“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by PetCode. Any opinions are my own.”
Routine Brushing is a great way to keep your dog healthy! Do you have New Year’s Resolutions on your mind? When thinking about healthy habits, don’t forget life with your pet!
Now’s the time to be inspired. With an endless To-Do list, brushing your dog may not seem like a priority. But remember all dogs benefit from and usually enjoy regular brushing. Besides, brushing helps build a cozy bond with your pup which is good for both of you.
There are many reasons to brush. Here are just a few:
- Brushing removes loose hairs and dead skin cells.
- Brushing removes dirt, debris and external parasites.
- Brushing distributes natural skin oils.
- Brushing decreases hair that is swallowed. All cats and many dogs self-groom. The more you brush out, the less they will swallow.
Keep these brushing tips in mind to keep tails wagging…
Getting Started-Check your Dog & Your Equipment
Before brushing, take a good look at your dog and their coat. Take a damp towel and wipe off any dirt, mud or debris. Do you see any changes? Feel for any burrs and stubborn material particularly around the ears and around the legs. Don’t forget the paws. Take note of any sores or irritated areas. If you don’t see improvement, check with your vet. By being aware of any trouble spots, you can be sensitive to those areas while brushing. Remember to remove the dog’s collar.
Make sure you use the right brush for the job. A 2 in 1 brush and comb is a lifesaver and great tool for many types of dogs (and cats!)
For small breed dogs which do not shed, a slicker brush with short bristles is ideal. You can always check with your pet store, do your homework online, or even ask your vet about which brush is best for your breed. Do not use a hairbrush meant for humans. 🙂 These often have small plastic ends which can pull against your dog's hair. They also aren't made for a thick coat of fur- and can detach and leave a bristle behind.
How often? The Magic Question
Your dog’s breed has the biggest impact on brushing requirements. Whether looking at your dog’s shedding cycle or length and type of hair, dogs vary in what they need. For example, long or curly coats need daily brushing to keep hair free from tangles and mats while short hair may not require daily attention. However, brushing any coat that sheds cuts the amount of loose hair and dander flying around your home significantly. Keep your dog healthy by knowing how often brushing and grooming is recommended!
Brush like a Pro
Have your dog sit and if needed, offer a treat. Acquaint them with the brush by showing and letting them smell. Start with the head and work to the tail. Always brush down and out away from the dog’s skin. Brush in the direction the coat grows. Stop and gently untangle any mats or snags. Never pull hair/fur. PETCODE PAWS DUO GOOMER Brush + Comb in one. detangles knots, reduces shedding and has an easy grip handle.
What if My Dog Does Not like Brushing?
If brushing is not something your dog is accustomed to, or the dog has a traumatic past and has been mistreated by previous owners (especially with objects such as brush), the your pet may not want to participate. If this happens, be sure to slowly introduce the brush by associating it with something they love. Here are several tips:
- With our rescue dogs, they seemed to gravitate toward one person as far as who they trusted and bonded with best. If there is a highly trusted family member, this person should attempt to be the one to brush!
- Always have a calm space
- Go slowly- your dog isn't going to want to try something completely new and uncomfortable after 1-2 sessions.
- Sit near their favorite space or toy. If your dog has a favorite bed, have them sit on it while you brush.
- One of our dogs has sensitive paws- obviously this isn't the first thing to try to brush! Keep away from areas that you know they may be aggressive about.
- Use positive reinforcement such as behavioral training treats (these are small), lots of praise and calming tones, and breaks!
- As you introduce brushing, you may brush for slightly longer each time.
Keep Your Dog Healthy- Post Play or Walk
A dog that hasn’t had play time or given a proper walk may not want to be groomed. After expelling energy and having some fresh air is a wonderful time for your dog to relax and be pampered. It’s also very productive to brush out anything that was picked up outdoors.
For these and more tips on bathing and brushing, see petcodepaws.com. Hope you enjoyed this post and you found a few useful tips on how to keep your dog healthy with regular brushing.
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