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Brushing your small dog on your lap isn’t a difficult chore. What if you need to perform a lengthy trimming session, though? And what about giant breeds? They think they’re lapdogs, but your legs might not agree. Hovering over the floor isn’t ideal. Good thing dog grooming tables exist!
If you take your dog to the groomer, you’ve seen dog grooming tables in action. They’re a necessity for groomers, allowing them to handle dog clients of every breed and size. Take a visit behind-the-scenes at a dog show, and you’ll see even more dog grooming tables scattered around as the show entrants get prepped for their turns around the ring.
What makes these grooming tables so unique? A couple of key features:
- A non-skid surface
- The grooming arm
Most dogs receive a bath before a grooming session. Baths mean slippery feet. The last thing you want is for your dog to slide around on a typical folding table. The non-skid tabletop protects your dog from injury.
Dogs that visit the groomer regularly tend to be pros. They often enjoy the process. Unphased by dog grooming clippers, scissors, combs, and even bows, they’re content to relax on the table without a problem. Other dogs aren’t as calm. They may start at sudden noises or attempt to jump off the table, not realizing how high they’re off the ground. The grooming arm provides an attachment to their collar, keeping them in place on the dog grooming table.
Your dog’s safety is vital in the grooming process. However, the most critical function of a dog grooming table is the elevated height. Tables allow adjustment so you can work on different breeds in comfort. You don’t have to stoop over, putting strain on your back.
Think about it: how long does it take to COMPLETELY brush your dog? If you have a dog with short hair, maybe not that long. (Our Greyhound takes about 10 minutes for a full brushing) What about a dog with long hair? Or a dog with a THICK coat? Blowing out the coat on a Husky can take over AN HOUR!
Dog grooming tables bring your dog to a height that eases that strain. You can also access every part of your dog: belly, legs, face, and feet. No need to twist yourself into a pretzel in the process. You may not have to see your chiropractor as often, but your skeleton will appreciate the difference.
Types of Grooming Tables
Dog grooming tables come in three forms. One isn’t necessarily better than another; it just depends on your preference. The big difference tends to come in price point. If you operate a grooming business, you may prefer one over another. If you’re only brushing or grooming your dog at home, odds are you won’t want to break the bank.
- Foldable Tables: These dog grooming tables resemble a standard folding table. They have a rough stability, and they work great for occasional at-home grooming. They won’t break the bank, but they aren’t adjustable.
- Hydraulic Tables: These tables use a foot-operated hydraulic lift to adjust the table height. They’re a little pricier, but if you’re using a table a few times a week, they’re worth the investment.
- Electric Tables: Also called lift tables, you adjust the height with the flick of a switch or remote control. Professional groomers often have these dog grooming tables in their salons. You’re going to have to spend A LOT on this type of table.
Choosing a Dog Grooming Table
Regardless of the type of dog grooming table you choose, you need to keep some key features in mind. Remember, you’re protecting your back in this endeavor. So while you’re buying the table to keep your dog looking great, you also want YOUR needs in the back of your mind.
- Size: How large is your dog? The table needs to fit your dog’s full LENGTH. Always err on the side of TOO BIG rather than too small. (You don’t want your dog to slide off)
- Weight Limit: Again, you need to think of your dog’s size. All dog grooming tables have a maximum weight they can hold. You might love your chubby canine, but be honest on their size. No one wants the table to collapse.
- Adjustability: Can you move that table, so you don’t tilt your back? The grooming arm on tables adjusts, so your dog will stay comfortable, but you need to feel like your back’s protected, too.
- Portability: If you’re setting up a permanent salon, this may not be a problem. But if you’re brushing your dog at home, odds are you don’t want a dog grooming table stuck in the living room. Foldable legs and ease of storage are essential.
- Ease of Cleaning: This is a grooming table, after all. You’ll get clumps of hair and maybe even mud (or worse) on the surface. That non-skid tabletop needs to wash off without too much trouble.
Introducing Your Dog to a Table
If you rescued a dog that spent frequent time with a groomer, they might have no problem sitting on a dog grooming table. New puppies or dogs that have never seen a groomer might not understand why they’re suddenly allowed ON the table. To take the nerves out of this new grooming process, follow these steps:
- Where you can, start the process as early as possible. Puppies can get groomed at 10-12 weeks of age. If you have a show dog or a high-maintenance dog (such as a Lhasa Apso), the earlier you begin, the better.
- Make the introduction as positive as possible. Place the table flat on the floor and let your dog sit on it without the grooming arm. Offer plenty of dog training treats and praise.
- Repeat the process with the legs. You want your dog to understand the dog grooming table is a happy place.
- Once your dog’s comfortable, attach the grooming arm and connect the loop to your dog. Offer treats and praise.
- If you have a larger dog, get a ramp or stairs to let them access the table. Provide treats to encourage them. (Heavy lifting DOESN’T protect your back)
Always keep the dog grooming table on a stable surface. If it wobbles, your dog will get nervous and try to jump down. And give yourself room to walk completely around. Remember, this is every bit as much about your comfort as theirs.
Best Dog Grooming Tables
You don’t need to be a professional groomer or have a show dog to keep a dog grooming table on-hand. Bad backs are rampant in today’s society (speaking as someone with titanium rods and screws in her spine). Hunching over your dog WILL contribute to any underlying spinal problems you may have. Baby your skeleton and ease that pressure. Your dog will appreciate you NOT hovering over them. You’ll also find yourself doing a better job with the brush or clippers as you’ll have a clearer view of your grooming job.
Polar Aurora offers three different table sizes, allowing you to find one to suit your height: 30-inch, 36-inch, and 46-inch. The largest table holds up to 330 pounds, which should handle even giant breeds without a problem. The adjustable grooming arm lets your dog remain comfortable as you work. The non-skid rubber surface features seven layers of protection above the plywood surface, and it has an anti-static coating that keeps hair from adhering to it, making clean-up a breeze. You also get a handy basket underneath for holding your grooming tools. When you finish, the entire table collapses down for easy storage.
Downsides? Some people struggled with assembling the table. Make sure you read the instructions carefully. The grooming arm is adjustable, but only to 25 inches, which some owners found too short. Consider your needs carefully.
If you have a small breed dog, Master Equipment provides an excellent dog grooming table. Their spinning table features a circular non-skid surface with a diameter of 18 inches. Your dog can sit tight in the center as you turn the table to get every angle. Everything wipes down with ease. The entire table weighs 10 pounds, making it easy to carry around and store out of the way.
The downsides? You have to put this “table” on another surface as it doesn’t come with legs. Also, there’s no way to lock the spinning mechanism, so you’ll need to hold it with one hand (or resign yourself to your dog spinning on their merry-go-round while you work).
Go Pet Club provides a sturdy dog grooming table. The collapsible legs come topped with rubber, non-skid feet that prevent the table from sliding around on hardwood floors. The rounded edges of the table itself feature a raised lip to contain any dripping water. The non-skid surface has a pebbled texture to make your dog feel secure, and it has an anti-static coating to repel hair. The grooming arm clamps onto the table for easy leash-securing.
So what are the downsides? You only have one size for this table (32 inches), so it may end up too low for your back. The clamp doesn’t always grip tightly, so check it before securing your dog.
Yaheetech’s dog grooming table provides a sturdy height of 30 inches. It’ll hold up to 220 pounds, which covers most breeds without a problem. The anti-rust coating holds up against numerous baths and grooming sessions. Rubber feet on the foldable legs provide extra stability and safety. The grooming arm adjusts up to 31 inches, allowing plenty of room and comfort for your dog. You also get the bonus of a mesh basket underneath to hold whatever grooming supplies you want to keep on-hand.
Downsides? Unhappily, the height isn’t adjustable, and some people found it too low. Consider your needs before placing an order. The table’s width is only 18 inches, which some people found too narrow for their dogs. Make sure your dog won’t slide off the sides.
Polar Aurora’s PingKay offering provides the same height options as their heavy-duty table. However, this table’s stainless-steel construction and additional support brackets only support weights up to 250 pounds (not that that’s too shabby!). The rubber surface sports a pebbled texture to give your dog a non-slip surface. The table collapses, and the entire thing only weighs 28 pounds, making it easy to transport.
The downsides? Again, some people struggled with the assembly. Also, the grooming arm presented some problems – keep a close eye on it.
You want your dog to look their best. But not at the cost of your back. You can’t be an awesome dog parent if you’re in traction. Dog grooming tables allow you to handle even a simple brushing without straining your spine. And when you’re finished, they fold out of the way until the next time.
When everyone’s comfortable, the “chore” becomes less so. So put the heating pad away. It’s time to invest in a quality dog grooming table.