Tips for Brushing Your Dog

Photo: Rick Weiss

Photo: Rick Weiss

Dogs tend to fall in two categories when it comes to brushing their fur: they either love it or hate it. Is your dog not exactly making a face of bliss like the dog above when you brush him? Not to worry—we've compiled some of our favorite tips to prevent hairy grooming situations and keep your pooch preened, tangle-free and happy.

Brushing Frequency
Not all dogs need to be brushed regularly. Depending on the length of your dog's coat, you may need to brush every day or anywhere as seldom as on a monthly basis. If your dog has long, thick fur, you'll need to brush him daily to prevent any knots from forming, but if your dog has a very short coat, you won't need to brush him more than once every few weeks. Have a medium-coated dog? Start out by brushing him twice a week, then play around with once or twice a week to see which is more comfortable for him.

Brush Type
For dogs with medium to long coats, brushes with wire pins (they look like regular hairbrushes) tend to work well as they have a deeper reach. Bristle brushes are more appropriate for dogs with shorter hair as the bristles are gentler against their skin, whereas if you use a bristle brush on a long-coated dog, the many tiny bristles may catch on the coat, causing some discomfort.

Start at the Butt, Not at the Head
A lot of us make the common mistake of brushing front to back (aka, head to tail) since we brush our own hair from top to bottom. However, this is actually not the best direction to utilize when brushing your dog because you're starting at the most sensitive part of her body. Instead, start at her rear so she has time to peer around and see the brush, giving her time to assess the situation before you slowly progress towards her head.

Positively Reinforce Brushing
After you're finished brushing your pooch, don't forget to offer him lots of praise and maybe even a treat! Try to help your pup associate brushing with positivity from the beginning so as he grows older, he'll come to enjoy brushing (see dog expression above) and not shy away from you when you try to groom him.

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Published on by Beatrix Chan.

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