I always recommend a quality steel comb or slicker brush for dogs. Do not use plastic as these do not move enough hair. I recommend and use a hard slicker brush for dogs with long hair. However, a rubber brush is recommended for short haired breeds such as beagles, pointers etc.
Anal Glands are a glandular sac located on each side of the anus. Groomers perform an external gland expulsion whereas veterinarians perform both external and internal expulsions. If these glands are not expressed your pet can develop impacted anal glands or infection. These must be expressed regularly. A pet can signal anal gland problems by scooting their bottoms across the floor, excessive licking and biting the tail area and circling. If you suspect problems with your pets anal glands see your veterinarian.
Shaving a pets coat requires skill. Shaving down a matted pet requires a tremendous amount of skill and time. It takes considerably more time depending on the intensity of the matts to shave down a matted pet. Time is a key factor in pet grooming. Also the propensity for your pet to be hurt or injured because of the matts is very high. In order to be able to shave off a matted coat, the groomer must get under the matts down to skin level to successfully remove them. This takes time. Groomers charge for their skill and the time it takes to complete a groom.
The vein in the toenail is called a “quick”. Very often the “quick” grows to the length of the toenail and when this is cut it bleeds and it also hurts. If your pet is overdue for a toenail trim or if the nails are very long the best thing to do is to “tip” the nails every two weeks until the desired length is reached. The “quick” will eventually recede and a much shorter toenail length can be accomplished.