Not every pet requires professional grooming. But every pet does require some form of grooming in order to facilitate overall health. I asked Rob, a Doggie Stylist, what tips he could provide to owners for at-home grooming care. He said, “Simple. Brushing, brushing, and more brushing.”
“Why”? I asked.
“These main reasons,” he replied. “Most dogs lose their coat twice a year. Summer and fall. Dogs need their coats brushed regularly to remove old dead hair that accumulates and causes mats and clogs pores. Specialized breeds such as Poodles and Bichons must be brushed and combed frequently in order to avoid matting.”
Brushing also massages and stimulates the skin to produce a more lustrous and healthy coat for a prettier pup. And who doesn’t want to look pretty?
Brushing also enables owners to feel the contour of the dog’s body. This hands-on time helps owners find changes in the dog’s body that may indicate signs of illness or infestation.
The best reason of all is the extra bonding time between owners and their pets. Feel the love!
To help you complete your brushing task, Rob offers these tips. First, he uses a slicker brush for almost all types of dogs. He finds that the ones with pinheads on the ends prevent brush burns while freeing mats and smoothing hair. Second, after brushing, run a comb through the hair to find any remaining mats. If you find some, brush some more. All silky-coated dogs, terriers, and especially double-coated dogs will benefit from this technique. For Golden Retrievers, Afghan Hounds, Lhasa Apso, Yorkies, and Bearded Collies use the same technique but try a pin brush. Be careful though. He also warns that owners should not use scissors to remove mats or if your dog is not enjoying the brushing experience, see a trained grooming professional.
There are other types of brushes. For example, bristle brushes work great for Chihuahuas, Pincers, Vizsla’s, and Weimaraner-type breeds. Curry brushes work great on Labs, Great Danes, Dalmatians, Beagles, Pugs, and Bull Dogs. He also likes the Under Coat Rake for Bernese Mountain Dogs, Collies, American Eskimos, Samoyeds, and other like coats.
Finally, the Furminator. Furminators work well if used properly and can be purchased at most pet stores. They can injure your dog though so use them according to the directions with caution. A good rule of thumb for the Furminator is to only brush 3 times in one spot.
I know that Rob is right. The personal bonding time I had with our dog, Rhoda, during daily brushing sessions strengthened the bond between us like no other pet relationship I have ever had. Commit to brushing your dog. It’s quick and priceless.