Benefits to Brushing Your Dog
Regular (recommended daily) brushing helps keep your dog's coat healthy. Brushing regularly prevents matting which can be painful to your pup and lead to irritations and skin infections. Other important reasons to brush include to remove loose hair (help with shedding), to keep an eye on your pup's skin (to check for lumps, bumps, spots, fleas, ticks, etc.), to stimulate healthy oil production by redistributing the natural oils in your dog's coat, etc. The type of coat that your dog has will determine how often and what type of brush to use.
Proper Brushing Techniques
- Brush down and out, away from the dog's skin. Always brush in the direction the hair grows; dogs don't like to be brushed backwards
- Be gentle or you may damage your dog's coat by pulling and stretching hairs until they tangle or break
- If you encounter mats, apply a coat conditioner or mat spray then use a wide toothed comb to get through the tangle. Mat's can get close to the dog's skin and are often painful to remove - if you think your dog is in pain, it's probably time to take them to the groomer to have them remove the mats
Slicker Brush - This type of brush works with all coat types. It has a flat or curved head with rows of thin wire pins, which remove loose fur and help detangle. Longer-haired dogs are more likely to develop mats, which these brushes are good for. They are used on many breeds, including but not limited to, Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and St. Bernards. Short wiry breeds, such as Dachshunds and most terriers will also use a slicker brush.
Rake - Rakes are brushes designed to penetrate into a dog's thick coat and remove tangles and dead undercoat near the dog's skin. They are intended to be used with minimal pressure. Rakes should be used on thick-haired dogs including German Shepherds, Malamutes, Chow Chows, etc.
Poodle Combs - Poodle combs, as you guessed it, are for poodles and doodles. These combs are ideal for tangles and mats. Poodles and doodles or anything with similar hair type and texture will need to be combed or brushed with a slicker brush daily (or any time they get wet from rain, baths, etc.)
Greyhound Comb - Despite this one's name, this comb is for any long haired or drop coated dog such as a Pomeranian, Shihtzu, Maltese, etc.
Rubber Curry Brush - These brushes are recommended for short-haired breeds, intended to remove dead hair, dirt, and debris. It massages and stimulated the hair follicles and distributes natural oils and gives the coat a nice sheen. These can be used in the bath or outside of the bath. There are many different versions, but the one featured in the photo is the ZoomGroom. Ideal for breeds such as Pugs, Chihuahuas, Beagles, Dalmatians, Hounds, Boxers, Great Danes, etc.
Furminator - The Furminator is a deshedding tool that reaches beneath the dog's topcoat to remove undercoat and loose hair. This brush is made for long and short-haired dogs. Do not use this brush if your dog is matted.