Brushing helps to detangle the coat of long-haired dogs and prevent the formation of knots. It also removes dead undercoat, which can be particularly important during shedding periods. It is important to use the right equipment to brush your dog effectively and gently. Here are all our tips to make brushing a pleasant moment for you and your dog!
Why is it important to brush your dog?
Brushing dogs is first of all useful to untangle the coat and avoid the formation of knots in long-haired dogs (Shih Tzu, Bichon, Cocker...).
It is important to brush the dogs before the knots form, this requires regular brushing in long-haired dogs. Indeed, once the knots are formed, it is often impossible to disentangle them. It is then necessary to cut the hair, it may even be necessary to call a groomer or a veterinarian to trim the hair. To untangle the dog's coat more easily, it is possible to wash it with a detangling shampoo beforehand.
Secondly, it is important to know that dogs' hair grows and then dies permanently, with two periods in the year when this phenomenon is accentuated: the seasonal moults (in the fall and spring). In dogs living in apartments, temperature differences are less noticeable and this can lead to hair loss throughout the year.
The amount of hair loss varies depending on the breed. For some short-haired dogs, for example, the amount of hair loss is minimal. However, for other dogs such as Husky, Samoyed, Akita Inu, German Shepherd... the amount of hair lost during shedding periods is very impressive! For these breeds, brushing is done mainly during the shedding period to remove the dead undercoat. This is important because the dead undercoat prevents the skin from breathing. Outside of shedding periods, brushing can be done occasionally (to remove dirt stuck to the hair for example).
From a more practical point of view, brushing limits the amount of hair you have to clean in your home!
Which brush to use?
The brush must be adapted to the size of the animal and the length of its hair. The width of the brush and the size of the teeth will be different depending on these parameters.
There are brushes that can effectively remove dead hairs and gently untangle the coat.
Some brushes should be avoided (teeth too long, too fine...) because they remove dead hairs more laboriously and they can lead to painful brushing.
How do you get your dog used to being brushed?
It is very useful to teach dogs to be brushed from a young age so that it will be easier once they reach adulthood. In general, it is very useful to teach puppies the different care that will be necessary during their life: cleaning eyes, ears, baths, cleaning teeth, etc...
However, it is possible to teach an adult dog to be brushed. To do this, it is advisable to proceed gradually to get the animal used to it. You should start by brushing him gently for only a few seconds after asking him to lie down. If he lets himself be brushed calmly, then congratulate him and reward him with treats, his favorite toy, petting... He will then associate being brushed with something positive. You can gradually increase the brushing time.