Grooming equipment is a must-have no matter the breed of your dog. RSPCA Australia recommends establishing a habit of regular grooming early in your dog’s life. Grooming then becomes a pleasurable bonding activity and is established as a regular part of your dog’s routine.
The following brushes are commonly used for grooming dogs:
- Bristle Brushes. These can be used for all dog species. Choose brushes with longer, more widely spaced bristles for dogs with longer coats. These can help add shine and remove dirt.
- Wire-pin brushes. Not recommended for short-haired dogs, but probably the best choice for longer-haired dogs. A wire-pin brush might also be best if your dog’s hair is curly, or particularly thick.
- Slicker brushes. These have rows of think wire pins that are slightly bent to de-matt the undercoat and remove dead hair. These are great for those dogs with a thick undercoat that is not too long. In long-haired dogs they will simply snag and pull too much.
- De-matting rake. These have long wire prongs, great for dogs with established matts and long coats. Must be used very gently with good technique.
- Shedding blade. These are a loop of metal with teeth on one side, only really suitable for short coats to grab loose hairs.
- Rubber Brush. Also great for removing dead hair in short-haired shedders. They have a massaging effect and are great for dogs that are a little sensitive.
DEMATTING YOUR DOG
If your dog has a long coat and is prone to forming matts, make sure you are very gentle and patient and use a good de-matting brush. It may be easier to get your dog clipped short and be proactive about brushing if your dog is not tolerating the de-matting process. The matt often starts quite close the skin, so you will need to use a technique that tackles each matt separately.
DOGS THAT SHED
There is nothing that will stop shedding, unless you brush your pet daily to collect dead, shed hairs. Many pets will shed year-round when inside under artificial lighting and of course short-haired breeds are the worst culprits as their coat grows to a certain length then drops out. One option is using a vacuum attachment such as the Dyson Groom Tool,that will suck the hair off your pet. I imagine this would also deliver a lovely massage. You may need to get your pet used to the noise of the vacuum by initially turning on the machine a fair distance away and giving lots of treats as you bring it closer to your dog.
If your dog has a continually growing coat, at some stage you will need to clip your dog. This is easily done with electric clippers, either at the groomer or at home. So long as your dog is not matted, the technique is simple and all you will need to do is purchase a good quality pair of clippers. Just watch as you are doing it that the blades are not heating up too much, as it is fairly easy to burn the skin. If your dog is matted it will be necessary to have an extremely short clip. If you clip in the direction of hair growth the clip will be shorter, than if you pass the clippers against the natural direction your pet’s hair sits. If you prefer your dog to have a style clip with scissors, this will cost more at the groomer and is more difficult to master at home.