product line. Their customer service is very impressive. I have listed the best features for the ones I use for my current dog and 2 others for 5 more dogs whom I also keep trim for the hotter weather.

Andis 22215 2-Speed Detachable Plus Pet Clipper $117.35 (You save $48.64 29%)

Runs very cool and quiet for sensitive animals
2 Speeds - 2700 spm and 3400 spm
Blade locking mechanism and break resistant housing body
maintenance free

Andis 63970 PowerGroom Detachable-Blade Small-Animal Clipper (I used this clipper for my dog Freckles) $157.38 (You save $25.61 14%)

Best Features
This clipper is extremely light and powerful at a blazing 4500 spm
Lighter weight and power makes grooming very easy
Comes with size 10 CeramicEdge blade and extra blade drive

Andis 22340 AGC 2-Speed Detachable-Blade Small-Animal Clipper $147.88 (You save $32.11 18%)

Best Features
Runs very cool and quiet for sensitive animals
2 Speeds - 2700 spm and 3400 spm
Blade locking mechanism and break resistant housing body
maintenance free

You want to choose the clipper for the size of your dog.

I use the Wahl Stylique Designer Dog Trimmer for trimming around the eyes, ears, backside and paws. I like the slim style of the Wahl Stylique and the way it fits in my hand. After a few trimmings I found the perfect way to hold the tool for the best trim...powerful little gadget.

I haven't used any of the Oster Shears, although, I have heard that they have a very good line of products and get great reviews. I rally like the Andis grooming shears and the Wahl Stylique for trimming and plant on sticking with these.

Hopes this helps!

Irene V.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any basic ear cleaner on a cotton ball will work just fine.
Would you please give me the name of a "basic cleaner"? I gave Missy a bath today for the first time since her "drastic" grooming.....I made it a "fun thing" by filling the tube totally and letting her try to swim. She liked it (sort of). :-D
For her ears, I just wiped them out with a wash cloth. She doesn't mind me washing her ears but she HATES it when I try and touch her feet. That concerns me a bit because she likes (or feels the need....don't know which) to chew on one of her back feet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the helpful hints. However, I can afford the Wahl Stylique, but when we talk of in the $100 range, that just won't fit into my budget. It would have a few months ago but, like a lot of others out there I'm sure.....things go up but income doesn't change. My electric bill has doubled....not trying to "cry in my beer" here....just being honest. She already gets things every month and "mama" hasn't even gotten any new summer clothes.
:-O :-D
 

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R-7 is my favorite, but it doesnt matter the brand if your dog doesnt have ear problems. Anything you can pick up at the petstore or even Walmart. If her ears are pretty clean looking, I would leave them alone altogether.
 

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Here's a recipe for ear cleaner using common household ingredients: http://www.food.com/recipe/dog-ear-cleaner-246507

Also, if your dog is chewing on her foot, she's probably allergic to something. Her feet may be very itchy and sensitive, and made worse by excessive licking. They may also be yeasty after so much licking (do they smell?). What food do you feed her? Tractor supply has a decent store brand food called 4 Health that's inexpensive and better than the grocery store junk.

I also groom my own dog. A good pair of clippers will cost you, but mine paid for themselves after 3 groomings. I have the Andis Ultra Edge 2 speed. The Wahl adjustable blade clippers are also decent and less expensive. You can find grooming videos on Utube to help you. I started grooming my miniature poodle to save money. I had him professionally groomed then just tried to follow the groomer's lines. I also wasn't too proud to ask her what blade to use. Remember: if you mess up, the hair will grow back! I usually have Potsie (the poodle) professionally groomed a couple of times a year to straighten out my mess...

Now that I've adopted Maddie, I'll need to learn how to groom/clip her! She's a westie mix (we think), so her look will be totally different. Right now, she's just fuzzy - lol, but she has the softest hair! When I get paid, I'll take her to my groomer who conveniently has a westie, to see what she can do with her.

One thing that will really help is to brush your dog every day to prevent mats/tangles.
 

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For groomin my Shih Tzu I bought some affordable Andis Clippers to trim her body short and some ball tipped scissors for trimming her face/feet. I dremel her nails when needed. My dog isn't a show dog so I didn't need the most expensive equipment to groom her. The Andis Clippers paid for themselves the 2nd time I trimmed her. For ear cleaning you can just use a 50/50 mixture of alcohol/vinegar once a week. That works better than zymox or any of the expensive stuff from my vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the ear cleaner recipe. I've found that homemade remedies, cleaners, etc. do as well if not better than a lot of store bought products. Example: I had a spot where Missy threw up once and just could NOT get it out. I pulled out my white vinegar and soaked a rag in it, rubbed it well, brushed it with a scrub brush and 'presto'.....it was gone. I don't even know where it was anymore. I was mainly looking for something for her ears for smell....they don't stink, but I just didn't want them to start smelling bad. About her feet....she only chews on one back foot. I feed her "Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula with LifeSource bits" Natural Chicken and Oatmeal Recipe (Small Breed Puppy)....I don't know how much better than that I could get, or if she could be allergic to something in that. No....her feet or foot does not smell.

Koodos on your learning to groom you babies....they are beautiful by the way. :-D

I just began getting Missy used to a brush last night. When she had all her long 'baby hair', she wouldn't let me come close with a comb or brush. We had a time of letting her sniff the brush, chew on it a bit, and me brushing her a little at a time. We'll do that every day until she's comfortable with it. Right now, after her grooming, her hair is no longer than about 1/4 inch.....if that long. It's very close to her skin.....so there's not much to brush. But I won't ever let her get tangled like she did before. Again, thanks for all the tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tip on the clippers. I think I'll wait until next month to put them on my budget list....it will take a while for her hair to grow out again. Also the ear cleaner recipe...sounds perfect AND safe. Missy is a mini schnauzer/shih Tzu mix, and she has the schnauzer look with the fine Shih Tzu hair. Now that I'm getting used to not seeing my "fluffy little scruffy look" on her, I like her shaved down like this....she looks cute this way too....sort of all grown up instead of the puppy look. OH....where did my "baby" go?
:-D
 
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