Why should owners brush their dogs frequently? This is needed because brushing your dog helps to remove dirt and debris, as well as distribute healthy skin oils. After grooming, your dog will have a nice, shiny coat, allowing owners to observe the condition of your dog’s skin, and avoid flea or notice an infestation in the early stages.
Types of Dog Brushes
In order to properly groom your beloved dog, you need to have the right tools available for the job. There are many choices available to you for dog grooming, making the task of choosing rather daunting. To help you with your dog grooming supplies, there are four basic types of brushes used for grooming, listed below.
Bristle brushes are the most versatile and can be used on all coat types, making this a great brush for any grooming kit. Perfect as a daily grooming brush, this type of brush varies according to the spacing between bristles and the length of the bristle itself.
When grooming your dog, brushes with short bristles that are close together work best for short hair breeds, while brushes with longer bristles set further apart work best for long hair breeds. Also worthy of mention, the more coarse your dog’s hair, the more stiff those bristles need to be.
Slicker brushes are especially useful for removing mats and tangles from your dog’s coat, leaving a smooth and shiny coat. This kind of brush will normally have short, thin wire bristles that are arranged very close together, which aids in the removal of dead hair from dog’s coat and undercoat.
The Slicker Brush best serves the grooming needs of owners caring for medium and long haired dogs, as well as thin or curly haired dogs. Every grooming kit will benefit from having a Slicker brush but groomers should note that the tight bristles may cause some discomfort to the dog if you yank or pull too aggressively. Instead, owners should be gentle and use smooth strokes when using this type of brush.
Pin brushes will normally have oval heads with wire bristles that are individually sited and embedded into a flexible pad. This type of grooming tools looks very similar to the hair brushes that are commonly used by humans. A great addition to your dog grooming kit, this type of dog brush can be used without discomfort for daily brushings.
Pin brushes are the preferred choice for owners of pets with medium to long hair, long hair and curly or woolly coats. Pin brushes are the most commonly used grooming brushes for daily needs, but owners should begin with a brush that is designed for your dog’s specific coat type. These types are best used to finish off a grooming session.
Rakes are often shaped like a shaving razor, but rather than a blade, the brush features one or two rows of tightly-spaced pins for meticulous dog grooming. This kind of brush is a great source of help when removing tangles and dead undercoat hair by penetrating into dog’s thick clumps of hair that is near the skin.
Designed to care for your pet’s difficult hair grooming issues while causing minimal discomfort, the pins go to work on the dog’s inner and outer layers of undercoat without hurting the skin. Ideally, choose a rake with pins that are the same length as your dog’s hair.
Understanding Types of Dog Hair
Each of the above types of grooming brushes work differently to care for the many different kinds of dog hair that owners must deal with. Knowing the characteristics of your dog’s breed in regards to hair will help you to pick the proper set of dog grooming brushes.
Owners of very short and slick haired dogs such as Boxers, Dobermans, and Dachshunds, should consider using an all-natural bristle brush. Because their coats are often very thick, a rubber grooming mitt and a good steel comb are considered invaluable grooming tools for the very short and slick coat.
Short and smooth coats, such as Chihuahuas, Greyhounds and Bulldogs, can also benefit from the use of a soft to medium bristle brush, so long as the grooming tool offers short, closely spaced bristles. For short, wiry coats such as Terriers, a dog grooming brush with short, firm and closely spaced bristles is considered a wonderful choice.
Medium to Long Hair
If you are the owner of a dog with medium length hair featuring a wavy fur coat such as the Poodle or Labrador Retriever, a wire slicker brush will work well and offer great convenience. If your dog has a medium to long flowing coat, you should use a grooming brush with medium to long soft bristles set widely apart, following with a slicker brush to get rid of mats and tangles.
The best type of brushes for long hair, such as the coat of an Afghan Hound, is a steel-pin brush and a wire slicker. Most dogs that fall into this category will benefit from three different types of grooming brushes to address specific issues that most owners deal with.
Dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers have a thin, soft coat that can benefit greatly from the use a soft slicker brush and a soft wire pins brush during grooming. Dogs with thin, delicate hair requires a brush that can go with and against the coat’s grain, a wire-pin brush for daily issues, and a soft slicker brush to tame those frequent tangles and mattings.
A dog with a thick coat and lots of hair, such as Pomeranian and Shih Tzu breeds, will require the assistance of medium-long, firm bristles that are widely spaced. A rake will be a wise investment for this type hair, ridding the hair of tangles and clumps with minimal discomfort.
Labradoodles, Poodles, and other dogs known to sport thick curly coats may not shed as much as other breeds, but their hair is much harder to brush and groom properly. To properly care for these curly coats, your dog grooming kit should include a curved, fine wire slicker brush and a pins brush.
Important Dog Grooming Tips for Owners
Use a muzzle for aggressive dogs during grooming.
If your dog is aggressive or consistently tries to resist brushing, you should use a muzzle or other restraint. This will help prevent your dog from becoming hurt during grooming.
Ensure that your dog feels safe during grooming sessions.
Choose a non-slippery table or surface, or place some type of cover on the table such as a rubber mat or a towel. This helps ensure that your dog will not slip or fall while you are grooming his hair, and provide an added sense of safety.
Have everything you need within reach before you begin.
Gather everything you will need to groom your dog before you begin such as brushes, combs, nail cutters, and a hair dryer to get ready before putting your dog on the table. This will help make sure your dog will not fall fall down by accident when you leave or turn to pick up other tools.
Develop a good dog grooming habits for your pet.
Owners should introduce the grooming habit to dogs at an early age. Give your dog a reward or treat when he cooperates with your grooming session. Make sure to keep the initial grooming session short and increase the time gradually.
Always clean your dog grooming tools and follow cleaning instructions.
When you are finished with grooming your dog, don’t forget to wash all of your brushes and combs. This will make it more convenient the next time your dog needs to be groomed.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Coat
Always brush away from your dog’s skin, following the hair’s grain.
Begin at the dog’s neck and move down his body, then under to his belly, and on his tail, brushing away from the dog’s skin. Remember, always brush in the direction that the coat grows because dogs don’t like to be brushed backwards.
Always be gentle and patient when grooming your dog.
Be gentle and don’t pull the hairs when you encounter a tangle, or you might damage your dog’s coat by pulling and stretching hairs. Be patient while untangling the hair, being just as careful as if you were combing a child’s hair.
Remove all tangles and mats carefully as you groom your dog.
If there are clumps and matting in your dog’s hair, you can use a coat conditioner or mat spray, leaving it in for several seconds. Then, use a mat-splitting tool to comb through the tangle. If you afraid this might cause pain or hurt your dog, you can take him to a professional groomer, who will carefully remove the mat or shave the area.
Decide on a reasonable grooming schedule for your pet.
If your dog has a smooth, short coat, such as the coat of a Chihuahua, Boxer or Basset Hound, brushing once per week is ideal. For dogs with a short, dense fur that is prone to matting, consider a weekly grooming routine. If your dog has a long, luxurious coat like that of a Yorkshire Terrier, your pet will need daily attention.