In this post we share details about the dog clipper we have found that works perfectly on our dogs. We recently purchased a dog clipper that has solved the problem of keeping our dogs groomed while on the road. Unfortunately, we have wasted a lot of time and money along the way. We wanted to share our journey, in case you have been having the same problems. We did end up with good dog clippers that we can recommend!
We tried three different clippers before we found clippers that are just right for keeping our dogs groomed. They turned out to be the Wahl Deluxe Pet Clipper Grooming Kit. Click here to skip ahead to read about the clippers we chose. Or, if you have more time, read about all the adventures we had trying to get the dogs groomed while we were on the road in our RV!
How to Keep Your Dogs Groomed when You Are in Your RV and Far from Home?
One of the many things we did not think of during our planning for our RV adventure was how to have our dogs groomed. We have a 9-year-old Yorkie/Poodle (Billy) and a 6-year-old Maltese/Shih Tzu (Ripley). Both of them need to be groomed every 5 to 6 weeks. Otherwise they look really bad!
Regular grooming was easy when we lived down the road from an excellent groomer. But it is hard to organize when you are only staying in one location for short times. Not to mention that these are small dogs who are extremely timid and vulnerable in the company of larger dogs. It was my mission to make sure I found a well respected groomer who had a facility that would be safe for our little guys.
Ripped off by a Greedy Vet in Crescent City, Northern California
As we headed south on our first big RV adventure, we got all the way to just south of Crescent City before the dogs needed grooming. Unfortunately, we were victimized by a greedy vet in this town. When I booked the grooming appointment I was told that both dogs would need to have a Canine Influenza Vaccination before they could be groomed, and that this was California law. Fair enough, vaccinations are good things. However, the vet would not administer the vaccination without giving our completely healthy dogs a costly and unnecessary examination.
My first inclination was to walk out of the clinic, but we had limited time and no Plan B, so we sucked it up and paid over $200 for each dog for the examination, vaccination, and grooming. The final frustration was that the vet examined each dog without either Joe or I present. So for all we know, there was no examination at all. In any case, there was no need for an exam, as they were both in perfect health.
It is taking all my willpower not to publish the name of this shyster vet, but I was raised better than that.
Bad Business Practice in Palm Springs
By the time another six weeks elapsed we were staying at Catalina Spa RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs, just outside of the Palm Springs area, I was concerned about the price we would pay. However, that was not the issue in Palm Springs. We made an appointment with a recommended groomer, but could not find their business when we took the dogs in. Lots of businesses in Palm Springs are hidden in strange commercial malls that have no storefronts or signage. After 30 minutes of searching, a passerby helped us find the shop. So, we were 30 minutes late, but the groomer was not even there! That was a morning completely wasted.
A few days later I was able to find another groomer who was highly rated. The grooming seemed to go well and the dogs were relatively relaxed when I picked them up. However, the price was pretty high, which I guess is to be expected in Palm Springs.
Once we returned to Canada, our own groomer, Athena in New Westminster, quickly the dogs back into shape, which made me realize how talented she is. The dogs looked great, finally!
Petcetera in El Centro, California
The following Fall we headed south again. We travelled south to El Centro to spend two weeks getting ready for our trip to San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. I decided this time to take the dogs to Petcetra instead of a private groomer. By this time, I had spoken to quite a few dog owners who had used Petcetra with good results. This option was definitely more cost-effective. And I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the cut, the friendly and caring staff, and the consultation before the services.
Dog Grooming in Mexico
In San Felipe, we had a number of grooming options. Our first experience was not good. We were met at the gate of a fenced yard full of barking dogs. There were signs warning us not to enter, and we certainly did not want to! A lovely young woman came out and carried the dogs into the grooming salon. Her English was not good, and our Spanish only slightly better, so it was difficult to communicate what we wanted.
The price was low, but the service took a very long time and we were very stressed out because we did not know what the facility was like. We were very aware of the large barking dogs around the salon, and could not help but worry about the safety of our dogs. The cut was horribly short – basically the dogs had simply been shaved to the skin all over. We had to keep them out of the sun for weeks. So … back to the drawing board.
Dog Groomer in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
A few weeks later I met a woman in a San Felipe market with a beautifully groomed Yorkshire terrier and asked her for the name of her groomer. She advised me she used Bojar, a groomer with a storefront in San Felipe. I was very impressed by Bojar – he was very gentle and caring with the dogs and kept them in locked kennels before and after the grooming. He was very well priced, and the cuts were good. His English was not great, and my Spanish is not great, but we managed to communicate how to cut them and I was happy with the results.
However, there are always stray dogs in Mexico. So, while I was happy that the dogs were in kennels, I was aware that other dogs were in and out of the shop and I knew that my dogs were stressed out. As wonderful as Bojar was, this was not the solution for me. I was just too worried about our dogs.
Dog Groomer on El Dorado Ranch, San Felipe
We then tracked down an American, Gord, who lived in our area of El Dorado Ranch. He has a dog grooming studio in a trailer next to his home. He gave the dogs a complete service – anals, nails, clipping and scissor finish. We were extremely happy with the results, but this was at a US price, so it was pretty expensive for our budget.
I decided at this point that Gord is a good resource for us, but perhaps not for every cut, just because of budget considerations. We decided it was time for me to learn how to groom my dogs myself. I had encountered a number of people on the road who groomed their own dogs. They had told me that it wasn’t too difficult. I decided to purchase my own clippers and give it a try.
Sminiker Professional Hair Clippers – Not Recommended as Dog Clippers, or Even as Human Hair Clippers
The first set I purchased was the Sminiker Professional Hair Clippers, from Amazon. The cutting blades on this unit were not robust enough for either the Poodle or Shih Tzu fur. The unit was also very flimsy, and the on/off switch broke on the first use. That’s what I get for going too cheap!
These clippers turned out to be completely inadequate for grooming our small dogs. In retrospect, to be fair, these clippers are not advertised as appropriate for animal clipping.
Joe then asked me to clip his hair, so we ordered the Philips Norelco All-In-One Trimmer Series 5000, also from Amazon.
These Philips Norelco clippers worked beautifully on Joe. It’s a great set, and even includes a nose hair trimmer, which made Joe happy.
However, when we tried it on the dogs, it just did not work. Apparently a clipper that works well with human hair is not robust enough for dog hair.
We kept those clippers for Joe, but had to look for something else for the dogs. Clearly, if I was going to be successful I would need the right tools for the job.
After careful research I purchased the Wahl Deluxe Pet Clipper Grooming Kit. I used them for the first time this week, giving both Ripley and Billy a full groom.
The results are not perfect, and I definitely need more practice. However, the dogs were not stressed out and I was able to get a large amount of fur off their coats. Neither dog was scalped or wounded in the process. And the clippers are very quiet, so they do not alarm the dogs. It is clearly not their favorite thing to do. However, I feel better having some control over their care and I am happy to be able to keep them in good hygienic condition.
The price I paid for these dog clippers was repaid in full after just one grooming!
I highly recommend using clippers specifically designed for animals. With these Wahl clippers, the noise level is lower and the clippers do not get as hot as conventional clippers. Also, they are robust enough to deal with the relatively coarse dog hair. And they come with a wide range of guards in various sizes, so you can choose the right size for various dog body parts!
The Wahl Deluxe Pet Clipper Grooming Kit had enough battery power to shave both dogs – it was only down one bar by the time I was done.
Good luck with finding the right clippers and keeping your dogs groomed on the road!
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