Why should you brush your dog’s coat when it’s much easier just to visit the dog groomer once a month?
Regular brushing of your dog’s coat has many benefits besides having a good looking, sweet-smelling companion. Giving your dog regular baths and keeping him or her well groomed, will prevent flea and tick infestations which can cause health problems for both you and your dog. Regular use of the Pet Bath Ultra – Flea Blast brush will leave your pet with a lush coat that smells fresh and clean without the use of products containing chemicals.
Regular brushing removes excess hair from your dog’s coat and cuts down significantly on the amount of hair you need to brush off your furniture, car seats, and clothing. It also helps distribute the natural oils in your dog’s fur and skin. For a truly healthy and shiny coat, use Omega Glo-Coat. Your dog will benefit from this product which is rich in essential fatty acids. Dogs lack the ability to produce needed essential fatty acids on their own and a high quality EFA supplement like Omega Glo-Coat 3/6/9 is essential for superior coat health.
Brushing is also a great way to check your dog’s health. While you brush, look at the condition of its coat. Is the hair matted or tangled? Is it dry or oily? Check for lumps, ticks, fleas, hair mats, cuts, and anything that looks unusual. As your dog ages, you’ll discover a few more bumps and lumps on its body. If you notice that any of these bumps are suddenly growing in size, a trip to your vet for an examination may end up saving your dog’s life.
Depending on your dog’s coat, you’ll need a specific type of brush or a flea comb, available at most pet supply stores. Although dogs are generally capable of keeping their coats neat and clean, they still need your help with brushing which necessitates having opposable thumbs.
The basics of brushing your dog’s coat depends upon the type of coat your dog has. This will determine how often you need to brush its coat and what type of brush you should use.
• Short-haired breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and Greyhounds, don’t need frequent brushing because their hair doesn’t easily mat or become tangled. You should still brush them every couple of weeks to remove loose hairs. With these breeds it’s best to use a rubber brush which will help remove loose hair. If you prefer to use a conventional brush, dogs with short coats can handle a stiff natural-bristle brush which has little bent-metal pins. Finish by using a soft-bristle brush, which helps distribute the hair’s natural oils.
• Short, wiry breeds, such as Dachshunds and Terriers, need a slicker brush, followed by a once-over with a metal comb. A stripping knife, used by dog handlers and dog show exhibitors, is a good choice to remove any dead hair in the undercoat. Be sure to carefully read the instructions before using one for the first time.
• Long-haired breeds, such as Collies and Golden Retrievers, need to be brushed weekly and sometimes more often if the coat becomes tangled. A pin brush works well for breeds with long hair because the bent-wire bristles grip the undercoat of the dog’s hair and remove loose hairs without causing pain to the animal. Start close to the skin and brush away from it. Finish up with a comb to untangle any remaining matted hair.
How to brush your dog
• Brush down and out, away from the dog’s skin. Always brush in the direction the coat grows; dogs don’t like to be brushed backwards.
• When you groom your dog be gentle while brushing or you may damage your dog’s coat by pulling and stretching hairs until they tangle and break. Take the time to untangle any snarls just as you would if your comb got stuck in your own hair.
• If you encounter matted hair, apply a coat conditioner and leave it on for several minutes. Then use a wide-toothed comb to get through the tangle. Be especially careful with matted hairs that are close to a dog’s skin. Removing them can be painful, so proceed carefully. You can cut out matted hair with scissors, but be careful you don’t get too close and cut your dog’s skin. If your dog’s hair is so matted that you cannot remove the tangles or mats, take your dog to a groomer, who will probably shave the area. Some level of skill is called for if your dog’s coat tends to get matted. And if your dog really doesn’t enjoy having you bathe and brush it, experienced groomers are good at sweet-talking almost any dog into relaxing long enough to be bathed and groomed.
Bottom line: Brushing is an essential part of a good grooming routine. Set up a regular schedule to brush your dog’s coat and your pet will stay healthy and look good.