Brushing Your Dog

How to Brush Your Dog,
Brushing Schedule, and
Why Brush Anyway?

The Importance of Brushing Your Dog

Brushing your dog is so important, that if he was in the wild, his pack mates would be doing it with their teeth.

Brushing your dog is both a grooming task, and a health care task. Matted fur and tangled tufts are a health risk that can be prevented and removed through brushing. Brushing primes your dog’s immune system, helps you notice health problems early, and makes your dog more beautiful.

 

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Brushing Your Dog Boosts Skin Health

Brushing your dog does more than catch loose hair before it hits the carpet.

Loose dog hair that’s still in your dog’s coat, is a place where dirt and debris can get uncomfortably close to your dog’s skin. Unwanted visitors such as mites and bacteria also nest in dead tufts of fur.

While you’re brushing your dog, use your fingers to feel the skin for any strange textures that might indicate a skin infection or other health problem.

Matted fur is especially bad news. Brushing your dog regularly, prevents fur from matting. A mat is a patch of fur that seems glued together. It can lead to problems from skin infections, to parasite infestations, and then some. Mats should be removed carefully with scissors or special tools for breaking up mats. Ideally, matting should be prevented by brushing your dog.

Your dog will love to be brushed once he’s used to it. He’ll remember the attention during brushing, and the clean, healthy feeling after. His skin will be stronger and ready to fight diseases – he’ll be cleaner, look better, smell better – that’s a health benefit, too. Some people even like to throw essential oils into the mix, to make brushing time an extra special treat.

Tools You’ll Need for Brushing Your Dog:
Broken Down By Coat Type

Different dog breeds, have different coats. You need different tools for brushing your dog.

Short-Coat Breeds: Brushing Your Dog

The Furminator is a great choice for breezing quickly through brushing your short-coated dog. There are also slicker brushes made for this type of coat.

Double-Coated Breeds: Brushing Your Dog

If your dog is double coated, then you’ll need to remove the undercoat twice a year after it sheds. There is a rake tool made for this job, as well as the Furminator, either of which will help a lot. You’ll also need a comb.

Silky-Coated Breeds: Brushing Your Dog

These breeds will shed much more gradually, since their hair grows long and strong. Pin brushes and combs are the tools for maintaining silky-coated breeds, like Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers.

Wiry-Coated Breeds: Brushing Your Dog

Terriers and other breeds with wiry coats, need some of their hairs plucked out or stripped out. Brushing your dog with a pin brush and a flea comb will suffice, as the flea comb will have fine teeth that pull the dead hairs out. There are also stripping grooming tools that remove dead wiry hair.

Brushing Your Dog: The Right Schedule

This also depends on your dog’s type of coat.

  • Silky coat: Daily
  • Short coat: Weekly
  • Other coats: Every 2-4 days.

Brushing Your Dog: How To Coax a Dog Into Brushing

If your dog hasn’t been brushed or isn’t pleased with being brushed yet, introduce brushing your dog gradually. Use treats and affection to distract him while you stroke his fur a couple times with the brush. Build up a tolerance to the brush, and your dog will soon lay down nicely and allow a full brushing.

If your dog gets antsy before you finish brushing, wear him out beforehand with play time and a walk, and then do the same steps as above.

The key to brushing a dog who resists being brushed, is to coax them into it. If it’s forced on them, they’ll remember that they didn’t like the experience. Zoom Groom rubber brushes and pin brushes feel very good to the dog, so you might use only those until your dog decides he likes being brushed. Like any dog training, you’ll have success after you repeatedly teach the dog that being brushed is a good experience.

Brushing Your Dog: Tips for Brushing Right

  • Pull the brush in the same direction as the hair grows.
  • Avoid touching the skin around the stomach, groin, and underarms.
  • Before you brush tangled fur, try separating it with your fingers or spraying it with a conditioner made for that job. Corn starch is sometimes a good substitute for de-tangling conditioners.
  • Treat mats carefully. If you cut them out, use your fingers or a comb to separate the scissors from the dog’s skin. There are mat breaker combs that can break up the mat, instead of cutting it out.

Brushing your dog on a regular schedule, with the right tools for the job, will keep your dog healthier and more beautiful. And, he’ll love you for it, and you’ll be vacuuming less dog hair each week!

Head back to the dog training portal, or read more about grooming your dog.

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