The Importance of Conditioners

The Importance of Conditioners

After giving dogs a great bath, with shampoo chosen to work best on their coat type, should you also use a conditioner? In most cases, the answer is yes. By choosing to follow a thorough wash with a conditioner, you will find that you can accomplish several things:

  • Because shampoo washes away some of the pet’s natural skin oil (sebum), using a conditioner will help protect the skin until the sebum is replaced. 
  • The conditioner smooths the hair shafts’ cuticle, making the hair easier to brush, comb, and style.
  • Using conditioner helps to prevent static. Static can contribute to tangles, and no one wants those! 
  • A good conditioner will help release shedding hair so it can come free of the coat while you dry and brush the pet. 
  • The conditioner will add luster and shine to the coat. 
  • Coats will feel softer and smoother after being treated with a conditioner. 
  • A well-conditioned coat is more resistant to forming mats and tangles. 
  • Depending on the ingredients in the product you choose, it may aid in protecting the coat from environmental damage.  

There are many varieties of products to choose from. Matted, dry, or damaged coats will respond best to a heavy conditioning product; for example, Best Shot Ultra Plenish or Melanie Newman’s Refresh. A lighter conditioner would be more appropriate for coats that will be scissored, such as Poodles. Check out Melanie Newmans Everyday Dog Conditioner.

If the pet you are grooming needs some help with deshedding, choose a product designed just for that, such as FURminator Deshedding Ultra Premium Conditioner
Groomers are raving about Best Shot’s The Maxx. This product can be used as an after-bath spray or added to the final rinse. It helps repel dirt and damaging pollutants, releases shedding fur, reduces frizz, and even cuts drying time. 

Different products are designed to accomplish various grooming goals. It all boils down to the ingredients contained in each product. Knowing which type to choose for which coat type can be confusing. Learn to read ingredient labels and ask other groomers which brands and styles they have had the best experience with. 

After choosing which product is best for each coat type, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on dilution rates and application time. Then rinse well and enjoy the difference a good conditioner makes on the dogs you groom. 


Daryl Conner, MPS Meritus, CMCG has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism.  She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and a lot of animals.