Brushing your pet may not always be the easiest task but it’s an essential element of caring for your dog. There are several reasons why you should brush your dog. Not only does it get rid of mats and tangles, but it also keeps their coat looking beautiful and vibrant, lubricating and massaging the skin by activating the natural oils. Another advantage is that pet hair will be kept away from your furniture and clothing.
However, it isn’t always as easy as you might think to choose a brush for your dog. Different breeds have different types of coat and therefore require different brushes. If you imagine the difference between the coat of a German Shepherd and a Poodle, you can imagine why choosing different types of brush is so important.
If you get the brush type right, it’s likely your pet will grow to love their grooming session. If your dog is reluctant to be brushed and appears to be uncomfortable or in pain, it’s possible that you’re using an incorrect brush. When you get the choice right, your dog will usually sit happily for their grooming session.
There are 4 main dog brush types – pin brushes, bristle brushes, rakes and slicker brushes. Let’s take a look at when you should use each.
The Slicker Brush
You’ll recognize a slicker brush by its short, fine wires which are located close together across a flat brush surface. These brushes are best used on curly-hair, long-haired or medium-haired dogs and are great for removing mats. There are lots of slicker brush varieties available for purchase today, however choosing on in the right size and which has a flexible handle will make grooming your pet easier. The slicker brush is a good choice for lots of different breeds including St Bernards, Cocker Spaniels, Yorkshire Terriers and Golden Retrievers. Since dogs with longer hair are prone to developing mats, you’ll need an effective way to remove them and the slicker brush is the perfect solution. Remember, however, that the tightly spaced, fine wires could cause pain for your pet if you use too much pressure.
A rake brush is designed to penetrate deeply into the thick coat of your pet to remove the dead undercoat and tangles close to the surface of the skin. Frequently shaped similarly to a shaving razor, they have a couple of rows of pins which are tightly spaced. Similar to a razor, you should only use them with light pressure and they are only really suitable for use on dogs with very thick hair like Chow Chows, Malamutes and German Shepherds. Rakes are effective in removing the dead undercoat which builds up when your dog is shedding and are also useful for trapping debris. When choosing the right rake for your pet, look for one which has pins that are roughly matching the hair length of your dog. A rake which is too short is going to miss the undercoat’s inner layer, but if you choose one that is too long, skin irritation could occur. View this page to find out more about choosing the right rake for your dog.
The Bristle Brush
Bristle brushes are perfect for use on smooth-coated and short-haired dogs which shed frequently. With their tightly packed clusters of natural bristles, these brushes can remove any loose hairs while stimulating the skin. Pugs, Jack Russells, Boston Terriers and Italian Greyhounds are all suitable breeds for this type of brush.
A pin brush will look very similar to a human hairbrush. Usually oval in shape, they have a set of loosely arranged flexible wires that have pins on the top. These brushes are commonly used however they aren’t very useful. While they pick up any loose hairs before they can over your carpets and furniture, and can fluff and finish a coat which has already been brushed, they offer your pet few benefits. Pin brushes are most suitable for finishing off your groom once you’ve used one of the other types of brush on this list.
Now you have all the information you need to select the correct brush for your breed of dog and your pet should enjoy grooming more than ever.