Dog owners know that grooming is an important part of keeping your dog healthy. Brushing your dog is probably one of the most basic forms of grooming, but can make all the difference in your dog’s comfort.
It’s easy to feel like you don’t have the time to brush your dog, but once you learn the benefits of doing so, you’ll find the time. So let’s get into how to brush a dog with short hair so you can get your pooch looking as handsome as ever.
Knowing Your Brushes
There are quite a few dog brushes out there, and it can be a little confusing trying to pick out the right one. Each brush serves a different purpose, and is catered to your dog’s different needs.
A bristle brush is the most commonly used brush and is meant for use all over your dog’s body. It is great for removing excess hair, especially during the shedding season. Remember always to brush in the direction that your dog’s coat grows from head to tail to avoid any discomfort.
The use of this brush can seem a bit more obscure to those who are new to dog grooming. The idea is that the thin metal bristles on this brush will pick up any loose hairs on your dog’s coat. A slicker brush can scratch dogs with short hair, but they’ll likely enjoy the sensation quite a bit.
As the name suggests, a flea comb is great for removing fleas from your dog’s coat. Fleas are a nuisance to you and your dog, and removing them efficiently is essential to a dog’s health and comfort. Flea combs can also pick up loose short hairs just as well as they pick up fleas, making it a versatile choice for owners with short-haired dogs.
The rubber bristles on a rubber brush aid in distributing your dog’s natural oils which the coat requires to prevent unnecessary shedding and drying. These brushes are also great for bath times, and suds can be massaged into the fur with ease.
How Often Should You Brush?
The coat type that your dog has will determine how often he should be brushed. Brushing dogs with certain coats too frequently can be harmful, while brushing dogs with the same coat once every month or so provides a great health boost.
While we are mainly looking at brushing short-haired dogs, you may have a long-haired pup too. Breeds with long hair, like Collies and Salukis, need a thorough brushing at least once a week, sometimes more if the coat seems to be quite tangled. A pin or slicker brush is an ideal choice for long-haired breeds, as the thin metal bristles can easily grip the coat and remove all the loose hairs without hurting or pinching.
Short-haired dogs like Greyhounds and Rottweilers do not need to be brushed frequently, at least not as frequently as dogs with longer coats. This is because their fur does not tangle or become matted easily. You’ll still need to brush them every few weeks to get rid of any loose hair that may have built up.
Breeds with wiry coats such as Terriers and Dachshunds will need a slicker brush, as well as a quick once-over with a metal comb. This should be done once every couple of days.
Why Brushing Is Important
The act of grooming is not just about maintaining your dog’s cleanliness or keeping them good-looking but is also about keeping your dog healthy and strengthening the bond between pet and person.
It is important to train your dog to tolerate grooming while they are still a puppy. Waiting too long to start grooming can lead to complications later on, and your dog might resist grooming as they get older, especially nail clipping and ear cleaning.
This is particularly important for dogs with long hair, which require more dedicated grooming sessions in comparison to short-haired dogs. It takes quite a bit more time to brush a long-haired dog’s coat than it does a short-haired dog’s coat, and they need to become accustomed to standing still for this at a young age.
Brushing is beneficial to all dogs regardless of their breed. It aids in the removal of dirt, dead hair, and dandruff, as well as distributing the dog’s natural oils.
How To Brush Your Pup
Now that you’re familiar with the different dog brushes available, and how often you should brush your dog, let’s take a look at the technique.
First, brush downwards and outwards, moving away from your dog’s skin. Remember always to brush in the same direction your dog’s coat grows. They don’t like it when you brush back against the grain of their fur.
Be very slow and gentle, or you may risk damaging your dog’s coat by stretching and pulling the fur strands until they break or tangle. Comb your dog in the same way that you would comb a child’s hair.
Apply a mat spray or coat conditioner if you encounter any matting. Leave it for a few minutes, then, using a mat-splitting tool or wide-toothed comb, untangle the mat. Proceed with caution, as mats can form close to your dog’s skin and can make removing them painful.
Brushing and grooming your dog is not as daunting as it sounds, and can be a fantastic way to bond with your best friend. Keep what you’ve learned today in mind, and your dog grooming sessions will be smoother than ever.