Best Brush For Australian Shepherds – We Help You Choose:
The choice between various brushes for your dog depends on many factors such as size, shape, weight, bristles and so on. A good brush will provide long-lasting protection against hairball attacks while a bad one may cause irritation or even damage to the skin.
So which are the best brushes? Which ones do you need? What kind of grooming products should you buy? How much does it cost?
Let’s take a look at all these questions and more!
What Is Best Brush For Australian Shepherds?
There are several types of brushes available for your dog. Some of them are synthetic, some natural, some made from natural materials like wool, cotton etc. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages. The most common type is the “natural” brush which means they come from the animal itself (i.e., not synthetics). These are usually used by professional groomers and veterinarians. They are very expensive though.
The second type of brushes are those made from synthetic materials such as plastic, wood, metal etc. These are generally cheaper than the natural ones but they don’t last as long and they aren’t suitable for daily brushing because of their poor durability. Most of them break down after only a few washes due to wear and tear over time. These are usually the types that you find on pet stores.
The third type are what we call grooming “tools” and they consist of a mix of natural and synthetic materials. They are more durable than the usual plastic or wooden versions but not as long-lasting as the natural ones. They are called “tools” because they are specifically designed for different purposes. They are built to address specific issues like removing dead hair, rubbing away dirt and so on.
These are the ones we will be focusing on in this article.
What You Should Know Before Buying Your Best Brush For Australian Shepherds
Now that you know what types of brushes are available what should you be looking for in a good brush?
Here are some key things you need to consider:
1. Know Your Dog
First and foremost you need to know exactly what type of coat your dog has. What I mean is that not all brushes are suitable for all types of coats. For example, if you have a long-haired dog then using a brush with metal pins will just ruin the brush (and maybe even your dog) because the pins will get tangled in the hair and break off rendering the brush useless. The same thing applies for short-haired dogs.
If you use a pin brush on a short-haired dog then you will just be rubbing and scraping the skin, yikes! So first thing’s first, identify what kind of coat your dog has and then move on to the next step.
2. Know What You are Looking For
There are several reasons as to why you would want to remove dead hair from your dog. The main reasons are:
You want the dog to look nice and polished – Some people like to show dogs and if that’s the case then you will need to buy a good bristle brush as they are great for removing dead hair and also for polishing the coat to a nice sheen. You want to reduce shedding – There are brushes out there that are actually designed to help remove loose hair. They work by brushing the hair against the growth which causes the loose hairs to be removed. This is especially helpful if you have a shedding problem.
You need to reduce the amount of hair lost when your dog grooms itself – If you own a long-haired dog then you already know that they tend to lose a lot of hair every time they groom themselves. This is obviously more than a little bit of a nuisance if you are constantly cleaning up after them. One way to reduce the amount of hair that is lost is to brush them daily. This will help remove loose hairs and keep them under control.
3. Look Out For These Features
Now that you know what you need and why you need it, it’s time to look at some specific products. As I mentioned earlier, there are three main types of brushes; natural bristle, pin and slicker. They all have their own unique features which make them suitable for different coats. For this article I will be looking at some of the best products for long-haired dogs.
Natural Bristle Brush
This type of brush is designed specifically for long and medium length coats. They are an excellent choice for brushing out dead hair as well as rubbing the coat to a nice shine. They can be used on any coat type but work especially well on long or medium coats. The main thing you need to look out for is the material the bristles are made from.
If you see anything other than natural bristles then it’s probably not a natural bristle brush and won’t be as good. There are two main types of natural bristle; those made from boar hair and those made from ox tail.
A pin brush is a good all-round brush that is suitable for most coat lengths. They can be used on both wet and dry coats but work best on dry ones. They are particularly good at removing dead hair as well as distributing oils from the skin throughout the coat. The pins are medium in length and should not be too hard or too soft.
Too hard and they will scratch and rip the coat, too soft and they will not remove the hairs properly.
This is a brush with very fine pins that are great for finishing touches. They are designed for use on short to medium length coats and are excellent for removing those stubborn hairs that usually cling on no matter what! They work best on dry coats and will not remove too much oil from the skin, however, this can be counteracted by using a conditioner after brushing.
There are literally hundreds of different dog shampoos available on the market and choosing the right one can be a daunting task. In this section I am going to take you through the most important factors to think about and show you some of the best products out there.
Important Features To Look Out For
Scent – You should always go for a shampoo that has a scent as these tend to be better than unscented ones. Some have a fruity smell while others have a minty one. There are also herbal scents and a whole range of other options. Pick a scent that you like as you are going to be smelling it on the dog all the time!
Safety – There are certain things you should always look for when buying any shampoo, let alone one for a dog. First of all, if you are buying a human shampoo for your pet then there are a few things to think about. Some Human shampoos have ingredients that can cause skin irritation or even get absorbed into the skin. As a general rule, if you have sensitive skin then it is best not to use these shampoos on your pet.
Some of the most common irritants include menthol, eucalyptus, tea tree oil and rosemary.
As well as checking for these ingredients, you also need to check the safety of the product for your dog. Some shampoos are harmful to eyes so you should always avoid getting them into your dog’s eyes.
Conditioner – Some shampoos come with a conditioner built in. If you pick one of these kinds, then there is no need to use a separate one on your pet. These are great as they save you time and money and also mean you have to remember to buy and use two different products.
Coat Type – Different shampoos are suited to different coats. You need to think about what coat your dog has before buying a shampoo. For instance, if you have a very fluffy dog then you need to use a shampoo that will not wash all the oils out of their fur and leave it feeling brittle. You also need to be aware that some shampoos can strip the natural oils from a dogs skin leaving it dry and flaky.
Cleaning – Some shampoos are just for cleaning while others also condition the coat at the same time. The more high-end shampoos tend to do both of these jobs.
Coat Length – Short Coats – Short coats only need a basic shampoo and these can be found very easily. If you want to get detailed then you can also get something that has a slight moisturizing effect but this is not essential.
Normal Coats – These are the kinds of coats that most dogs have. You have a wide range of choice when it comes to selecting the right shampoo for this kind of coat. You can buy anything from a basic shampoo to a product that will clean, condition and add a shine to your dog’s hair.
Long Coats – Some dogs have very long coats that need a bit more attention when it comes to cleaning them. You can get specialty shampoos that are designed for these kinds of coats and if you want to get really detailed then you can also find something that will add a shine and help prevent knots and tangles.
How We Picked and Tested
We took all of the data we had collected and thought about which features we felt were essential. We eliminated any features that didn’t seem absolutely necessary. We also took all of our research data and summarized it so we had a list of pros and cons for each product. We created a shortlist of six products that met our requirements and have been using them to test in different situations.
We still are unable to decide on the best one so we are going to take them all out for a test drive to real life scenarios and then decide once we have gathered more information.
We have brought our shortlisted candidates with us on our trip out to the country for the weekend. We want to get away from home to do our testing and remove any distractions so we head out to the woods and set up a small camp for the weekend. We will be testing the following products, in these specific situations, over the next two days.
Our three backpacking tests
Our first test is what we are calling the Backpacking test.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Choosing a Dog for Dummies by C Walkowicz – 2011 – books.google.com
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ASPCA complete dog care manual by G Spadafori – 2019 – books.google.com
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