Being Fluffy Isn’t Easy
It is very important that a dog is kept tangle-free so as to not create a matted coat. If a dog is bathed or is allowed to get wet with tangles present, it’s like washing a wool sweater. Tangles will shrink and tighten causing discomfort to your dog as the coat pulls the skin and creates a barrier that can possibly cause skin irritation. If a dog is too severely matted to brush out, shaving the coat off to a short length is the only humane alternative.
Here are some tips on how you can keep your pet properly brushed and combed so these unpleasant situations don’t arise. Riverside Grooming staff is always happy to advise on proper equipment and products that will make brushing and combing your dog efficient and pain-free. We can also do a once-a-week “brush and fluff only” grooming if one wants to keep a dog in immaculate condition, with frequent visits to our salon. Remember: “Being fluffy isn’t easy!”
- Table with a no-skid top. A bath mat is nice for this because it’s soft for comfort and won’t slip around on the table.
- Grooming Arm to secure your Dog on the Table. Alternately, you can push your table up to a wall and using something to attach the noose to.
- Grooming Noose or Leash
- Metal Comb – Coarse to medium
- Universal Style Slicker Brush (Curved back)
- Conditioning Spray. We offer a variety of these products at our salon.
Begin by setting your dog on the table. Make sure your pet is secured to the table with a leash attached to the grooming arm. On puppies we use a slip lead looped under one front leg so if the puppy jumps from the table he/she is not damaged by hanging from the neck.
NOTE: Never leave a puppy or an adult dog unattended on the table.
Dogs are properly brushed by using the “Line Brushing Method”. This means one brushes one “line” of coat at a time. “Line” meaning one small section at a time.
- Start at the ankle, hold the coat on the ankle up away from the foot.
- Spray a bit of conditioning spray so that you don’t damage coat while brushing.
- Start brushing using the complete surface of your brush while releasing a layer of coat at a time, say about 1/2″ of coat. Using the complete surface of your brush will cause you to use a rocking motion as the brush surface is curved. This helps to get into the coat and pull out any dead coat that may be present. Do this all around that section of the ankle up to the first joint.
- Once you have brushed through that section of coat, do the same action using a metal comb. Always start with the side of the comb where the teeth are placed the farthest apart. Turn the comb around and repeat the action with the finer toothed side of the comb. Work your way up to the top of the leg on all four legs. Do the same with the tail starting at the tip.
- Once legs and tail are brushed and combed, start brushing the rear of the dog, starting at the base of the tail. Using your free hand, push the coat and skin forward with your fingers grabbing a bit of the coat on the teeth of your brush, one section at a time using the same method of brushing as you did on the legs. It works best if you are stretching the skin to create a flat surface so that your brush can grab the coat all the way down to the skin. For long coat such as ears and tail, start brushing at the tips of the hair and work your way in gradually toward the skin. Repeat with a comb, as described earlier.
- Do the same around the shoulders and chest area, up to the top of the head, cheek and chin area. Be very thorough and don’t forget to comb each section after brushing. Your comb should glide through with teeth touching the skin all over your dog before a brush/comb session can be considered complete.
IMPORTANT! If you run into an area of heavy matting on areas of thin, delicate tissue one must not force the brush or comb through as this can be very painful and can even damage skin surface creating irritation that could require veterinary care. Areas to be extra careful with are: under-arms, ribs, in between rear legs and sides of face. Talk to your dog in a calm and encouraging manner during the brushing session. Go slowly and take your time, dogs don’t like to be rushed. Brushing can be stressful for dogs, especially if not familiar with the process.
- Always reward your dog after a grooming session. He/she has worked along with you in order to achieve that gorgeous style!