Can You Over-Brush Your Dog?

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While dogs cannot be over-brushed, improper brushing techniques and tools may cause your pup some undue pain. To prevent hurting your dog, gentle and slow brushing works best. Also, make sure to take breaks to give her a rest as well as to praise and treat your patient pup. So, as long as you're doing it right, there's no need to worry about over-brushing. Read on to learn more.

Time Frame

Dogs have different grooming needs. Some breeds need little more than the occasional brush, while others require daily grooming to keep their hair tangle-free. In general, smooth-haired dogs and short-haired dogs benefit from weekly brushing. Pups with short, thick fur benefit from brushing several times a weeks. Pups with long hair that can mat and tangle are best brushed daily.


Brush Burn

If you dig the brush too deep into your dog's skin, or go over the same area too many times, you can give your dog brush burn. Signs of brush burn include irritated, reddened skin. If you think your dog may have brush burn, seek veterinary attention. To avoid brush burn, go lightly over sensitive areas, like your pup's tummy and legs. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.

Brush Types


Choosing the right brush type for your dog makes grooming time more effective. For smooth-coated dogs, a rubber curry brush removes the loose hairs gently and effectively. For wiry-coated dogs with thick hair, use a wire slicker brush. For dogs with long hair, use a pin brush or a curved wire slicker. Grooming sprays can dampen the dog's fur and loosen tangles, making the brushing time easier.


Brushing removes loose fur, dead skin cells and irritants from your dog's coat. Brushing your dog can improve circulation, which keeps your dog's skin and fur healthy. For long-haired pups, brushing keeps the coat from getting tangled and matted. Detangling mats can be a very painful experience for your pup, so regular brushing is kinder. Brushing also creates a bond between you and your pet, and can be relaxing to some dogs.


By Elton Dunn


Grooming Your Dog: A Natural and Herbal Approach/Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-240; Paula Kephart
Dog Channel: 10 Tips for Brushing Your Dog's Coat ASPCA: How Often Should I Brush My Dog?
Photo Credits
Dana Neely/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author
A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.