Besides making sure that your dog is happy and healthy and lives a long life filled with wonder and joy, you should consider grooming him or her on a regular basis. But how often is too often and how rare is too rare?
That is precisely the question that we will answer in today’s article. We’ll look at various dog breeds and their coat brushing requirements to make sure that you give your canine friend the best care in the world.
Basic dog grooming tips
Grooming refers not only to the actual brushing of a dog’s coat, but also to caring for his or her ears, teeth, nails, and feet, and even bathing once in a while. For example, bathing isn’t recommended more than once a month, and that’s actually an exception.
Unless your pooch has gotten into something dirty, you will have to give him or her a bath every 2-3 months.
What does regular brushing do for your canine companion? Well, it’s more important than you might think. Not only does it get rid of dead hair and sometimes even dirt, but it also evenly distributes the natural oils released by your dog’s skin.
On top of that, brushing stimulates the skin and gives your pooch a nice massage, too. The length of your dog’s coat is the most important factor to consider when deciding whether you should tend to the brushing task every couple of days or once a week.
Different dog breeds, different brushing needs
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that short-haired breeds have minimal grooming requirements compared to long-haired Fidos. Besides not needing haircuts, short-haired dogs need brushing only once in a while. You also have to use a different type of brush, one that is rather geared toward giving your pooch a massage rather than actively trying to remove the dead hair.
If you have a short-haired dog that’s predisposed to dermatitis, especially because of his or her skin type, you should use wipes instead of a sharp-pin brush that might make the health problem more severe.
Long-haired breeds have unique needs compared to their short-haired counterparts. In this case, you should consider brushing their coat either once a day or at least once every 2-3 days.
On top of that, long-haired breeds have different requirements when it comes to bathing. You are allowed to give your long-haired dog a bath every four to six weeks, which is different compared to the standard recommendations. Taking your Fido to a groomer once every couple of months can also let you know whether you should make some changes to your grooming routine.
Besides short-haired and long-haired dogs, there are some that have a thick undercoat. Spitz breeds are an example. They require brushing every day, and you will also have to give them a bath almost every month. The type of brush that you will use for the purpose is going to be different, too, as an undercoat rake is the most recommended one out there.
Of all of the breeds that currently exist, the ones that have silky hair are among the most challenging ones to manage in terms of their coat. These dogs have almost no undercoat, which means that if you brush them too often or you use the incorrect brush, you might risk damaging their skin and creating lesions on them. In some cases, once a week is more than enough.
Wavy and curly coats need a different type of care
Here are some examples of dog breeds that need significantly more care in terms of brushing and bathing compared to the rest.
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Irish Water Spaniel
- American Water Spaniel
- Spanish Water Dog
- Curly-coated Retriever
These pooches need far more grooming than others. If you are the pet parent of one of the breeds that we’ve mentioned, you will have to make sure that you brush your dog’s coat at least once every two days. Ideally, you should do this every single day.
Dogs that have long, wavy and curly coats are predisposed to a number of health complications. You might have noticed a Bichon or a Poodle with a case of conjunctivitis simply because their hair tends to get in their eyes all the time.
If you don’t trust yourself with scissors around your dog’s eyes, you should take him or her to a groomer every month.
Curly-haired dogs also need to be checked for tangles on a regular basis. Some dogs can have such severe tangles that they have to get a short haircut at the grooming salon if you don’t provide them with the right brushing routine.
What about terriers? Well, their brushing requirements are more or less similar to those of curly-haired dogs. You’ll have to brush their coat every day and even bathe them once in a while.
Choose the right brush for your dog
There are four kinds of dog brushes available for sale these days, and they all serve a different purpose. You can choose between rakes, slicker brushes, bristle, or pin brushes.
Rakes are made to get into a dog’s thick coat and get rid of any dead skin remnants or hair that exists there. They’re also effective when it comes to removing tangles. They make the best choice for breeds such as Chow Chows, Malamutes, or German Shepherds.
Slicker brushes are equipped with short and fine wires that are close together. They can be used on curly-haired dogs or those that have a long coat. In terms of breeds, they make the best option for Yorkshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, and Saint Bernards. A slicker brush is usually capable of removing mats, which is specifically what these breeds are more prone to developing.
Pin brushes have loosely-positioned wires with pins at the top. You can use such a brush for breeds that have little to no undercoat and whose skin you do not want to hurt. They can also be utilized at the end of the grooming process as they’re more gentle, and they get rid of the last bits of dirt, flea feces, and dead skin.
Bristle brushes can be used on smooth-coated or short-haired dogs that have a tendency to shed. This is the type of brush that you should use if you are the pet parent of a Boston Terrier, a Pug, or a Jack Russell Terrier.
Regular brushing gets rid of dirt, pollen, grass, and anything else that might exist on and under your dog’s coat. It also prevents mats and tangles, so it needs to be done on a regular basis.
The best piece of advice that we can give you is to look for as much information about the dog breed that you own right after getting him/her. This will make it possible for you to find out if you should brush your canine friend once every few weeks, once a week, or even every day.