BY ERIN HENNEN, GROOMER
With so many people working from home, now is the perfect time to practice keeping up on your pup’s grooming needs at home! Not only does regular brushing and grooming help your pup avoid tangles, but it can also help with excess shedding, dander and smell. With just a few well-purchased tools, you can use your spare time bonding with your pup over grooming.
1 First thing to remember is that the goal is to make grooming as positive as possible. If your pup isn’t a huge fan of the brush, start with short increments and slowly build up. Even a few minutes of well-rewarded grooming can be a game changer. Start with a small section of your dogs back using a slicker brush, which is a brush with bent, metal pins. The size of the brush really doesn’t matter. Just focus on a small section at a time. Part the hair to the skin and brush a section working from the back of the dog towards the front or from the bottom of the leg working up. Holding the hair slightly parted so that you can see the skin as you work ensures that you are brushing all the way through and that the brush is not skipping any tangles or clumps of dead hair. If this isn’t your dog’s favorite pastime, try rewarding them for sitting still for a few minutes at a time, or have a partner offer a tasty treat such as a toy filled with peanut butter.
2 Once you have a section brushed out, go back over the area with a comb. While a brush may skip over a section, the comb will make sure to catch anything you’ve missed. Any metal comb is great for this job; no matter the size! A smaller-toothed comb will help in tight areas like around the eyes.
3 Key areas to focus on are the areas that tend to matte (tangle) up first or shed excessively. On longer-coated dogs, try to focus on the head, ears, tail and legs. Since we pet our pups most frequently on their back, you’re more likely to notice a spot that needs extra attention during a snuggle session. If you have a shedding dog, focus on the neck/chest and the back of the legs.
4 If you have a smooth or short-coated dog, the slicker brush is still a great tool, but I love using a curry brush to finish up and help with shedding. These are rubber brushes and can double as a great tool to suds up your pup in the bath!
If you need assistance or an in-person demo, ask your local groomer to help! We’re always happy to show you the best way to keep up on your pup at home or to recommend the right tools for you!