Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Brush Your Dog’s Coat Regularly!!

on October 28, 2010

We were picking up dog food at Petco this weekend when we saw a startling site – in the grooming room was a dog with half its fur hanging off it in sheets. Yes, that’s right – SHEETS.

 

I can't believe I used to be so fluffy! There's 3x more hair than dog here!

 

This dog looked like a sheep being sheared. And even with chilly weather setting in, the groomer was giving the dog a buzz cut, right down to its skin.

Clearly, all this dog was going to be for Halloween was — naked.

I told the cashier that I’d never seen fur hanging off a dog in long sheets and, looking at me over her glasses, she said quietly, “That’s not normal – it’s because that dog has never been brushed. NEVER.”  This was a full-sized dog, not a puppy. The groomer was in the process of calling for help because the dog was freaking out over the “shearing”. It was awful.

I keep Daisy’s hair cut relatively short because it tends to mat when it’s allowed to grow. When we first got her, her hair was a few inches long and she looked like a little puff ball. We were told that she had to be brushed a couple times a day to keep the hair mat-free and neat. It was adorable looking, but the very first time I tried to brush her, I found thick mats had already formed in the deep under-layers, and she was only 2.6 months old. I worked at it twice a day for a week, with no improvements. That was it – I gave her a major haircut, right down to her tight little curls. Cutting through some of the thicker mats was like sawing through tight wads of cotton with a scissor!

Now we have no problems with matting – as long as we keep her hair relatively short and brushed, it’s fine.

Not all dogs enjoy being brushed, and Daisy was no exception. At first she became agitated, biting at the brush and trying to spin her body around so I couldn’t reach it, but I tried different techniques and found that if I made brushing part of our cuddle time and let her sniff and nip the brush first, she was far more accepting and actually seemed to enjoy it. Or at the very least, she tolerated it well. Now it’s part of our bonding time.

After seeing that poor dog being “sheared”, I decided to look into the importance of brushing dog’s coats, whether they have fur or actual hair. Besides making the dog more aesthetically pleasing and having nice human-canine hands-on bonding time, there are health reasons for brushing as well. Here’s what I found out:

  • Brushing helps prevent skin problems. When dogs shed fur, they also shed dead skin cells. If all of this discarded material isn’t brushed off, it can accumulate and cause bacteria to grow. You’ll know this is happening if your dog smells particularly bad. Yuck.
  • Brushing brings out and evenly distributes the skin’s natural oils. Think of those natural oils like hair conditioner – their hair or fur needs conditioning as much as our hair does. Long hair in particular benefits from brushing because those oils can’t coat all that long hair without brushing.
  • Brushing helps control shedding, which means less clean-up around the house for you!
  • Brushing keeps you familiar with your dog’s skin and helps you discover any skin issues, lumps, or insects that may be hiding beneath those lovely locks.

As common sense would dictate, never brush a dog’s hair backward – against the direction it’s naturally growing. It’s very irritating to the dog and can cause knotting in long-haired dogs.

Go about it the right way and grooming can be a wonderful human-canine bonding experience.

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2 responses to “Brush Your Dog’s Coat Regularly!!

  1. tiffy40 says:

    Brushing, Brushing, Brushing…..we do it every day and if not we end up with mats. I find though that Tiffy mats more in the winter time. Have you found that to be the case as well? Just curious.. Great Post:)

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