Bathing and brushing Fido are usually down on the bottom of the to-do list. A chore relegated to a Saturday afternoon when there’s nothing else to do. But when you consider that basic pet grooming not only makes your dog look and smell better, it also improves his health, you may be more inclined to give a him good brushing more often. Even short-haired dogs, like my Jack Russell Terriers, benefit from the brushing I give them three times a week.
Prevent Matted Fur
Matted fur is not only unsightly, it’s painful for a dog. Think about a ponytail that is pulled far too tight and you get an inkling of how a dog feels with matted fur. Multiply a tight ponytail times the number of clumps of matted fur the dog has and you can really understand the pain. Clumps of matted fur are also prime locations for fleas to hide and breed, causing the dog even more pain. A daily brushing prevents matted fur and the pain associated with clumped fur.
As the brush detangles fur and glides over the skin, the bristles provide a massaging actions that stimulates circulation. The blood rises to the surface of the skin and improves the health of your dog’s fur and skin, helping to keep them both healthy.
Fewer Hair Balls
Brushing removes loose hair before your dog has a chance to lick himself and swallow the hair. Ingested loose hair typically passes through the digestive system without causing problems, but the occasional hair ball forms from loose hairs that have lodged in the stomach or along the digestive tract. Fido may be able to get the hair ball up and out on his own, but sometimes the hairball has to be surgically removed.
Strengthens Core Muscles
If only it was this easy to strengthen our core muscles…but brushing does just that for your dog. Brushing triggers a reflex in dogs that causes a twitching motion to take place along the spine, that twitching engages the core muscles in the dog’s mid-section causing them to contract and become stronger.
Daily brushing allows you to become familiar with what is normal on your dog’s body. You’ll be able to detect a new bump, sore, cut or other abnormality that could indicate a health problem so it can be treated early.
Makes Fido Happy
The physical act of brushing causes your dog’s brain to release feel-good endorphins so he becomes happy and relaxed during a brushing session. Bonding time with you is also another bonus brushing provides.
Hand-held, mitten, long or short bristles, wire or nylon, dog brushes come in a wide assortment of styles. The best brush for your dog is the one you’ll use on a regular basis, so invest in a dog brush that fits your hand comfortably.