If you’re a dog owner, you’ve likely experienced your dog shedding – a lot. Dogs have a thick coat to protect them from the elements and keep them warm. But when the summer and spring heat start beating down, you’ll want to pay special attention to your dog’s coat.
Some dogs even have double coats that aim to keep the dog extra warm in particularly cold weather conditions.
We’re going to help you answer a few of the most important questions when brushing a dog to ensure that your pup is happy and content all summer long.
1. How Often Should I Brush My Dog?
You should routinely brush your dog, but how much is enough? It’s difficult to figure out if you’re overdoing it or not. You should be brushing your dog every few days. I know a lot of owners don’t do this – I don’t either – but this is what the Animal Humane Society recommends for your pup.
And this is a good rule of thumb if your dog isn’t a primarily inside dog.
If you brush your dog once or twice per week, this will be enough for most breeds. Feel free to brush your dog daily if it’s something you both enjoy, but make sure to watch for any signs of discomfort or irritation that may occur.
2. Should I Brush My Dog After a Hike?
If you just went on a hike with your pup, it’s a great idea to brush him thoroughly. Your dog’s coat will act as a protective barrier, and the bugs and other debris from being outside will often get stuck in your dog’s fur.
This isn’t comfortable for the dog by any means.
You’ll want to first comb your dog with a:
- Flea and tick comb
- Bristle brush
The flea and tick comb has bristles that are very close together and work to remove fleas and ticks from your dog’s coat. If you’ve even seen a flea before, you know just how small these pests can be. Fleas also multiply so rapidly that they can infest an entire home, causing it to be overrun with these biting pests.
So, other bugs and small debris, whether it be a blade of grass or a twig, will be removed from the coat, too.
This is a must-do if you hike with your dog, and it greatly lowers the risk of the dog getting a full-blown flea infestation.
3. Do Long-Haired Dogs Need More Frequent Brushings?
Experts are divided on how often a dog really needs to be brushed. A general consensus among groomers is that a short-haired dog can be brushed every few weeks or less without much of a problem.
Short-haired breeds are less likely to suffer from:
And since the dog’s coat is short, brushing is usually much faster, too.
Long-haired breeds, such as a Husky or Collie, should be brushed at least once per week. The goal is to remove tangles and any matting that occurs. Loose hair should also be removed, allowing for less shedding around the home and much greater comfort for your pooch.
4. How Often Do I Need to Brush a Wiry Breed?
Dog breeds that have wiry hair are often terriers or dachshunds, and these two breeds need a little extra attention because of their hair. You’ll want to do the following when brushing any of these breeds to ensure that they’re brushed properly and as comfortable as possible.
I recommend the following course of action:
- Start with a slicker brush to remove any loose hairs.
- End with a metal comb or bristle brush to remove remaining hair.
If you follow this advice, you’ll be able to keep your dog’s coat in pristine condition and ensure that your pup is as comfortable as possible.
5. What is the Goal When Brushing My Dog?
Brushing your dog requires patience, and it is a task that every dog owner should follow to ensure that their dog remains happy, healthy and well-groomed. But what is the ultimate goal of your grooming?
The goal is to:
- Remove dead hair from the coat.
- Eliminate tangles and matting.
- Get rid of dead and dry skin.
- Distribute the dog’s natural oils throughout his coat.
A common issue a lot of owners have is that the dog will continue to lose hair. You can brush and brush and brush, and somehow, the bristles just keep being filled with strands of hair. Sometimes, it seems like you can brush your pup until they’re bald – obviously not an ideal situation.
Instead, you want to limit your brushing to a good 10 minute brushing every few days.
You might never remove all of the loose hair, but if you do brush your pup often, you’ll be able to remove most of the hair, which is ideal.
6. Can I Hurt My Dog When Brushing?
Dogs are resilient, and they’re very tough in the sense that they won’t cry out in pain easily. The tricky part is knowing when your brushing is irritating or hurting your dog. It’s not uncommon for your dog to wiggle around when being brushed.
And a lot of dogs love the whole experience of being brushed.
The dogs will wiggle around and often wag their tails in excitement when it comes time to be brushed.
But if you brush too hard, you can begin to irritate the skin and may even cause the dog to bleed – two things that are not ideal. The best way is to brush your dog lightly enough that the brush glides across the top of the dog’s coat.
This will be more than enough to remove loose hairs.
Once you feel more comfortable, you can begin to apply more pressure and try removing more hair from the undercoat (if your dog has thicker hair). Short-haired pups only need a very light brushing to remove most of their hair.
Brushing a dog’s coat can act as a bonding time between you and your pup, and with a few treats in hand, your pup will quickly realize that a brushing session is good thing.