Shedding is a natural process for pets and it can sometimes be frustrating for their humans. Dogs and cats are the usual pets that shed a lot. The amount of fur your pet sheds depends on their breed, some shed seasonally while others shed year-round, and whether they have a single or double layer of fur.
If your pet sheds frequently, it's super important to choose the right brush! Here is a guide to choosing the right brush and the best techniques on how to brush your pet.
For more breed and pet specific recommendations, ask your vet or groomer for further information.
Bristle brushes are a great choice for all coat types. For a longer coat, rely on long bristles. For shorter-haired dogs, pick a stiff brush.
Wire-pin brushes are the perfect choice for woolly or curly coats that need detangling.
Slicker brushes are best used on dogs who are prone to mats and tangles.
Rubber curry combs can be used on short-haired dogs or to massage any dog’s skin. Combs help remove dander, dead skin, and old hair. Many dogs love the feeling of being brushed with a rubber comb, which acts as a gentle massager.
How to brush your dog?
Brush down and out, away from the dog’s skin. Always brush in the direction the coat grows; dogs don’t like to be brushed backwards.
Be gentle or you may damage your dog’s coat by pulling and stretching hairs until they tangle and break. Take the time to untangle any snags just as you would if your comb got stuck in your child’s hair.
If you encounter mats, apply a coat conditioner or mat spray and leave it on for several minutes. Then use a wide-toothed comb or a mat-splitting tool to get through the tangle. Mats can get close to a dog’s skin, and removing them can be painful, so proceed carefully. You can cut out mats with scissors, but be careful you don’t end up at the vet for stitches; it happens more often than you’d think. If you just can’t get a mat out, take your dog to a groomer who will probably shave the area.
A recommended de-shedding tool for cats is a 6- to 8-inch-long metal comb with fine to medium teeth. This comb will remove the dead coat and catch all the tangles and mats that lie hidden underneath without irritating your cat’s delicate skin. A grooming glove is a great tool for shorthaired cats.
How to brush your cat?
Try to brush your cat when he is relaxed – perhaps ready to fall asleep. Begin by gently stroking your cat. Once you notice that he seems relaxed, start brushing with long, slow, gentle strokes.
The best way to remove dead hair is to first brush against the direction of the hair growth, and then go with the direction of growth.
Clean your brush of any excess hair often to avoid creating more knots or clumps.
After brushing, wipe your cat's fur with a soft chamois. This cloth will remove dead hair and add sheen to the coat. (If you have a close-coated cat, like a Burmese or Siamese, then this is all that you will need to do.)
If you have a multiple-cat household, be sure to clean the combs and brushes after use on each animal. If one of your cats is battling any sort of skin disorder, sharing a brush that hasn’t been cleaned is a perfect way to spread the itch along.