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How and why is it important to choose the right dog brush?

Dog hair, everywhere? We get it; after a while, it gets frustrating to have to look at lumps of fur floating around, or worse, have to go through the awful experience of removing immortal knots with your dog whining and making a break for it.

 

Why is brushing a dog important?

Even distribution of coat's natural oils - Like human skin, a dog's skin secretes natural oils, which, when left unevenly distributed, can cause oil and sebum buildup, leading to itchiness and certain skin infections. Brushing helps to evenly distribute natural oils throughout the length of the dog, and ensure that every inch of the dog's body is well massaged to relieve stress. 

Removes ticks, fleas and their eggs – Everyday brushing with a tick and flea comb can keep ticks and fleas under control!

Keeps mats, knots, and tangles at bay - Regular brushing prevents knots, removes mats, and keeps tangles at bay. Knots and mats often have dirt and debris trapped in them, forming something similar to a cocoon. Over time, this can cause itchiness and split-ends. 

Stress-reliever - Using the right brush on your dog massages his skin, thereby relieving stress and anxiety. In fact, most dogs that suffer from separation anxiety have special pin brushes to help them calm down during panic attacks. Besides, who wouldn't mind a good massage on a boring Wednesday afternoon?

Reduces shedding - When brushed regularly, shedding is significantly reduced. This is because little bits of old fur is removed every day, leaving very little for shedding season.

Prevents dryness - Natural oils from a dog's coat help to prevent dryness, flaky skin, and itchiness. Brushing is the easiest way to get the oils from their glands to every part of your dog's body.

Gets rid of old, damaged fur - Like de-shedding, brushing helps to get rid of old, damaged fur, thereby making way for new, healthier fur.

Why is it important to choose the right dog brush? 

An important rule of thumb in the history of dog grooming is choosing the right dog brush. It's like picking out the best brush for your hair - paddle, round, thermal, or smoothing? Picking the right dog brush is dependent on many factors that pet parents face while grooming their dog, like shedding, matting, knotting, dryness, brittleness etc. It also largely depends on the breed of dog - an Indie would require a different type of brush compared to a Poodle simply because their coat texture is very different. Likewise, a dog with a thick coat like the Bakharwal, needs more than one type of dog brush to keep his coat in top condition throughout the year, as opposed to a Rajapalayam who does well with just one type of brush - no matter the time of the year!

Choosing the right dog brush ensures that grooming is an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. Besides, using a brush that is not meant for your dog's coat type will keep problems like shedding and matting as they are without any improvement. 

Pick out the right dog brush, and you'll have your pup at your lap well in time for grooming!

How do I know if I'm using the wrong brush?

We often have no way to know whether the brush we're using is right for our dog's coat, but here are some signs to look out for to know whether the dog brush is the problem -

  • Shedding doesn't decrease despite having checked for underlying medical conditions. 
  • Mats take forever to remove
  • You have to play a game of tug of war with the knots 
  • Fur is coarse, dry, brittle, and damaged at the ends
  • Skin is healthy, but the coat looks dull
  • Fur looks more like a wig - before and after brushing.

How do I choose the right brush?

To use or not to use - is that a question you're faced with after looking at many dog brushes online?

Here's our 101 guide on the different types of dog brushes and when to use them! 

Slicker Brush

Type of coat - Short-haired, long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, wire-haired coats and curly-coats 

Best for - 

  • Eliminating mats
  • Preventing knots and tangles
  • Removing dirt and debris
  • Spreading natural oils evenly throughout the body
  • Massaging

When to use? Slicker brushes can be used throughout the year. They work best when used at least once every day alongside additional brushing tools that your dog may benefit from. 

How to use? It is best to brush in the direction of fur flow. Some mats are hard to remove, and in that case, holding the mat between your fingers and gently tugging on it with a slicker comb works better than brushing all at once. 

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Bristle Brush

Type of coat - Short-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, and curly-coats 

Best for - Removing dirt and debris

When to use? Bristle Brushes can be used whenever your dog is visibly dirty from playing outside in places where it is muddy like the park or sandy like the beach. Bristle brushes remove any dirt/debris on the topmost layer of fur; however, they are not very good at removing dirt near the follicles.

How to use? Bristle brushes can be used in any direction as long as they are used immediately after the dog is dirty.

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Tick and Flea Brush

Type of coat - Short-haired, Long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coats, wire-haired coats, silky coats, and curly-coats 

Best for - Removing ticks, fleas, and their eggs

When to use? Tick and flea brushes must be used every day, regardless of whether you’ve spotted a tick or flea because it helps to remove fleas in their larvae stage, when they aren’t easily visibly to the naked eye.

How to use? Divide the dog fur along the length of the spine and gently pull in the direction of fur growth.

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Pin Brush

Type of coat - Short-haired, long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, wire-haired coats, silky coats, and curly-coats 

Best for - 

  • Daily brushing
  • Removing tiny knots and mats
  • Freeing tangles
  • Massaging

When to use? Anytime!

How to use? Brush in the direction of fur growth, making sure you are reaching the layer of skin beneath all that fur - this ensures a good massage and an even distribution of oils.

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De-shedder Brush

Type of coat - Short-haired, long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, wire-haired coats and curly-coats 

Best for - 

  • Reducing shedding
  • Removing old, damaged fur

When to use? They are best used thrice a week during the non-shedding season and every day during shedding season.

How to use? Moving from head to tail, brush along the length of your dog's coat and in the direction of fur growth. Use long and gentle strokes whilst stopping to remove fur caught in the teeth.

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Double-sided Brush

Type of coat - Short-haired, long-haired, double-coat, hypoallergenic coat, wire-haired coats and curly-coats 

Best for - 

  • Eliminating mats
  • Preventing knots and tangles
  • Removing dirt and debris
  • Spreading natural oils evenly throughout the body
  • Massaging

When to use? Anytime! But, best after a bath. 

How to use? Brush in the direction of fur growth, making sure you reach the layer of skin and not just the topcoat.

By using the right dog brush, at-home grooming is a piece of cake! Besides, your dog will thank you for it!