Woman brushing fluffy dog.

Maintaining your pet’s grooming is important to the health and well-being of your best fur-iend. Vital Essentials® cares about the overall quality of life of all canine and feline companions, which is why we’re bringing you Monday Makeover Grooming Tips and Tricks each week. You can read about Dog and Cat nail clipping, Dog and Cat ear cleaning, Dog and Cat dental care, and Dog and Cat bathing in our other blog posts. 

Just like you brush your own hair, your dog or cat’s hair also needs to be brushed.  Brushing your pet helps reduce shedding, removes dead hair and reduces tangles. If dead hair and tangles are not removed from your pet’s fur, the fur can clump up and become matted which can be painful for your dog. If your pet’s fur becomes too matted to brush out, seek a professional groomer or veterinarian for assistance. 

No matter what length your pet’s fur is, you should be brushing your pet at least twice a week.  Pet’s with longer fur, or fur that’s prone to tangles, may need to be brushed more frequently. Ask your groomer or veterinarian for recommendations on how frequently you should be brushing and for tips on which brushes will work best for your pet’s coat type. 

Always brush in the direction of your pet’s coat.  Be gentle, especially if you hit a tangle, because tight matted fur can cause discomfort for your pet. Remember to give your pet lots of praise and treats so they learn to love brushing. Vital Essentials Family Size Freeze-Dried Rabbit Bites work great for grooming! 

Here are a few different types of brushes to use for grooming your dog or cat.

Comb

Comb

One of the most useful types of grooming tools for your pet is a comb. A comb is used to find and remove tangles. Combing can also remove dead fur which leads to less shedding. Even short-haired dogs and cats can benefit from combing, especially after a bath. Just be careful not to poke your pet with the sharp prongs of the comb and remember to comb gently so you don’t pull your pet’s fur. If you have a medium or longhaired cat or dog, focus on combing areas that are prone to matting such as your pet’s ears, tail and belly. 

Slicker Brush

Slicker Brush

A slicker brush has metal bristles that are angled. Slicker brushes are used to remove tangles and matts and to smooth out your pet’s coat. Because of the type of bristles, slicker brushes should only be used on medium and long-haired pets. When using a slicker brush, you must be very gentle. Brushing too hard will cause scratches which are painful for your pet.  Brush from the head to the tail using long strokes. If you hit a tangle with the slicker brush, use your fingers or a comb to brush it out. 

Deshedding Brush

Deshedding brush

A deshedding brush has metal teeth on each side that are coarse and fine. The fine teeth work to remove hair from short-hair coats while the coarse teeth work to reduce shedding in dogs and cats with longer fur. Use a deshedding brush by applying gentle pressure and stroking it across your pet’s fur from head to tail, following the growth of the fur. Pushing too hard or brushing the same area too frequently during use can cause irritation, so use caution when grooming your pet with a deshedding brush.

Undercoat Rake

Undercoat rake

An undercoat rake has teeth that work to remove loose fur that’s closer to your pet’s skin. This type of brush should only be used on medium to long hair pets. Using gentle pressure, brush the length of the coat, reaching the fur close to your pet’s skin without scraping the skin. The rake removes loose undercoat without damaging your pet’s coat.

Not only is brushing your pet good for their health, but it also gives you the opportunity to bond with your best fur-iend. Brush up on your brushing skills by choosing a time each week to groom your pet. To learn more, check out our other Blog Posts, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit the Vital Essentials Website and enter your email to receive exclusive offers.