To help you care for your dog in between grooming appointments, we spoke with one of today’s most in-demand grooming experts, Jess Rona. From her wood-paneled salon in Los Angeles, she regularly gives her Instagram followers a look into her process along with mesmerizing slow-motion videos of freshly groomed canine clients with fur flowing in the wind.
“Hydration is key for a healthy coat,” Rona told The Spruce Pets. “But it starts from the inside out with proper nutrition for your dog based on their size."
Rona is also an ambassador for Hill’s Pet, and knows the importance of feeding each dog, from a mini Maltese to a big Bernese, the right food formulated for their needs and age, from puppyhood to senior.
While a hydrating conditioning spray can help keep your dog’s coat manageable, Rona also recommends keeping a consistent routine, by brushing one small section of your dog a day. Not only does it keep grooming from becoming overwhelming, but also builds a little cuddle time with your dog into your day.
When hydrating and brushing a dog’s coat, Jess encourages everyone to focus on the often-overlooked armpits and belly of their dog. Dogs have more absorption through their skin than people which is why dogs are often given topical treatments. And “never use dish soap or shampoo made for humans, not even baby shampoo,” warns Rona. “These products will strip away the natural oils that your dog’s coat needs.”
Here are some of Jess Rona’s favorite tools and products to help keep your furry friend feeling and looking their best.
Doglyness Spray All Day Lightweight Conditioning Spray
With every spritz, the Doylyness Spray All Day Lightweight Conditioning Spray adds a protective layer to each strand of hair on your dog, adding shine and making it easier for a brush to glide through. The spray is certified organic and vegan by Ecogea.org. And the bottle it comes in is compostable.
Price at time of publish: $44
Hydra Ultra Detangle and Dematting Spray
The Hydra Ultra Detangle and Dematting Spray can be applied to your dog’s dry coat or after a bath when they are wet to help loosen matted and tangled knots. It hydrates and leaves behind a scent made of citrus, peach, jasmine, and amber.
Price at time of publish: $32
Iv San Bernard Atami H270 2-Phase Equalizer Spray
If your dog has a double coat, like Pomeranians and Keeshonds, the Atami H270 spray can deeply penetrate to bring moisture throughout. It’s made with jojoba oil, avocado oil, and bamboo extracts, and can be applied directly to a dry coat before brushing.
Price at time of publish: $26
Chris Christensen Mark VII Curved Slicker Dog Brush
Made with lightweight Beechwood, the Chris Christensen Mark VIII Slicker dog brush can help you keep your dog’s fur tangle free. It has stainless steel pins with polished tips and is designed to be gentle on your dog’s delicate coat.
Price at time of publish: $54
Chris Christensen Big G Coral Slicker Dog Brush
For dogs with thick coats like Poodles, Goldendoodles, and Labradoodles, Jess recommends the Chris Christensen Big G Coral Slicker dog brush. The red handle is made out of rubber for a comfortable grip that can be used in the bath. The soft pins are on a cushioned pad to prevent scratching while passing through tangles and knots.
Price at time of publish: $74
Tiiiinyyy K Pro Slicker Brush
Jess stumbled upon this tiny slicker brush made in Korea at an event and loved it so much that she started carrying it in her shop. It’s five inches long with a wooden handle, and the thin pins are soft and curved to help you carefully detangle your dog.
Price at time of publish: $35
Pawz Waterproof Dog Boots, 12 count
Help protect your dog’s paws in the rain, snow, and heat with Pawz Waterproof Dog Boots. These disposable booties come in a variety of sizes and colors and are made out of biodegradable rubber.
In sunny California, Jess sees a lot of dogs with irritated paw pads from walking on hot asphalt. Some dogs instinctually mask their paw discomfort because it could be perceived as a sign of weakness in the wild, so Jess urges all pawrents to check on their pal’s paws and find boots, a balm, or a dog stroller that their dog enjoys–or will at least tolerate.
Price at time of publish: $13