Are you searching for a way to cut your canine’s coat without making a mess?
You may want to consider adding a Flowbee to your dog grooming toolkit.
A vacuum-based hair cutting system first developed in the 1980s, the Flowbee recently rose in popularity, as many people were forced to get haircuts from home. But while initially designed for human use, the Flowbee may also be helpful for trimming your four-footer’s fur too.
We’ll dive into everything you need to know about these devices below and uncover which types of dogs may benefit from this unique grooming tool.
The Flowbee for Dogs: Key Takeaways
- The Flowbee is a hair-trimming tool that attaches to your vacuum cleaner. You’ll then use the tool to clip your canine’s hair as usual, except that the vacuum will suck up all the hair before it winds up on your floor.
- The Flowbee is technically designed for human use, but it’ll work for most dogs too. The manufacturer even marketed a pet-specific model for a while, but it was essentially identical to the original version.
- The Flowbee is great for dogs with medium-length hair, but it may not work as well for really long-haired pups. We explain some of the breeds that are best-suited for this tool below.
What Is the Flowbee for Dogs?
The Flowbee is essentially a vacuum cleaner attachment with a blade. By running the attachment over your dog’s fur, it sucks the hair in, where a blade trims it to the desired length.
And because it’s attached to a vacuum, there’s no mess left behind. The hair just gets sucked down into the vacuum’s canister, where you can easily dispose of it later.
According to the manufacturer, the Flowbee works with just about any vacuum on the market, as long as has a round hose to which you can attach the device. It also needs to be powered by a motor that can create at least one horsepower (about 700 Watts).
Each system comes with blades ranging in size from ¾- to 1 ½-inches long. Along with the suction blade vacuum, Flowbees also come with oil for blade maintenance.
Unfortunately, the Flowbee’s blades cannot be sharpened, so the manufacturer recommends that users consider replacing the Flowbee haircutting system after about 7 years of use.
The Flowbee weighs only 6 pounds and it doesn’t take up a ton of space, either. So, you could presumably take it on-the-go if you wanted to give your hound a haircut while on vacation.
What’s the Difference Between the Flowbee and the Flowbee for Dogs?
For a period of time, Flowbee offered the Flowbee Pet Hair Cutting System, which was specifically designed for use on four-footers.
However, the pet-specific model wasn’t really that different from the original version — the only difference between the two products was a comb attachment that came with the model designed for pets. Otherwise, it was essentially identical to the original model.
At any rate, it appears that the company has stopped producing the pet-specific version of the product. You can still find the Flowbee Pet Groomer Hair Cutting System on Amazon, but it is not available on Flowbee’s official site.
That being said, the original Flowbee will work just as well for cutting your canine’s hair. You can just use your dog’s grooming brush to help wrangle your doggo’s hair.
Does the Flowbee Actually Work Well for Dogs? Which Dogs Is It Best-Suited For?
Many pet owners found that the Flowbee was great for saving money they’d otherwise spend at the groomers (as well as the time it takes to load Fido up and drive over there). For that matter, most pets seemed to acclimate quickly to the grooming tool with some basic training and encouragement.
But it does not work well for all dogs.
The degree to which the Flowbee works well depends largely on your dog’s coat type, his personality, and your grooming preferences.
For example, if you like to groom your pooch in especially intricate and fancy ways, the Flowbee probably isn’t going to be up to the task. The Flowbee is also going to be a problem for dogs who’re anxious or scared of loud noises.
Additionally, you need to consider your canine’s coat length and thickness.
Generally speaking, the Flowbee seems to work well for dogs with thin to moderately dense coats that are short to medium in terms of length.
It will still cut super thick hair, but you may need to go over some areas multiple times to achieve a consistent coat length.
In other words, the Flowbee may be too loud and scary for a skittish Scottie, and it won’t be very useful for trimming your greyhound’s super-short coat. It may also struggle to cope with the super-thick coat of your Chow, Great Pyrenees, or Bernie.
But if your happy-go-lucky Lab or doodle is pretty confident, and you’re just trying to give him a basic trim, the Flowbee may be a fantastic option. The Flowbee will also work well for short-coated breeds like Yorkshire terriers or schnauzers, as well as medium-coated dogs like cavalier King Charles spaniels and German shepherds.
Also, one quick bit of advice: Flowbee emphasizes that the tool shouldn’t be used on matted fur, so it’s a good idea to get rid of any mats your dog has before starting the haircut (you may even want to pick up a comb designed specifically for dealing with matted dog hair when ordering your Flowbee).
Do Dogs Like the Flowbee?
Not all dogs enjoy the grooming process, so it stands to reason that some pups may be initially wary of the Flowbee. Most four-footers will eventually learn to take the Flowbee in stride, but dogs who’re naturally wary of loud noises or afraid of vacuums, may not ever feel especially enthused about the tool.
You can help smooth things along by giving your pooch plenty of time to acclimate to the device and providing some positive reinforcement.
For starters, put your dog up on the grooming table (if you use one), or establish a good workspace. Then, let your dog sniff the Flowbee before turning it on. And reward him with praise and treats any time he sniffs or interacts with the Flowbee.
Once you think he’s comfortable enough to handle the ruckus, turn on the device. Provide more praise and reward him for any additional positive interaction with the device.
Once you’re both ready, work up to cutting a small section of hair. If he freaks out, slow down, give him plenty of praise and treats, and try again in a few minutes. Eventually, you should be able to give your hound a full haircut.
Also, be sure to keep the grooming process fun and lighthearted. Provide your pooch with plenty of treats and praise as you go, and “throw a party” once you’ve finished trimming his fur.
Flowbee Pros and Cons: Is the Flowbee Worth It?
Are you still unsure whether the Flowbee is a good fit for your furry friend? Here are the major pros and cons of using a Flowbee for your four-footer so that you can make an informed decision for your best buddy.
- Mess-free grooming tool
- Help saves on the cost of grooming over time
- Convenient, lightweight design
- Perfect for pups with short to medium-length coats
- Can be used for human haircuts
- Suction or vacuum noise may not be ideal for some dogs
- Might not be the best pick for dogs with ultra-thick coats
- May be initially expensive for some owners though this can even out over time due to saved grooming expenses
Where Can You Buy the Flowbee?
You can buy the original Flowbee via the company’s site or — more conveniently — on Amazon (the official site seems to have inventory issues at times, but these don’t seem to be a big problem on Amazon).
You can also find the Flowbee for Pets on Amazon, but remember that it is more or less identical to the original, save for the inclusion of the comb attachment.
You can also purchase additional accessories or maintenance parts from the Flowbee site.
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How Do You Use the Flowbee?
Before using the Flowbee, it’s a good idea to brush out your dog’s hair so that it’s easier to cut consistently. You’ll also need to make sure that your dog is well acclimated to the sound and feel of the Flowbee before committing to an entire haircut.
While in use, the Flowbee should be moved in an up and down motion across your dog’s coat in order to ensure that each piece of hair is evenly cut.
Check out the video below to see the Flowbee in action. It provides a pretty good demonstration of the up and down motion you’ll want to use.
Remember that you may have to go over your dog’s coat multiple times in order to get a thorough cut. Also, to ensure that the blades cut cleanly and continue to work well for years, lubricate the blades in between cuts.
The Flowbee may make an excellent grooming tool for your canine companion depending on your dog’s personality, coat, and needs. And because it is a mess-free grooming system, you’ll likely love how convenient it’ll be to cut your canine’s hair.
Have you used a Flowbee before? How do you keep Fido looking his best? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!