Friday, May 1, 2009

Which comb or brush to use on your dog

Coats come in a wide range of types and textures so sometimes it’s hard to figure out what brush or comb to use! Dogs have soft, silky, fine, dense, coarse, straight or curly hair so it’s which one do you use? Basically, for shorthaired breeds such as Beagles or Dalmatians, you should use a rubber brush or a bristle brush. Soft rubber bristles will pull out loose hair. A bristle brush should be fairly stiff and works best when used with the lie of the coat. Bristles move the oils from the skin to the hair shaft as you brush, leaving a shiny, smooth coat. A medium/fine comb will work like a comb used on your own hair, catching and pulling out the loose hair and dirt. For long-haired dogs that need to be scissored, such as the Bichon Frise or Kerry Blue Terrier, a slicker brush should be used to untangle and remove loose hair. Use a pin brush only if there are no mats. Depending on the hair type, choose a medium/coarse or coarse comb. If the pet is seriously matted, a mat comb or splitter may be needed. A curved slicker with stiff pins will untangle more effectively and will pull out more undercoat, but will also require more care in order to not brush-burn the pet. For breeds with long silky coats, a slicker brush (or, if there are no mats, a pin brush) should be used— along with a medium/coarse or a coarse comb to check for any matting in the coat. For a serious matting problem, try a mat comb or a long pin rake. For double-coated breeds, a number of different brushes can be used: a wire slicker to pull out the loose hair, a pin brush to untangle and smooth, or an undercoat rake or a mat comb to help thin out the undercoat. A moulting comb can also be used to remove loose hair and tidy the outer coat. Depending on the hair type, a medium/fine or a medium/coarse comb should also be used. For sporting breeds such as Setters and Spaniels, a pin brush can be used to untangle slightly matted coats, and a wire slicker will remove loose, dead hair. A medium/coarse or coarse comb can be used to untangle and neaten the coat. If the coat is seriously matted or tangled, you may need to use a mat comb or a long pin rake. In short, there is a grooming brush/comb/tool to fit the needs of any breed of dog, but regular grooming is always a must!

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