A lot of new pet owners overlook the grooming essentials which come with taking care of a dog. One of those essentials is brushing and combing. Why should you brush and comb your dog’s coat? Just as you probably brush and comb your own hair for hygienic reasons and to preserve the health of your hair, brushing and combing a dog can help to keep your dog’s hair and skin healthy. The reasons go far beyond appearances, so this is an important task to learn how to do. Brushing a dog’s hair loosens up dead hair and removes it, which unburdens healthy, growing hair. It also stimulates your dog’s skin and promotes circulation to keep the skin cells healthy.
Dog Brushing Basics
Before you get started, you’ll need to purchase some grooming supplies for your pet. There are brushes and combs designed specifically for dogs which are best to use. These brushes and combs can handle the unique texture of a dog’s hair. You may need an undercoat rake to remove loose hairs from the undercoat, a mat splitter to get through tangles, clippers if you can’t comb through some of the mats, a shedding tool to remove soft fur when your pet is shedding, a slicker brush for sloughing off dead hair and stimulating your dog’s skin, and a short-toothed comb.
There are several methods for brushing a dog’s coat, but most dogs can be brushed about the same way. Usually you pull the brush against the lay of the fur, and then brush it back down once you’re done. If your dog has corded hair, however, you won’t be able to brush against the grain. That means you’ll have to brush in the direction of the lay and work out the tangles as you go along.
Start out by brushing your dog’s head, very carefully and gently. Since this is a sensitive region you will need to take it easy, especially around the ears and eyes. Then you’ll want to smooth out the hair on your dog’s neck. Next you’ll want to move on to the forelegs if your dog has long hair on the backs, called feathering. This can tangle, but if your dog doesn’t have it, skip it. The belly of your dog should also be brushed very gently, and then you can move on to the sides, back and rear of your pet. You can finish up with the feathering on the hind legs if your dog has any. Dogs with short tails don’t need brushing on their tails, but if your dog’s tail is long, you’ll need to carefully work the tangles out.
So now you know the basics of brushing your dog, and also why it’s important to do so. Remember that if your dog isn’t used to being brushed or combed, it could take a while to get your pet used to the idea. Always be very gentle when you brush or comb so that you don’t hurt your dog.