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A Guide to Brushing Your Dog

A Guide to Brushing Your Dog

Regular brushing and combing helps keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy and looking good to achieve full benefits. You will need to brush all the hair and not just the top coat.  Brushing will usually loosen and remove dead hair and stimulates your dog’s skin. Always make sure your dog is secure if on a table with the appropriate grooming aid ie: Happy Strap or comfortable on the floor. Regular brushing can relax the dog and can become a special time to share between owner and pet. A coat free of mats, tangles and dead hair makes the pet feel good. 

Why should you brush your dog?

For any dog, brushing is a necessary part of a healthy grooming routine: it will remove dead hair and skin cells, distribute oils from your dog’s skin, and can also help remove the animal’s seasonal coat.  Regular brushing will help to maintain a knot free coat and prevent mats.

What age should you start to brush your dog?

A puppy can be introduced to brushing from as early age as possible and should be brushed daily, but each session must be a short and pleasant experience. Positively introducing grooming allows the pup to build a nice association with brushes and more.  Let the puppy sit or lie down on his/her side while you brush gently. Brush the hair in the opposite direction of hair growth at first, and then follow by brushing it in the direction of hair growth. Continuously praise your puppy whilst you brush.

How often should you brush your dog?
As often as you can, every couple of days is ideal whatever the length of the coat. Every day maintenance brushing followed by combing is necessary, depending on the coat and the tolerance of the dog.  Dogs with long hair that can mat and tangle are best brushed daily.


Is a brushing routine the same for all dogs?

Depending on the length of the coat but here are a few - There are too many breeds to mention 

Shorter-haired dogs: ie  Boxers, Labs, Greyhounds, and Weimaraners, don’t need to be brushed as frequently since their hair cannot tangle or mat. Brush their coat at least a couple of times a month - with the appropriate brush, not a slicker brush

Curly coated dogs - Bichon Frise, Bedlington, Doodles, Poodles,  Water spaniels and more - 3 times per week minimum

Double coat: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain, Chow Chow, Collie, German Shepherd, Husky, Leonberger, Old English Sheepdog, Pomeranian,  Saint Bernard, Spitz and more - 2 - 3 times per week

  1. Always using a good slicker brush which removes loose hairs from the outer coat and any debris trapped in the under coat
  2. Start from the back of the dog at the lowest point ie lower or upper thigh and work up and forwards, lifting the hair up brush very gently using the grooming rake or pin brush to brush it back into place.
What is line brushing a dog?
Line brushing is a grooming technique can be used on all dogs apart from short haired single coat.  Line brushing is different than just running a dog brush on the top of your dog's coat which does nothing for the undercoat.
It is a time consuming gentle way of untangling their fur whilst brushing out loose hairs from their undercoats.  To line brush, start at the lowest point of the dog ie leg or thigh and work upwards and forwards lifting a portion of the hair to expose the part to brush.  Brush the fur underneath the portion you're holding up, and brush the fur in the direction of growth.
Take a look at the line brush demo by Lia Jayne Henderson below 
Is it better to brush a dog wet or dry?
It is recommended to brush your dog when the coat is dry.  Wet hair can make mats worse and more difficult to remove.
Do dogs like being brushed?
Most dogs enjoy being gently brushing.  Regular brushing your dog will help to strengthen your bond but the most important part of brushing will help to maintain a healthy and clean coat. A dog's brushing needs will depend on the length or hair type.
Can brushes hurt dogs?
No, unless you dig the brush too deep into the dog's skin, or continually brush the same area too many times. In cases of over brushing brush burn can appear but this is in an extreme case and rare. Signs of brush burn include irritated, reddened skin, always contact a vet if in doubt.
What is a slicker dog brush?
Slicker brushes have fine, short wires close together on a flat surface. They are used on medium-to-long-haired or curly-haired dogs to remove mats. Choose the right brush with the correct tension from the website. Slicker brushes are an essential tool to help remove knots, tangles, and even mats if used correctly.  Glide conditioning spray will help with the brushing.

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