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Grooming & Wellbeing

How to Brush a Dog

Charlotte of Pooches PawsBefore brushing a dog it is important to know you have the right brush, here is a simple break down for the most common brushes you can find online and in pet shops today:

Soft Bristle Brush

These brushes can be used on many different types of coats. It is important to note that the wider apart the bristles of the brush, the longer and thicker the dog coat it is designed to work with. This will ensure the brush goes through the whole coat thoroughly. The smaller  closer compact bristles are for shorter haired dogs and is great to use on the face and head as you can be sure the soft bristles will not irritate the skin.

Wire Pin Brush

These dog brushes work well on dogs with medium to long hair or those with curly or wire coats.

Slicker Brush

A slicker brush is used to take out mats and tangles .They are also great for dogs with a thicker or moulting coat, as the way the bristles are angled it will pull the dead hair away.

Undercoat Rake

An undercoat rake is a must for dogs with a double-coat (undercoat) such as Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers and many medium to large breed dogs. It removes all the dead moulting hair with ease to decrease the amount of moulting hair and to help prevent the hair from matting.

Furminator & Moult Master

These are not technically brushes but are becoming increasingly popular with dog owners today. They work in a way very similar to the undercoat rake but have also been specially made to not only help the thicker coats but also help sort out moulting hair with the thinner and shorter haired dogs. The blades are specially formulated to lift and remove the moulting hair out of the coat keeping things simple and tidy.

Standard Comb

Useful for combing out hair after detangling and to prevent tangling in longer haired dogs.  There’s also a flea comb that has tightly spaced teeth to take care of flea problems.

When it comes to brushing, especially dogs with longer and thicker coats, it is important to part the hair in small sections as you go along the body, and brush in the direction of the way the hair grows, this is so you reach the skin to ensure you have brushed all the undercoat and top coat. It is often easier to start from the tail and work your way to the head as many dogs will find the head the most uncomfortable. It is very important to remember to also brush under the legs, armpits and lower stomach, these are common areas that are often missed and are often matted.

There are many reasons as to why you should brush your dog on a regular basis besides good hygiene. The main reason is to stop any knots and tangles becoming increasingly worse and forming into matts. These can damage not only your dog's coat but also irritate the skin as the matted hair will stop regular air flow reaching the surface area of his or her skin.

Brushing also helps keep your dog’s coat clean and healthy and minimises shedding. Consistent dog brushing also allows you to check for cuts, bumps, or other skin problems that may need attention. We all know some dogs are prone to knots and tangles even if brushed regularly, there are some great anti tangle sprays and shampoos on the market today such as Animalogy’s Knot Sure which is a spray that can help prevent knots from forming in the first place and can help any knots that are already within the coat making them easier to brush out without the need for scissors!

Finally, A great tip to ensure you're putting enough pressure onto the coat without harming your dog while brushing is using your forearm. Practice brushing along your arm, does it tickle? Then you need just a little bit more pressure to ensure your brushing the entire coat and not just the top coat. Secondly are you making scratch lines along your arm? If so then you need to lower the amount of pressure you are making, you need just enough to be sure your reaching all the hair but not too much that you are going to harm your dog.

 

Charlotte Rose Stanton

Charlotte owns and runs Pooches Paws, a dog grooming and pet care company based in Sussex. Charlotte's life-long dream has always been to work with animals. She has a Diploma in Advanced Care of Canines and Felines. She also trained with a trusted ABTD School of Dog Training & Behaviour. Charlotte has a rather interesting range of pets, including two cheeky Chinchillas and some very spoilt mice and degus. She also has three gorgeous dogs. Visit Pooches Paws or Charlotte's Google+ profile to find out more.

Charlotte Rose Stanton

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