As a responsible pet parent, you know that at-home brushing and using the professional groomers dog shampoo between grooming appointments can help keep your dog’s coat clean and mat-free. But understanding how often you should brush your dog for purposes beyond just ensuring their coat does not become tangled, may seem more complicated. The good news is it’s not.
Figuring out the length of time between at-home brushings depends on your dog’s coat type and length. Certain dog breeds need to be brushed more frequently than others because their hair is more prone to matting and shedding
Don’t become overwhelmed! Dogs do not require daily brushing. Even dogs who require frequent at-home groomings for coat maintenance still usually only need to be brushed a few times each week.
You cannot overbrush your dog, but you should be mindful of the types of grooming tools you’re using and watch out for signs of skin irritation such as redness or dryness. Along with helping maintain skin and coat health, brushing your dog regularly can help grow your bond, so feel free to get in some short, off-schedule sessions to connect with your dog and get them more comfortable with the process.
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Remove mats from your dog’s fur. Before brushing with a regular grooming brush, remove mats with a dematting comb using careful, picking motions to break up the mat. Don’t pull or brush directly into a mat. Do not cut mats from your pet’s fur.
Use a Furminator or deshedding tool. If you have a dog with a thick undercoat or a breed that is prone to shedding, you may want to use a Furminator or deshedding tool at home to remove excess hair prior to brushing.
Brush in the direction of your dog’s fur. Once mats are removed, brush your dog’s hair in the direction it grows. For long-haired breeds, you may need to work in sections starting close to your pet’s skin to make this task easier.
It is recommended that you brush your dog when their coat is dry. Wet hair can make mats worse and more difficult to remove. If you want to brush your dog’s hair following a bath, let their coat dry prior to brushing.
How to remove mats
To remove mats from your dog’s fur, you need to first isolate the mat and hold it separately away from your dog’s fur.
Spray a pet-safe detangling product on the mat and work it through using your fingers.
With your other hand, use a dematting tool or a comb and start to gently untangle the hair at the edges of the mat. Use picking motions—don’t brush or pull too hard. Slowly work your way through the mat until it is untangled.
Removing mats from your dog’s fur requires patience, but it’s important to work slowly and avoid pulling at the mat with your brush. Being too aggressive with the mat or your brush can be painful for your dog. If you are unsure of how to remove the mat, or it is a difficult one, consult a professional groomer who can safely remove the mat for you and help with more personalized recommendations for your dog’s coat care.
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