Brushing our dog correctly
Your dog – it’s your face as the host. Unkempt dirty animal in bad condition shows you not from the best side. If you want the coat of your dog to glisten and shine, its eyes to be clear and mood to be cheerful you do not have to spend much time. Of course, we are talking about a healthy animal.
Procedures that you have to make for the proper care of the dog, which includes (depending on the dogs’ breed, of course) washing, combing, brushing its teeth, cleaning its ears and eyes, trimming nails and cutting, clipping or trimming its hair is called grooming. Today there are many professional grooming salons, but with the desire, perseverance and practice any dog owner can master this “science”.
Basis of grooming consists of five stages, which are applicable to most breeds. For some breeds of dogs these procedures are all that is needed. These steps include:
- combing / brushing;
- cleaning ears;
- trimming nails.
Combing the hair is the most important stage of the dogs’ grooming, so this procedure we will describe in detail in this article.
For some breeds brushing is done daily, for others few times per week or less often. Some dogs don’t need combing at all and with certain breeds his procedure is strictly prohibited, like with the Komondor or the Puli.
It gives the hair well-groomed appearance, and significantly affects the health of your pet.
Grooming dogs of various breeds require different approaches. Systematic combing the dogs’ hair helps to eliminate dirt, dead hair, dead skin particles and prevents matted hair and tangles. Combing is also carried out in order to improve the ventilation of the skin, to distribute natural oil components. Brushing improves blood circulation and condition of the animal. Proper and regular maintenance will prevent the appearance of parasites, fleas and ticks.
While brushing a dog is pretty easy this procedure still requires certain skills and, of course, tools. Special cosmetics also may be useful. The main tools for combing are:
- brush for dogs;
- rubber glove;
- curry comb;
- rubber brush;
- grooming rake;
- coat untangler;
- soft slicker brush (designed to give hair volume and for combing dead hair);
- dematting comb (comb with blades);
- furminator for dogs (comb with thick rubber handle and steel blade with teeth designed to reduce shedding; it is believed that the efficiency reaches 90%. So, a special blade with teeth removes dead undercoat without damaging the top hair);
- trimming (comb designed for wire-haired dogs. It is used for combing and removing undercoat, cutting spine, which is the long wire hair).
To brushing the dog should be accustomed almost immediately after its arrival to the house (after it gets used to the new environment). When you comb your pet for the first time your movements should not cause any discomfort to the dog, but at the same time be confident and accurate. You can talk to your pet gently while combing or treat something tasty, that is to make sure that with this procedure the animal associates only positive emotions.
The correct choice of combs, brushes and dog brushing technique depends on the type of its hair. Commonly, there are 3 types of hair among dog breeds:
- Short-haired or smooth-haired
Begin brushing the dog with any type of hair (except for the short-haired) from untwining tangles and mats using a sparse comb. Particular attention must be paid to the long hair on the face (with lapdogs and Schnauzers), ears (with Setters and Spaniels) and hind legs (“pants”). To remove matted hairballs you will need a dematting comb, as its teeth have sharp edges that cut a mat, making it possible to untangle.
Then fine-tooth comb will be needed again to brush the hair on the throat, face, ears, behind the ears, on the feet and under the tail. In these places you can cut hair with blunt-ended scissors if the standard does not prohibit (“fringe” terriers and lapdogs must remain untrimmed, because the hair removal leads to impaired vision). After combing you clean the dog with the brush, leading it in the direction of hair growth: from the head through the sides and back to the paws.
Short-haired (smooth-haired) breeds
Grooming a short-haired dog consists of a regular brush (once a week is enough) with natural bristles, rubber brush with pimples instead of cloves or a special mitt for dogs.
Movements should be neat, the rub the dogs’ hair both the wright and the wrong way. This action removes fallen hair and stimulates the skin sebaceous glands resulting the coat to look healthy and shiny. Combing should start from the back then move to the chest, abdomen, legs, and finally the tail. Finally “polish” your pet: rub the dog in the direction of hair growth with a cloth.
For brushing dogs with short hair you will need two kinds of brushes. One of them is with metal teeth, the other looks like a normal comb. The one with metal teeth is used when you need to untangle hair behind the ears or on the feet, and a comb is for brushing the entire dog. Brushing should be carried out from neck to tail and then use a damp cloth to finish the process.
Brushing a long-haired dog is a complex exercise that requires time and skill. To care for your beloved pet you will need soft slicker brushes. They have thin curved ends that may be fully metallic or have plastic caps. It should be mentioned that the use of brushes with plastic ends would make a dogs’ grooming a little more complicated, because the hair will get stuck between the teeth. A slicker with full metal teeth is much easier.
In order not to hurt your pet and not to scratch it you should start brushing the wool from the tip, gradually reaching the roots of the hair. Take small hair locks and move in rows. After combing in such way the whole dog you must brush its hair again, but now with a big comb. Do not forget: if your pet’s coat is very thick, it is necessary to use a comb with rear teeth. Also remember that it is necessary not only to comb the dog’s body, but its legs, ears, neck and tail. A brush or a comb must be cleaned of hair, dandruff and dirt each time. If a mat is found it is necessary to untangle it with hands using a special spray or vegetable oil. If this is not possible, then apply dematting comb. Leaving mats is strictly prohibited as they are stimulating the bacteria growth.
It is worth remembering that you cannot comb the dry hair, it should be slightly moistened with water from a spray or with a special cosmetic product. After combing the need to use a damp cloth directing it in the direction of hair growth to remove dead hair.
Wire-haired dogs’ grooming is the hardest. This coat is thick and short undercoat covered with a long and very stiff hair. Shedding among these dogs is not so intensive, so it is recommended to remove dead hair mechanically. This requires certain skills and special tools (trimmings). Wire-haired dogs often need to be combed out so that their undercoat won’t become longer that the top hair and the dog does not get wet.
For everyday brushing of dogs with stiff hair use a few tools. To remove matted long hair you will need a brush with metal teeth. Bristle brush will also be needed to comb basic short hair. And to add shine to hair will help a suede cloth.