Friday, April 1, 2011

Why Is Brushing My Cocker Spaniel Such A Big Deal?

By []Suzana Correa

 A freshly brushed Cocker Spaniel is not just a "styling" Cocker Spaniel dog - brushing gets rid of every day dust which would otherwise sit on their pores, and it elevates their skin's blood circulation causing their skin's natural oils to surface, creating a supple, shining coat. Skin diseases are often found later on in our pets' lives and brushing frequently can be very helpful in protecting our best friends against them.

 Much like anything else with regards to dogs, the sooner you get started, the better. Essentially, it's best to start when they are still puppies even if they don't need it. If you start to lightly brush you Cocker at an early age and build it into a fun occasion where he/she spends quality time with you, your Cocker will think of it as a special event. But you must be very gentle with your pup. They have long hair and soft skin so it doesn't take much force to hurt them. If you start when they are a puppy, which is when I recommend, their puppy skin will be specially sensitive. Therefore brush them slowly, gently, and make it a nice, comforting experience for your little one.  Believe it or not, brushing is an excellent bonding routine for you and your friend - dogs love to be pampered and if you start it at an early age, they will be happy to lay there for as long as it takes to get their "pampering" time.

 For long-haired dogs, normal brushing between baths is a vital practice. For one thing, it eliminates tangles before they become very painful matts, it's an easy way to get rid of everyday dust and grime which eventually reaches their pores, it helps ventilate their skin which is also good practice, and finally, it enhances blood circulation which is very good for their skin, since all long-haired dogs are susceptible to skin problems. If that wasn't enough reason already, there is also aesthetics: your pup's coat will look shiny and silky if they are brushed on a consistent basis.

Okay...How Often?

 The frequency a Cocker Spaniel should be brushed will depend on where you live in fact. A standard Cocker in a suburban home, for instance, would probably not get as dirty as fast as their country brothers and sisters so brushing them every three days or so will likely be okay. If your home is in a rural area and your Cocker is always out and about, they will be gathering lots of grime and dirt as they play, and that means you have to brush them more frequently; on a daily basis is ideal in this situation, but if that's too much for your schedule then no less than every couple of days - and of course, they will need to be bathed more frequently. Remember, it is much easier to brush them now than if their coat is tangled - that can turn a relaxing time into pure torment. And of course, if your Cocker is getting dirty, bathe them. Brushing helps remove most of the dust that stays on their hair and skin area however it's not a substitute to bathing your pet. Bathing is the best way to keep their hair and skin healthy.

 A great suggestion with regards to how often you should be brushing your dog is actually by gauging the quantity of hair that is shed when you brush them. If there is a considerable amount of hair being released (check the brush after a couple of strokes) then you should comb more often. It truly varies according to your pet.

What About Matts and Tangles?

 It's better to ensure that you don't allow them to happen at all by making sure that you brush frequently. Assuming they happen however, understand that they can be very unpleasant on your friend. It pulls on their skin and causes them pain. Based on how bad the tangling is, you should start with a wide toothed comb, sectioning off pieces and combing them out softly until all of the tangles are out. Then move to a brush.

Matts are more difficult to deal with and a lot more uncomfortable for your friend. It is different from tangling in that it has to do with the hair that is close to the skin becoming so tangled that it forms a thick mass or ball of hair. These are much tougher to get rid of, and often impossible. First, use a shampoo made specifically to get rid of tangles and bathe your dog, remembering that the matt causes pulling on their sensitive skin. Once they are washed and dry, get started with a wide-tooth comb, sectioning off areas of hairs and then carefully and slowly, combing out the matted bits. If the matted piece is too close to the skin resulting in pain when you try to comb it out, take it off by gently cutting the matted area out with a pair of scissors. If there are several matted spots, consider taking them to a professional groomer at that point. You see? I told you prevention is key.

And lastly, don't groom an agitated Cocker Spaniel dog. Sooth them first or hold off until they are calm or sleepy. Again, make it a form of petting and pampering so they co-operate and relish the experience.  It will make both of your lives easier.

Suzana Correa. Suzana has owned and loved Cocker Spaniels for over 20 years. For more information on all things related to Cocker Spaniel dogs please visit []

Article Source: [] Why Is Brushing My Cocker Spaniel Such A Big Deal?

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