Blue Wheelers Guide to Maintaining Your Dog’s Coat Between Washes & Grooms
Depending on your dog’s breed and lifestyle, the best routine and tools to keep them looking and feeling their best in between professional washes and grooms will differ. In general, you should be brushing your dog at least once a week. If they love getting outside, dirty and covered in grass/Bindis, etc, we recommend a good brush after each messy outside play they have! Keep reading to learn more.
Why Should You Brush Your Dog Between Washes & Grooms?
Brushing your dog regularly has many benefits including:
- Removing debris, allergens and dirt from their coat
- Distributing their coat’s natural oils throughout the coat
- Removing loose fur
- Minimising tangles, matts, dreadlocks and more
If your fur baby is a breed that sheds a lot or has a double coat (eg. Pugs, Border Collies, Labradors), brushing them regularly will help remove loose fur, minimising the amount that ends up on your floors. If you have a breed that needs to be groomed regularly such as a Poodle mix, Maltese or Shih Tzu, brushing regularly will help you keep on top of any forming tangles or matts. This helps keep them looking their best and has many health benefits, as heaving matting can become painful.
What Brush Should I Use?
As there are so many brushes on the market, choosing the right one for your dog can be a challenge. We recommend discussing your home grooming with your Blue Wheeler Groomer. They will advise what the best brushing routine and tools are for your dog. Some brushes are general purpose and some have specific uses. See our general guide below.
Short Haired Dogs (Labradors, Greyhounds, Pugs, etc) – one of the best tools for these high shedding, short haired breeds is a ‘Furnimator.’ This tool has very fine and close together metal bristles that catch their loose undercoat. Brushing your dog at least once a week with a Furminator will help remove their loose undercoat and minimise the shedding that happens around your home. You could also use a soft slicker brush or rubber grooming glove if you prefer.
Long Haired (Double coated) Breeds (Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, etc) – a standard ‘Pin Brush’ is a good tool to have for these breeds. A pin brush will help you get through tangles on their coat. The bristles will also help grip the undercoat and remove any loose hairs. If you find any forming matts, then it is best to use a comb to tease these out. These breeds are best brushed every couple of days.
Short, Wiry Haired Breeds (most Terriers) – one of the best tools for these breeds is a ‘Slicker Brush.’ This will help get through any tangles and distribute the coat’s natural oils.
Curly, Combination and Silky Haired Breeds (Poodles, Poodle Mixes, Maltese, etc) – Breeds such as these shed less but are most prone to tangles and matting, and need to be brushed consistently every day or two. If matts are left, they can get painful and you may find your dog will need to have their beautiful coat shaved off at their next grooming appointment if there is extensive matting. Brushing them regularly will help you get their coat looking as you desire and you may be able to keep their coat length longer too. We recommend both a slicker brush and metal comb for these breeds. Slicker brushes are efficient at removing mats and will be one of the most comfortable brushes for your dog. A long-pin steel comb will help you remove any deep tangles that your slicker brush can’t reach.
How to Brush Your Dog
Here are some handy tips on how to best brush your dog:
- Brush your dog’s coat in a down and out motion, away from the dog’s skin
- Always brush in the direction that their coat grows
- Be gentle and don’t pull too hard
- Don’t overwork an area – particularly with tools such as the furminator, no more than 10 stokes in the one spot.
- Take your time when untangling any matts, tangles or dreadlocks
- If you find a very stubborn matt, try adding a matt spray or coat conditioner to help your comb glide through more easily. If it is impossible to remove without hurting your dog, you can also cut off small matts with scissors if you desire and they do not have another grooming appointment for a few weeks
- Brush your dog from a young age to get them used to it. Give them treats and make brushing a fun experience for them. You may need to start off with short sessions and then continually extend them as your dog learns to enjoy their brushing routine.