How to brush your dog

Brushing your pet should be a fun process for you and your dog. Your dog should not be frightened of the brush. Short grooming sessions to begin with are always best. Always rewarding your dog with praises and a treat or letting him chew on a toy while you groom away. Don’t let your dog bite and play with your grooming tools, as it can become a play toy and this is not fun when you are trying to groom your dog and he is trying to eat the brush at the same time. Use a rubber non slip matt for smaller dogs if you need to brush your pet on a bench, always remember never to leave your pet unattended when up high. For the larger breeds a nice brush out on the back lawn would be like heaven for your dog. Not only is he receiving a grooming but in his mind you are paying attention to him in his domain. You no doubt will receive loads of licks for this! And then it becomes a fun and happy event each time you groom your dog.

“The grooming tool depends on the breed of the dog.”

Pick your brush or grooming tool, based on your dog’s breed type and coat. Long haired dogs you can use slicker brush, comb and a pin brush that will painlessly get rid of loose hairs and also get all the way down to the skin. Use a stiff natural-bristle brush for short haired dogs, then a soft-bristle brush to distribute natural oils to the hair. A grooming mitt and furminator for shorter coated breeds is recommended to remove dead hair.

  • Brush down and out, away from the dog’s skin. Always brush in the direction the coat grows; dogs don’t always like to be brushed backwards.
  • Be gentle 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 child’s hair.
  • Choose one side and brush your dog from his head back to his tail. Work with small sections and brush the hair with the direction of growth. Make sure to part the hair down to the skin to prevent matting. Repeat the process on the other side.
  • For curly coated breeds like the poodle and Bichon, you may gently brush up the legs and body to achieve a fluffier look, but always with care and caution
  • A good way to test your brushes, including slicker brushes, is run the brush down your arm, this will give you an indication of the pressure you should be applying to your pet, as slicker brushes come in soft, medium and hard. Each brush has a purpose for each breed.
  • Make sure to brush and comb every area of your dog’s coat every day and mats will not appear again. If you live in damp climates the hair is likely to mat more often than those pets living in drier climates. Also areas such as arm pits, behind ears, rear end feathers and chests are more likely to mat as they receive more friction from petting, scratching. Always be carefull around the eyes, ears, anus and armpit areas and private areas, as a sharp brush can cause a brush rash if used too heavily.
  • If you encounter mats, apply a coat conditioner or mat spray and leave it on for several minutes. Then use a wide-toothed comb or a mat-splitting tool to get through the tangle. Mats can get close to a dog’s skin and removing them can be painful, so proceed carefully. We don’t recommend you cut out mats with scissors, be careful you don’t end up at the vet’s for stitches; it happens more often than you’d think. If you just can’t get a mat out, take your dog to a groomer, who will probably clip the area.

Do you have a special way of caring for your pets that you would like to share with other pet lovers? Why not create your own website with Living Years Pets; an easy to create, affordable and highly engaging website to celebrate your beloved pets. It will allow family, friends and colleagues, from around the world, to communicate and frequently relive precious memories forever.


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