Grooming is one of the necessary pet managements that should be regularly performed to keep your pets look cool and calm. Brushing and combing your pet is a routine grooming task to keep your pet’s hair coat free of dust, debris and knots etc. It removes mats and tangles, massages the skin, keep the dog coat look shiny and pretty and lubricates the skin by activating body’s natural oils.
Dogs have different types of hair coats depending upon their breed.
This is one of the easiest coats to maintain. Dogs with such hair coat do not require to be groomed often. Smooth coat is sleek and shiny and such dogs appear as if they are covered just with skin not fur. Common breeds with smooth hair coat are: :Bulldog, Dalmatian, Pointer, Greyhounds & Rottweiler.
Also called “poodle coat”. Dogs with curly coats have thick and soft curls close to the body and has a lot of volume of hair. This coat requires regular grooming. This type of hair coat has a tendency to become dry and easily form tangles & knots. Before brushing it is better to spray with some kind of conditioning spray to avoid breakage and hair damage. It is one of the coats that are hard to be maintained. Common breeds with such kind of hair coat are: Poodle, Bichon Frise, Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever.
Long coated dogs also require a lot of maintenance & grooming, if not daily then at least 3 times a week. Long coats can vary in texture from coarse coat to silky. Long haired coarse coated dogs have a softer undercoat while long haired silky coated dogs do not have any undercoat. Breeds with long coats are Afghan hound, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers, Spaniels.
This type of coat has two layers of short coats, making this coat denser than smooth coat and you can easily put your fingers through it. These coats are designed to protect the pet against elements. The hair is short in length between 1cm -3cm. This type of coats require little grooming, however the coat can hold more water and scent, making it hard to dry and can be a little smellier. Dogs with such type of hair coat are Labrador, Pug & Beagle.
Wire or Broken Coat:
Wire coat is a unique coat and requires specific grooming. These coats are rough and bristly rather to be soft and silky. Dogs with such coats also don’t shed. This makes such dogs a good choice for some hair allergic pet owners. The best way to groom wire haired dogs is hand stripping which means to pluck out unwanted, overgrown hairs with your fingers or any stripping knife. Border Terrier, Irish Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Affenpinscher, Brussels & Otterhound are some dogs with wirehaired/broken coat.
It is another unique type of coat. A breed with a combination coat has areas of long hairs and short hairs. The two types of coats are very distinct and easy to tell apart. Generally, the shorter coat is on the body and longer coat is on the ear, legs and tail. More grooming is required at long haired areas while short haired areas require less maintenance. Examples are: Cocker Spaniel & Golden Retriever.
Grooming Brushes for Dogs
For all these different kind of body coats there are many kinds of grooming brushes. Each dog grooming tool has its own unique feature. The major types of dog grooming brushes are:
- Bristle Brushes
- Slicker Brushes
- Wire-Pin Brushes
1- Bristle Brushes:
Bristle brush can be used on all coat types. These are available in synthetic and natural bristles and vary depending upon the spacing and length of the bristles. Their clusters of tightly packed bristles remove loose hairs and stimulate the skin, improve circulation and add shine to the coat. Generally, longer, widely spaced bristles are used for long haired coats and short, closely spaced bristles tend to work better for short hair coats while stiff bristles work better for coarse hair coats. These brushes are used as finishing brushes to style the dog’s fur.
2- Slicker Brushes:
Slicker brushes have rows of fine, short, closely spaced wires on a curved or flat surface. Slicker brushes are used to remove dead hairs, fur mats and tangles from medium to long haired and curly haired dogs. Fine wired bristles distribute natural oils throughout the dog’s body adding smoothness and shine to the coat. While using a slicker brush, be gentle and calm, do not apply much pressure as it will cause discomfort to the dog.
Rakes are designed to penetrate in to thick coat and removes knots, mats and dead undercoat near the skin. These are of two types:
These have a single row of metal prongs and are used on dogs with thick hair coats. These prongs effectively remove dead fur from the dog’s undercoat.
This one is usually a smaller version of undercoat rake with smaller metal prongs that more effectively eliminate the painful and unsighted fur mats.
4- Wire-Pin Brushes:
Basically these are wire brushes but in addition to wires these also have pins adjusted to the head of wires. These are usually oval shaped, with a loosely arranged set of wires having pins on their tops. These are used in dogs having a medium length coat, wire coat, wavy or curly coat and are also useful for dogs having sensitive skin. But these are not useful for dogs having short sleek hair coats. These remove dead shedding hairs and minor tangles. Large sized pin brushes can be used on wet furs to avoid breakage.