Brushing Keeps Your Dog Healthy and Happy...Here are a few tips:
With an endless To Do List, brushing your dog may not seem like a priority. But remember all dogs beneﬁt from and usually enjoy regular brushing. There are many reasons to brush. Here are just a few:
Brushing removes loose hairs and dead skin cells.
Brushing removes dirt, debris and external parasites.
Brushing distributes natural skin oils.
Brushing decreases hair that is swallowed.
All cats and many dogs self-groom. The more you
brush out, the less they will swallow.
Before brushing, take a good look at your dog and their coat. Take a damp towel and wipe off any dirt, mud or debris. Do you see any changes? Feel for any burrs and stubborn material particularly around the ears and around the legs. Don’t forget the paws. Take note of any sores or irritated areas. If you don’t see improvement, check with your vet. By being aware of any trouble spots, you can be sensitive to those areas while brushing. Remember to remove the dog’s collar.
How often? The Magic Question
Your dog’s breed has the biggest impact on brushing requirements. Whether looking at your dog’s shedding cycle or length and type of hair, dogs vary in what they need. For example, long or curly coats need daily brushing to keep hair free from tangles and mats while short hair may not require daily attention. However, brushing any coat that sheds cuts the amount of loose hair and dander ﬂying around your home signiﬁcantly.
Brush like a Pro
Have your dog sit and if needed, offer a treat. Acquaint them with the brush by showing and letting them smell. Start with the head and work to the tail. Always brush down and out away from the dog’s skin. Brush in the direction the coat grows. Stop and gently untangle any mats or snags. Never pull hair/fur.
Post Play or Walk
A dog that hasn’t had play time or given a proper walk, may not want to be groomed. After expelling energy and having some fresh air is a wonderful time for your dog to relax and be pampered. It’s also very productive to brush out anything that was picked up outdoors.
Rest & Relax Time
Combing and brushing is a happy bonding time for many dogs and their parents.
Dogs can sense your intent. Brushing should be done when everyone is relaxed. Some dogs even roll over and are belly up after a few minutes of brushing. This is a sign of happiness, trust and submission.
Make it a habit
Plan on brushing as part of your regular care routine. While dogs can get bored, they appreciate knowing what’s next and thrive on routine. By being brushed regularly, for example, after an evening walk, they can come to expect the grooming time. For your dog, it’s not only keeping their coat and skin in ﬁne shape, but gives them a massage that helps promote blood circulation.
A word to rescue dog owners
Dogs that feel anxious or avoid being brushed may have had a bad or traumatic experience. Be patient. Talk to a vet and reintroduce them gently and lovingly back to grooming. It’s easy to be less inclined to brush because they don’t like it, but don’t give up. It’s for their own good and they will enjoy a better life and health as a result.