Sunday, September 21, 2008

You don't need an expensive tool...

To brush your dog. Items like the Furminator are a scam. They cost so much money, and there are so many inexpensive ways to groom your pet. The brush I have costed me three dollars at Wal-Mart, and it took me about five minutes of brushing to do all this:


So, before you go waste money on an expensive grooming tool... realize you don't need to. Just a normal brush will suffice. Expensive stripping and grooming tools really aren't necessary unless you show. I even got down to Aero's undercoat with just this REGULAR brush, and it hardly took any effort. You can go to Petsmart and pick out a topcoat brush and an undercoat rake for about a quarter of the price you'd spend on an item like the Furminator and similar commercial brands.

19 comments:

cryslea said...

I respectfully disagree. I tried a good four or 5 brushes (including one similar to what you're showing in that picture), and nothing removes fur from my very-sheddy dog like the Furminator.

Do I need it? No. But it works faster and better for me and my dog.

cherryblossomshiba said...

Heh. I have a furminator. It can't compare to my shedding rake thing.

LegendsLiveOn said...

My dog is a high shedding Chow x Rott x German Shepherd x Wolf hybrid, and he sheds a TON. I don't think it's necessary to get an expensive undercoat rake or stripper if you have the patience to take about ten minutes out of your day to give your dog a thorough brushing.

Barb said...

I certainly agree that you can groom a dog properly with just about any sort of regular brush. I used a $4 shedding blade on my dogs and thought the Furminator was a TOTAL scam and ripoff... until I tried one.
Overpriced - at the time, yes althogh there are "generic" versions available now and you can find even the brand name Furminator at half price on the Internet if you look. But overhyped... believe it or not, it's amazing. It's the only grooming tool I've ever used that A. can really make a dog who is blowing coat look good after just one session, and 2. actually decreases the amount of hair you sweep/vacuum up in your house.

Viatecio said...

I respectfully disagree as well.

We tried a pin brush for our Lab/Golden mix...worked OK, but not much better than a slicker by itself. Tried the rubber curry (like it's used on horses to lift the dirt and loose hair) with slightly better results. Didn't even touch the undercoat rake, because we didn't think about it. Tried the shedding blade, which only cut out a good portion of harsh thicker topcoat without touching the downy undercoat that we would find tumbleweeding in corners.

Then I got a job at a pet retail store where we had a Furminator sale that month, with a free demo on your dog if you wanted...it's worked better than all those tools put together. Thankfully, there are generics out there too that are less expensive, but the general consensus is, if it has a #15 blade with a handle, it does the job.

Now the Mars Coat King...that's way out of my range. Too expensive and I don't need THAT much coat control. Not to mention that I"m not a professional groomer either, so I don't need a lot of grooming tools in my bag of tricks.

Floyd said...

Gotta say I used to agree with you. We have English Setters, a fair number of brushes, and a belief that the brushes and some elbow grease were just as good.

Then I got my Lab mix. He sheds. And sheds. And sheds... and the regular pin or bristle brushes get some of the hair. Slickers don't do much, undercoat rakes are too widely spaced. His coat is more allergenic than the Setters' and I was tired of drifts of dog hair forming in walkways.

I took him in for a bath, and for $4 more, they did a Furminator treatment. Three grocery bags of undercoat came out in 30 minutes while two groomers worked on him while I watched. His skin was not at all irritated the way it was with a hard brushing, and his top coat was still perfectly intact- no broken hairs.

$60 is expensive for a tool, but if it means I can swipe it over my Lab mix for three minutes a day instead of brushing for an hour, it's worth it to me. It's not for everyone, or every dog (the Setters still don't need it), but there are some dogs out there that just don't brush out well.

LegendsLiveOn said...

Hmm, seems a lot of people disagree.

I'm just spotting on the idea that if you don't have to waste a bunch of money on commercial-name coat strippers and rakes, you shouldn't.

It took me five minutes to get all that fur off of him, with that normal brush, and I even hit the undercoat (which is where his Chow comes into play, Lord help me lol). I wouldn't spend money on an item like the Furminator. Not only have I heard so many stories about it being way overhyped for the price, I also experienced that I can groom my dog, and very well, with a normal brush. So far today he hasn't left any little fuzzbuddies around the house, and when I pet him, I get no loose fur.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this post is more of an opinionated one than anything. :)

Viatecio said...

Everyone is opinionated :)

It's just that the Furminator is only one grooming tool in amongst a bunch of others. Think of it like dog training: you have so many tools out there that people will or won't use for various reasons, and whatever they use, if it works cool and if not, then maybe they need to find something that does or ask for help in learning how to use their chosen tool differently.

Not to turn this conversation onto training, just using it as an analogy.

The Bamboo Care Fur Buster is sold in Wal Mart, and from what I've seen, it's basically the Furminator WITH EXCHANGEABLE BLADES (though sold separately; even so, how cool is that?!) for half the price.

PapSett said...

I have never used a Furminator.... since none of my dogs are double-coated, there's really no need to, but I love love LOVE the Mars Coat King for keeping my Gordon Setters' coats in show shape! 5 minutes with a Coat King equals about 2 hours of hand stripping. A miracle tool!!

Graureiter said...

There may be a use for it, but in my opion it is overpriced.

Years ago , a brush and comb was sufficent for my Borzoi and my wife's Golden Retriever. Now, with Italian Greyhounds and retired racers a moist cloth seems to be enough.

Amaocha said...

I think it also depends on the type of coat.
I have an Irish terrier.
Terriers are known for their peculiar coat and undercoats and the Irish has a particularly rough hair. I use a special comb (although it's nothing fancy and was inexpensive) that is made specifically to take out the dead hairs and undercoat that almost inevitably get stuck beneath the coat.

The other dog, a Goldendoodle however is fine with a hair brush or typical basic dog brushes.

Cait said...

Have to agree with the other commenters. It's not that you CAN'T get perfectly nice results with a rake, but OMG the furmianator is SO much faster. I'd rather spend time with my dog playing or training, not de-hairing.

SquirrelGurl said...

I own all of the brushes mentioned in the previous posts... they all have their place. For daily grooming I use the pin brush and get a good deal of hair off of my sheltie. Once or twice a month I go to it with the Mars Coat King- I absolutely LOVE that brush. Beats the Furminator hands down.

I found the Furminator to work the best on my medium haired cat. My sheltie seems to fuss more when I use it, so I quit in favor of the coat king.

It's all in preference. I think its atrocious to spend $250 on a horse blanket when there are perfectly acceptable $50 versions out there that do the same thing. I also have no problems dropping $30 on a dog collar when I could get one for less than $5 at Walmart.

All in priorities I guess!

ladraco said...

I agree completely. I have two brushes, both came from Wal-Mart. A nice double-sided pin and bristle brush and an undercoat rake.

That rake is easier to use than anything else I've tried... it gets rid of so much excess hair that if I haven't brushed Bear (who is a super-fluffy, thick-coated Aussie/Shiba mix) in a while, he feels skinnier when I'm done. And it's pretty fast.

I love that thing!

Then I just do some finishing and sprucing up with the brush. Tada! He's 12 and people still tell me he's beautiful, cute, etc. I sometimes even still get asked if he's full grown yet (he's got such a baby face. ^-^)

may said...

I agree that the cheap brands work quite well, but I haven't found a brush that gives quite as good results as the Furminator. They are ridiculously overpriced though, which I why I bought mine for $8.50 on ebay.

mommyof3 said...

May-thanks for the tip!!! I've been wanting to try out the furminator, but am not willing to shell out big bucks for a grooming tool that I may not need. I'll look on ebay too. I've heard so many good things about it, it's worth a shot to me. We have 2 Basset Hounds, 1 Boxer and a Queensland heeler mix. Our Queenie had medium length wavy hair and sheds like crazy, it would be great to reduce the amount of hair I have to vacuum up. And even though the Bassets and the Boxer are short hair, they shed a ton too, and the short hair is worse, cause it sticks to your clothes more. If it works, it will totally be worth it to me.

LegendsLiveOn said...

MM3- Lol, I had two Basset Hounds before I moved here (4 years ago), and I'm still finding their hairs in our clothes. :P

dooflotchie said...

Lemme tell you all a lil' secret about the Furminator and every other knockoff brand tool just like it...

IT'S A CLIPPER BLADE.

That's it. Really. It's a blade from an electric clipper molded into a plastic handle, and they charge ridiculous amounts of money for something you could make yourself for a fraction of the cost.

You like the Furminator and think it's wonderful? Great. Use it all you want, but don't pay $35 or more for it. Get a #10 clipper blade and wire it to a brush handle, save yourself some money that you could get dog treats or toys with!

caitstclair said...

It's all personal preference I suppose. I went in with my roommate on a Furminator and we LOVED it. It worked AWESOME on her Rottie/Husky mix (although he looks like a German Shepard/Lab) and my Ridgeback mix (with a thicker Lab-type coat). Yeah, it was expensive but when I looked at how much time I saved on sweeping it was so worth it!
Then again, I use a $5 grocery store brush on my mare and am pretty sure there's nothing better...