Pet Health: Why Bathing and Brushing Are Important

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Brushing your
dog
might seem like a big chore, especially when life gets hectic.

“Very often, people make brushing and combing a major event. They think you need to do it for an hour,” says Stephen L. Zawistowski, PhD, an animal behaviorist and science adviser to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

But grooming your dog doesn’t need to be a big deal. “In many ways, you’re better off doing it more often but for a short period, maybe 5 or 10 minutes each day,” Zawistowski says. “Make it a habit.”

Brief, frequent brushing sessions, combined with an occasional bath, keep your dog clean and comfortable. Routine brushing enhances your dog’s appearance by distributing natural oils throughout the entire coat. “It makes dogs look nice and healthy and glossy,” Zawistowski says. It also prevents hair from knotting or clumping and whisks away dirt, burs, and other outdoor debris.

Plus, there’s a big emotional payoff. “The brushing actually helps you develop a good bond with your dog,” Zawistowski says.

How extensively do you need to brush and comb? It depends on your dog’s coat. Long-haired breeds, like golden retrievers and Newfoundlands, will need longer, more intense brushing almost daily, Zawistowski says. Short-haired dogs, like Dalmatians or beagles, aren’t as hard to brush, but regular sessions will still cut down on shedding. Use a steel-tooth comb to remove tangles and then a stiff bristle brush to get rid of loose hair, he says.

Source link Pets.Webmd


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