Regular grooming is an essential aspect in your dog's health care. There are various types of brushes and combs designed for your dog, no matter what type of hair coat it has.
Almost all dogs enjoy being groomed. The act of grooming is part of their natural social order and, when done properly, can add to their sense of bonding and well being. Grooming can be a great time for you, too. You can spend quality time with your pet while keeping tabs on skin problems, parasites, lumps and bumps, and any other unusual problems.
Type of Coat
Consider your dog’s hair coat before selecting any grooming tool. Even dogs with short coats benefit from regular grooming.
1. Short Coats: Breeds such as the basenji, Jack Russell terrier and German shorthaired pointer are best groomed with a soft bristle brush like the Millers Forge Vista Combo Brush. The brush will pull up any dead hair or skin and distribute natural oil throughout your dog’s coat. The soft bristles are also gentle on the underside of dogs, where the hair coat may be thin and in some areas may even be bare. Brushes range in size, type of handle and bristle. Choose one appropriate to your dog's size and coat and one that fits in your hand comfortably.
2. Medium Coats: Dogs such as the Labrador retriever, German shepherd and Chesapeake Bay retriever, require a bit more than just brushing. Coats of medium length should be first groomed with a slicker or wire brush such as the Millers Forge Vista Slicker Brush to pull up dead hair or undercoat. A slicker brush contains small metal pins set into a rubber backing. They may have a plastic coat on the tip for comfort. A wire brush has small thin wires that are angled at the tip and do an excellent job of combing out loose hair and undercoat. Comb your dog first, and then finish with a good brushing to distribute oil. Some grooming tools are double-sided containing both brush and comb.
3. Long Coats: Dogs such as the Afghan, shih tzu, or collie need the most grooming attention to keep their coats beautiful and healthy. These pets should be brushed every day, just as you would your own hair. If you are attempting to groom a neglected coat, you may want to begin with a mat rake like the Millers Forge Vista Matt-Away Comb. Mat rakes and shedding combs are designed for loosening matted hair and removing it comfortably, provided it is not matted down to the skin.
|Once the hair is mat and tangle free, a wire or slicker brush can be used for removing the undercoat and a brush for final smoothing. You may also use the Undercoat Rake to remove the loose undercoat without disturbing the outer coat. Pets that have coats matted to the skin need to visit their groomer or veterinarian. Most of these dogs will need to be shaved. Keep up with grooming as the hair grows in to keep mats from recurring. Always comb and brush before bathing. Wet hair makes mats worse and harder to groom.
Other Types of Grooming Tools:
You might also want to try the brand new FURminator: a special anti-shedding treatment that dramatically reduces the mess and clean up of unwanted pet hair.
Grooming gloves, also called palm shedders, are mitten shaped gloves that are made with small plastic teeth that are easy to guide over your pet.
If you see fleas on your dog, try a flea comb, a small metal or plastic comb with very close set teeth designed to trap fleas as it passes through the hair.
Shampoos and Conditioners
There are many different kinds of shampoos and conditioners, which suit all skin and coat types. Using the right shampoo and conditioner will enhance the health of your dog. Some of the commonly used shampoos include, Allergroom Shampoo which is a hypoallergenic, emollient, restoring shampoo used for dry and normal skin; Ecto-Soothe Flea Shampoo which is a highly effective flea/tick shampoo that kills fleas, ticks and lice as it soothes irritated skin; Sebolux Medicated Shampoo and Etiderm Medicated Shampoo which are solubilized therapeutic shampoos that remove scales and crusts associated with seborrhea, leaving skin clean and the coat soft and lustrous; and PearLyt Shampoo which is a soap-free formulation combining the benefits of oatmeal, coat conditioners and brightening agents.