How Often Should I Brush My Dog?

Although underfed and starving dogs get a lot of attention for being neglected, one of the most common types of neglect is a dog not being brushed frequently enough. This is due to owner laziness or ignorance. Quite simply, many people do not know how often a dog should be brushed.

 

When we look at domestic dogs we must recall that they are not a natural species. They are descended, through breeding selection, from wolves. Wolves have a fur type that does not require brushing although the wolves do groom themselves. Our domestic dogs are different, they do require regular grooming in the form of proper brushing.

A shaggy dog story! by foxypar4.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/foxypar4/887300612/

Think of how frequently you brush your own hair. Now imagine how much time you would spend brushing your hair if it covered your entire body. While dogs are, in the most part, much smaller than people, they do have hair over their entire body. This hair, when neglected, can form itchy areas and painful mats.

When dogs get mats in their hair the mats pull at the dogs skin. This causes the dog pain and distress, making it itch and try to pull off the mats. Unable to do so, they are left with sore areas. Their owners are unable to remove the mats safely at this point. An attempt with scissors can cut the dogs skin sending it to the vet. As such many owners take their dogs to the groomers and let the groomers deal with the problem.

At the dog groomers a professional will tackle the mats, generally they have no choice but to shave the dog completely. To remove the mats (as in an attempt to leave the dogs coat long) any other way would be too stressful and painful to the dog.

pari-April-shower by Blossom Charm.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blossomcharm/2470990184/

These problems occur mostly in the breeds that are considered “non-shedding” but can occur in any of the longer haired dogs. 

Short haired dogs such as Labs also need regular brushing. Their skin condition is greatly improved through regular grooming. Also regular brushing gives an owner a chance to see if the dog is developing any problems, lumps, or has fleas. Regular brushing is good bonding. Regular brushing also reduces shedding, by not only removing the loose hairs, but by improving the skin condition as mentioned.

A “Brushing” is not always the whole entire dog, but can be just a quick 2 minute job of going over messy areas.  Most problems do not form on the back of the dog, which is where most people focus their brushing, rather it is the lower areas that are often the problem, and around the neck. 

 Wet Muzzle by Let Ideas Compete.

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/question_everything/3337289063/

How often should dogs be brushed?

*Short Haired dogs, such as Labs, Beagles, and Pugs, should be brushed 1 – 3 times a week.

*Medium Length Haired dogs, such as Border Collies, and German Shepherds, should be brushed 2 – 4 times a week.

*Fluffy Spitz Type dogs, such as Chow Chows, Pomeranians, and Keeshonds should be brushed 2 – 4 times a week with one really good “backwards” brushing every week.

*Long Haired dogs, such as Rough Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Afghan Hounds, should be brushed 3 – 7 times a week.

*Non-Shedding dogs, such as Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers, should be brushed 3 – 7 times a week and if they are to be kept trimmed, they need to visit the groomer regularly every 6 – 8 weeks. This should start when the puppy is 12 weeks of age.

blondes by keeping it real.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fat_tony/3333622654/

Related Links

Is your Dog as Healthy as you Think it is?

Eight Very Unique Dog Breeds

Six Mistakes to Avoid with Your Dog

How to Reduce Shedding in Dogs

 

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  1. PR Mace

    On March 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Well thank you, I learned something new and found I was not brushing my dogs enough.Both of our guys are short- haired dogs so I brush them after their monthly bath and before I apply flea medication. I do agree it’s a good time to check for any problems and I usually give them a good rub down on all four legs to check for any problems. My dogs take this as a pleasure and are sad once I am done.

  2. RAJEEV BHARGAVA

    On March 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    that was such a useful article, which I would describe as “an eye-opener” to all pet owners. i learnt alot of new facts from this and shall apply them all as of now, all the time to my pets. I have 4 short coated and 1 long coated chihuahua – a family of 5 and will start brushing them regularly now. i was doing it once a week or fortnight, but after reading this, I will comb them regularly. thanks very much for creating and sharing.

  3. Darla Beck

    On March 18, 2010 at 8:07 am

    A very informative and helpful article. Thanks for sharing.

  4. martie

    On March 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

    We have a lab/shepherd mix we need to brush daily during the spring and summer as he sheds terribly when losing his winter coat.

  5. papaleng

    On March 18, 2010 at 11:55 am

    good info, Now I had to brush often my Labs hair.

  6. sambhafusia

    On March 19, 2010 at 3:15 am

    nice info given…great share

  7. CA Johnson

    On March 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    This is a great guide to grooming your dog. Thank you so much for sharing these tips with us.

  8. deep blue

    On April 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Very helpful tips to dog owners.

  9. Panda

    On April 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I usually brush my two dogs fur once everyday.. They have medium length hair but they both shed oh so much! Am I brushing them too much?

  10. Budgerigar Parakeets

    On September 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Hey, this dogs looks amazing, especially the first one. The dogs have stronger teeth and a proper brushing will make a great pet. Thanks for this.

  11. Heather C

    On October 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

    a girlfriend of mine just moved in for a while with her hundred pound rotty/bull mastif mix. she has been here about 6 weeks and has not once bathed or brushed her dog and he smells and sheds horribly, not to mention i have terrible allergies. she has tried to tell me he only gets bathed every couple of months and never when its warm out?!? and she just doesnt own a brush for him. this article has been a huge eye opener and from this point on i will be making it my goal that the dog gets taken care of properly!!

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