Is your dog difficult to brush? Does she fight to get away as soon as you start running a comb through her hair? For many dog owners, grooming time can be a nightmare. Maybe you’ve given up and just decided to let your dog’s hair do what it will. Our advice? Don’t give up! There are many benefits to brushing your dog’s hair regularly. Here are some tips to make grooming time easier and more efficient.
Benefits of Brushing Your Dog Regularly
- Cut down on shedding
- Distribute natural oils throughout the fur to keep coat and skin healthy
- Remove dead skin and hair
- Stimulate your dog’s skin
- Become familiar with your dog’s body so you can recognize anything abnormal
- Remove tangles and hair mats
How to Brush Your Dog
First, you’ll need to go to the pet store to pick out the correct kind of brush for your dog’s hair type. According to PetMD, short-haired dogs, such as boxers and beagles, require a bristle brush. Dogs with double textured hair, like huskies, require the combination of a slicker brush and a pin brush. Long-haired dogs, like Afghans, should be brushed with a slicker brush, pin brush, and then a comb. Talk to a breeder or professional groomer if you need help determining what type of brush or brushes are best for your dog. Once you have the correct brushes picked out, it’s time to get started!
To brush your dog, start at one end (either the head or the tail), and then work your way toward the other end. Keep the process the same each time so your dog begins to grow used to it. Follow these steps if you are starting with your dog’s head, or the reverse if you’re starting at the tail. (You’ll achieve very similar results either way.)
- Brush your dog’s head. Make sure you’re very gentle around this area. It can be very sensitive, especially around the ears and eyes. You may need to use a special brush for the face, depending on your dog’s size and hair length. Start at the top of your dog’s head and work your way down to her ears. Be careful if your dog has long hair on her ears. If some of the hair around the ears is matted, try wetting it with a washcloth dipped in hair detangler. If you still can’t get the knot out, you may have to trim it with clippers.
- Begin working your way down, brushing through the hair on your dog’s neck, shoulders, and chest.
- Move onto the front legs. If your dog has long hair on the backs of her legs, comb it carefully. You may have to use a detangler solution or mat splitter if this area is sensitive.
- Next up is your dog’s underbelly. Be gentle; this is another highly sensitive area. If your dog is matted here, don’t pull and force the brush through the matted hair. Work carefully, and if the mat doesn’t come out easily, you may have to clip some hair or take your dog to a professional groomer to deal with the issue.
- Now brush your dog’s sides and back. These areas should be the least sensitive and easiest to brush.
- Brush your pup’s rear end very carefully and gently, and then move onto her hind legs.
- Finish by brushing your dog’s tail (if she has one). You may need to throw in a little detangler.
A few extra tips for brushing your dog:
- If you’re starting out when you’re dog is still a young puppy, begin with shorter brushing sessions in the beginning, and then gradually lengthen them as your puppy grows accustomed to the process. Praise your puppy for good behavior, like when she holds still while you’re brushing.
- Puppies should be brushed daily.
- Most grown dogs should be brushed every couple of days.
- Many dog groomers recommend brushing against the natural lay of the dog’s hair first, and then again in the natural direction. Take note that some dogs with thick, course hair can’t be brushed backward against the natural lay of the fur, however, or it could just become even more tangled than when you began.
There you have it! If you practice and follow all these steps, your dog should come out looking freshly groomed and beautiful.
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