18 May Basics of Grooming
From brushing and bathing to a trip to the salon for a professional pamper, a regular grooming routine is a big part of owning a dog for their general health and well-being. Not only will they look fabulous, you will also deepen the bond and build trust between you. Puppies can be groomed from 3 weeks old so make it a part of your daily routine as soon as you get them – the earlier you start the easier it is for them to get used to, and become accustomed to handling. It’s also a great time to check them over with ease and make a trip to the vets a lot less stressful for all involved!
There is so much choice of grooming products on the market, how do you know which is the best one for the job and your breed of dog. Here’s a simple breakdown of available products and their job.
Slicker Brushes remove loose hair, dirt, matts and tangles and maintain and condition the coat.
With fine, short wires arranged closely together on a flat surface, the angled pins avoid the skin while still going through the coat. Do use a light hand as as the fine, tightly spaced wires can cause discomfort if too much pressure is applied.
Bristle Brushes are a great all rounder and can be used on any type of coat.
Gentle on your dog’s fur and skin and will keep them looking like they’ve just been to the salon. Bristle brushes are for removing loose hairs and skin cells from short-haired dogs like greyhounds. The soft flexible bristles are also great for general grooming on all dogs, as they help distribute your dog’s natural oils to keep their coat shiny, soft, and healthy!
Pinhead brushes are gentle on your dog’s fur and skin
Ball tipped pin brushes are great for medium length or curly haired coats and suitable for all dogs for finishing work after any significant matts, tangles, mud and dirt are removed. The pins tend to be longer than bristle brushes, which work very well on medium to long hair dogs. They are available with rubber tips at the end of each pin for added comfort. These are for brushing of the top coat and removing dirt but not useful for removing lots of loose hair.
Combs are great for tackling matts and tangles
Combs are available in a wide variety of tooth spacing and suitable for all types of fur. They gently removes tangles, matts and loose hairs. Be careful to pick the right tooth spacing for your dogs hair type.
Rakes remove dead and damaged hair
Long pin undercoat rakes are designed to remove dead and damaged hair from your pets undercoat without damaging their top coat. The twin row teeth help to groom the coat in less strokes therefore reducing irritation to their skin. Best used on double coated breeds like Husky, Australian Shepherd, Sheepdog, Golden Retriever, Labrador and Pomeranian.
Detangling rakes have sharpened metal teeth, designed to slice through matts and tangles as you pull the comb through the dog’s hair. Because the blades are only sharp on one side and curve away from your dog’s skin, they won’t cause any pain or irritation and will taking care of those bigger knots and heavy-duty matts.
What type of coat does your dog have
SMOOTH COATED BREEDS: Bull Terriers and Dachshunds or similar. Use a plastic tip slicker or rubber mit to bring dirt and loose dead hair to the top and then a bristle brush to remove it.
SHORT COATED BREEDS: Boxers, Beagles and Greyhounds or similar. Use a slicker brush or a Pinhead brush to gently remove knots and matts and a bristle brush to remove the hair and dirt. Never use scissors to cut matts out.
LONG COATED BREEDS: Old English Sheepdogs or Bearded Collies or similar. These have a coarse coat with a softer undercoat and matt easily. Use a slicker brush or wide toothed comb to remove matts and then an undercoat rake to penetrate through the coat to the skin and remove all the dead hair.
SILKY COATED BREEDS: Yorkshire Terriers or Shih Tzus or similar usually have long hair, no undercoat and fine hair matts easily. Use and slicker brush or comb to remove matts and brush through, then a bristle brush to add the natural shine to the coat.
DOUBLE COATED BREEDS: Retrievers, Rottweilers or German Shepherds or similar. They can be short or long hair. They have a soft undercoat, which sheds twice a year, and a weather resistant outer coat which shed once a year. These matt very easily. For both short and long hair use a slicker brush or undercoat rake to remove lose hair. For shorter hair breeds, brush the undercoat first and then the top coat. For the longer haired breeds, use a wide tooth comb afterwards to remove loose undercoat.
WIRE COATED BREEDS: Such as Airedales and Wheaten Terriers. These coats have a rough texture and do not shed like other coat types. For these coats, you will need a fine, curved-wire slicker brush and a stripping comb to thin the overgrown wiry coat and prevent matts and tangles.
CURLY COATED BREEDS: Poodles and Bichon Frises or similar breeds have thick, soft curls. They do not shed as much as other breeds but they are harder to brush. For best results use a soft slicker brush.