If you are into DIY dog grooming, you are probably familiar with the basic dog brushes – the bristle, pin, and slicker brush. In this article, we will focus on another dog brush – the washing brush or shampoo brush.
The shampoo brush comes with lots of perks, from removing loose fur through better dog shampoo distribution to a soothing massage.
Keep reading to find out the benefits of using the washing brush (spoiler alert: you will no longer have to use a lint roller every time your furry friend sits in your lap).
Tools You Need for Bathing Your Dog
While most dogs love brushing, the bath time part can be tricky. Therefore, before starting the grooming adventure, it is best to be prepared and have all tools at hand.
Best Dog Brush
There is no such thing as the perfect dog grooming brush – it all depends on your dog’s coat type and individual needs. Here are some of the basic grooming brush options for dogs.
The bristle brush is an all-around choice that works on most coat types (from short hair to long hair). The soft and tightly positioned nylon bristles on the bristle brush remove loose hair and all the dirt from the fur while providing a relaxing massage.
The pin brush features small stainless steel pins, which are great for brushing dogs with medium to long hair. The stainless steel pins help as the brush works its way through mats and tangles. You can purchase a combo brush with pins on one and bristles on the other side.
The slicker brush has fine wire bristles, which make dealing with mats and tangles easy and simple. The best slicker brush should feature a self-cleaning button. The slicker brush is a must-have grooming tool for dogs with wire and double coats.
Pet shampoo brush
The bristle, pin, and slicker brush are great to use on dry fur. However, your pet needs another type of dog brush – the pet shampoo brush, also known as a dog bath brush.
The ideal dog bath brush comes with a shampoo dispenser allowing ease of use while giving your dog a soothing massage. The nylon bristles are powerful enough to easily remove hair and dirt while soft enough to be used on sensitive skin.
The Furminator undercoat deshedding tool is excellent for removing loose hair and speeding up the natural shedding processes. However, not every dog is a good candidate for this tool (check here whether you can use the furminator undercoat deshedding tool).
Always buy a pet shampoo formulated specifically for your dog’s coat type and needs. Dogs with sensitive skin or skin problems require medicated shampoos. In addition to dog shampoo, you can also use a dog conditioner.
Dog Grooming Habit
Both you and your pet need a well-established dog grooming habit. It would help if you had tons of patience and treats while your dog needs to be used to the grooming routine.
Start grooming your pet’s coat while still a young pup – handling a large dog is much more manageable if it is accustomed to the procedure.
Why Finding the Right Dog Brush is Important
Brushing your pet properly is impossible without the right dog brush. Here are some reasons why brushing is critical for dogs:
- brushing prevents matting, and mats are associated with skin issues and a higher risk of infections and parasites (plus, removing them is quite painful)
- brushing massages the skin, promotes circulation and new hair growth
- brushing distributes your dog’s natural oils throughout the body (these natural oils promote healthy skin and a shiny coat)
- brushing helps remove loose hair and cuts down on shedding
- brushing allows you to check your dog for unusual lumps and sores
- brushing strengthens the bond between you and your fur baby.
What is a Good Dog Brush?
There is no such thing as a universally good dog brush – the best dog brush for your pet depends on its coat type and individual needs.
Generally speaking, good dog brushes should be compatible with your pet’s coat type – efficient yet gentle on the skin. Simultaneously, they should feature a non-slip and ergonomic grip for comfortable everyday use.
Tips on How to Brush Your Dog
Finding the best dog brushes is important, but you also need to know how and when to use them. Here are some tips on how to brush your dog (and which dog grooming tools to use) based on coat types.
Short and Medium Coats
Dogs with short hair to medium hair are pretty simple when it comes to brushing – all you need is a high-quality combo brush. Featuring a pin brush on one side and a bristle brush on the other, the combo brush is one of the few all-around grooming tools.
Just avoid using too much pressure when removing loose hair, as you can accidentally damage your dog’s skin. Use firm strokes to help remove dead hairs and brush in the hair growth direction. Then, you can use a deshedding tool or a curry comb to remove loose hair from the dog’s undercoat.
Short-haired breeds like the Labrador Retriever and Greyhound and medium-coated dogs like the German Shepherd and Border Collie are relatively low-maintenance. Low maintenance does not mean they do not need brushing – it means they need a reasonable and convenient dog grooming routine (and in case of an emergency, you can even use the cat grooming brush).
Dogs with long hair like Afghan Hounds and Yorkshire Terriers are the ultimate show dogs. However, they are also high-maintenance – keeping the lustrous coat shiny and healthy requires long daily brushing sessions.
For breeds with long hair, to make the dog grooming session more manageable, split all the hair into various sections and brush each section separately. A pin brush is ideal for long-coated dogs as it can reach the dog’s undercoat, thus removing loose fur. Do not use too much pressure so that it hurts your dog’s sensitive skin.
Brushing dogs with long hair (especially large dogs) can be time-consuming, but it is part of being a pet owner – keeping your dog’s coat healthy is impossible without regular brushing.
Dogs with wire coats have a harsh, almost wire-like outer hair layer. If you have ever petted a Fox Terrier or a Kerry Blue Terrier, you know exactly what we are talking about.
Maintaining wire coats requires more than just regular brushing with the best slicker brush- it includes plucking dead hair by hand (hand stripping) or with a so-called stripping knife.
In other words, wire-coated dogs do not shed, and you need to take the issue of removing loose hairs into your own hands. Hand-stripping is easy, but it does require a bit of practice and proper technique (you can always consult with a professional groomer).
Dogs with curly hair like Poodles and Bichon Frises require lengthy grooming time. This is because the soft curls grow close to the dog’s body and are prone to tangling.
Most pet owners mistakenly perform the so-called surface brush – they brush the topcoat but rarely reach the deeper layers of the dog’s coat. This superficial brushing is not efficient in removing loose hair.
The grooming session for dogs with curly hair includes daily brushing. As for grooming tools, a slicker brush and a metal comb are the basic essentials.
Dogs with double coats have two hair layers – a long topcoat and a dense undercoat. Double-coated dogs can have short hair like the Corgi or long hair like the Old English Sheepdog.
Brushing a dog with a double coat requires a good strategy – first, you need to brush the undercoat with a slicker brush. In addition to slicker brushes, dogs with long double coats will benefit from an undercoat rake or curry comb. Then, once all tangles are brushed out, you can use a metal comb for insurance.
To achieve adequate loose fur management, dogs with double coats need a furminator (undercoat deshedding tool). The deshedding tool will help remove loose hair and speed up the shedding process.
Do You Brush Your Dog Before or After a Bath?
Brushing your pet’s coat is a two-step job – you need to brush your dog before bathing and then once again after bath time. Brushing your dog’s coat before the bath has several purposes:
- removing loose hair and dead skin cells
- working out mats and tangles
- helping remove dirt
- ensuring deeper dog shampoo penetration
- preventing loose hairs from clogging your tub drain.
Brushing your dog after the bath will help remove hair that got loose during bathing. In addition to removing loose hair, the second brush is good for giving your dog’s coat shape.
Is it Better to Brush a Dog Wet or Dry?
The first brush performed before bath time should be done on dry fur. This is because brushing out mats and tangles is much easier on a dry dog. However, the second brush (the after-bath brushing) can be done on either a wet or dry coat.
Generally, it is easier to wait for the dog to dry before starting to brush. Anyway, in some dogs, especially ones with double coats, the second brush can be done on wet fur while still shampooing.
Using a bath brush will help the dog shampoo penetrate deep into the coat and reach the skin while offering a soothing massage (dogs love massages). The washing brush also helps remove loose hair and dirt.
Our Final Thoughts
As pet parents, we know that most dogs have BTSD (bath-traumatic-stress-disorder), or in simple words, they are not big fans of bathing.
Spicing up the grooming routine with a nice massage provided by the dog bath brush can make the bathing experience a bit more bearable.