You love your dog, from his (or her) shiny wet nose to the tip of his wagging tail. However, that doesn’t mean that you love dog hair from the tip of your collar to inside your socks (we don’t know how it gets in there either). Even dogs that don’t molt very much shed hair during seasonal changes. So using the right brush can not only be a very cathartic bonding experience for you and your fur baby, but it can really help to minimize the excess hair that ends up everywhere except attached to your dog.
What Should You Look For In a Dog Hair Brush?
This can be such a loaded question, and every groomer and vet will have their own recommendations, but looking at the top 5 dog hair brushes reviews can help to give you a really good idea about the variety and style of brush options that are available to you.
You don’t necessarily need to settle for the traditional metal bristle brush that was often used for heavy coats. But this type of brush does serve a purpose, particularly if you are trying to remove winter shedding. But there are also rubber bristle options that can work just as well, and even better if you are looking after a pooch with skin conditions that might be aggravated by metal scratching along the skin.
The purpose of a dog hair brush is to help you to maintain a healthy coat that is clean and clear of debris. The act of brushing helps to stimulate the skin and oil glands, helping to keep your dog looking healthy, as well as actually being and feeling healthy.
Beyond this it is also an opportunity for dog owners to check over the condition of their dogs. While brushing you will notice if your pet seems to have any areas which are causing pain, or any areas where they are particularly itchy, or enjoying the extra massage. This becomes even more important as your dog ages and signs of arthritis or sore muscles start to appear.
Things To Consider When Shopping
Things to take into consideration when you are looking to get a grooming kit will include…
Size of your dog: If you have a very large dog, using a brush the size of an average toothbrush is going to be a particularly painful experience for both you and your canine companion. Likewise, if you have a toy breed, then something more suitable for the average horse is not going to work for you either.
Coat Type: Long haired and short haired breeds do have different needs. These needs will also vary depending on the season.
Skin Type: Although elderly or sensitive skin is obviously one consideration, you also need to consider the smoothness of your animal’s skin. Breeds like Shar-Peis or even English Bulldogs (read here) with very winkled skin need to have a different grooming routine and different equipment than your Spaniels or Staffordshires.
Energy Levels: Some breeds are more than happy to stand perfectly still while you are grooming them. Others, particularly puppies, are going to be jumping all over the place. The temperament of your dog should also be taken into consideration when you are shopping for the right brush.
Owners Ability and Strength: Often we forget about the human component of any dog grooming relationship, but while you are choosing the right equipment for your pet, you should also consider how comfortable it will be for you. This is particularly important if you have arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, or any type of repetitive strain injury. There are options that are better suited if you have difficulty gripping a brush, and also if you have limited strength to pull a brush through your dog’s hair.
When Your Dog Won’t Be Groomed
If you are struggling to get your pooch to stay still long enough for you to come near her with a brush, there are a few things you can consider. Firstly, why are they not keen on the experience? It may be that the blade or bristles really do hurt her. Once you have worked out the issue you will be able to find a grooming option to replace your current set up.
Unfortunately, once they have decided that this process hurts or is uncomfortable, you will need to work to retrain him to sit still and try to actually enjoy the process, even though you are introducing new equipment. Decide if your dog is more praise or food oriented for training (see here), and consider using clicker training to get them used to not only sitting and staying, but also to allow them to be groomed.
The Clean Up
We’re not just talking a good doggie bath, but what to do with all of the hair that you are inevitably left with. And trying to remove hair from a dog brush can be a nightmare, as well as just unpleasant. If this is a job that you particularly detest, then look for options that are self-cleaning. You’ll find some that have retractable blades or bristles, which means that with a simple push of a button the hair is popped out and you can throw it into the bin.
Of course, if you are a more crafty person, you might see all this hair as the perfect opportunity to get truly creative. See here: https://www.ninelivestwine.com/custom-yarn-from-cats-dogs.html.
Spinning it into yarn for all sorts of crafts might be an option, rather than putting it out for the trash collectors or sticking it in your compost.
If you have different breeds of dogs, or a variety of different kinds of pets, you can also look for options that are double sided or designed for use with cats and dogs, for instance. You want to ensure that you are looking at options that won’t pull the hair out, but simply helps to loosen dirt on the skin and that will remove shedding and molting hairs. Be particularly cautious of this with cats, as they not only will generally be a little more forthright in their opposition to you, but they are also quite susceptible to getting a bald patch if you go overboard.