Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Have a short-haired dog? This brush is perfect for grooming!

Leopold sniffs a ZoomGroom

Short hair stumped

My childhood dog, Max, had medium-ish fur.  We used a human bristle brush to brush his fur, and it worked great.  We'd brush him, the brush would fill with fur, we'd pick the fur out and throw it away or toss it in the wind, and then repeat.  Fun for a kid.  (Even funner was shedding season-- lots of "pick-ables" to pull right off his rump...!)

Leopold, however, has short fur.  One layer. No undercoat.  Short and bristly.
When I first got him, I was kind of at a loss on how to brush him -- and I really wanted to brush him because the more loose fur I got out with a brush, the less would end up on my floor... and on my clothes... and in my food...

I tried all sort of brushes including fine-tooth combs and even a brush meant for horses (ha!).  None of those worked very well, though.  I was stumped.

Brush discovery

knobby brush
And then I started volunteering at a vet clinic.  The clinic started me out with brushing dogs. Yep. That's all I came in for: brushing the dogs they were boarding. Hey, you got to start somewhere, right??

The clinic had a great arsenal of brushes, and one of them was the answer to all my short-hair fur problems: the ZoomGroom.  It was not a brush in the traditional sense; it was more like a knobby piece of silicone that could be used to push loose fur out of a dog's coat (as opposed to pulling it out like traditional brushes and combs).  And once I discovered how well it worked, I bought one for myself and have needed no other brush since.

It works well on Halo, too, who has longer fur and an undercoat.  The product description says that it works for all coat types, though I can't speak to that because I've only used it on dogs with shorter fur.  And there are lots of brush choices for long hair dogs, so who cares.  Finding a brush that actually worked on short-hair dog is all I cared about!

fur pile pushed out by a ZoomGroom!

Advantages of using the ZoomGroom

1.  It works SO well!  I'm really amazed at the amount of fur I get out with this brush.  And fast!  Though... somehow we always seem to still have dog hair tumbleweeds rolling through our house.  I can only imagine how bad it'd be if we didn't brush our dogs!

2.  Can be used to help with baths.  This brush is great for scrubbing a dog really well and really working in shampoo.  Fingers work to lather a dog, but the ZoomGroom works better.

3.  Easy to clean.  Not a lot of hair gets stuck in the brush, except sometimes when it gets used during doggy baths. I just run it under some water, though, and the hair washes right out.  And because the knobs are so far apart, the brush doesn't really retain any water so it dries quickly.

4.  Massages your dogs while you brush.  This is a feature that I love!   The knobs are big enough and spaced far enough apart that they also massage your dog as you apply gentle but firm pressure to push loose fur out.  I've tried it on my own skin -- it feels nice!  The fact that this brush also massages helps make brushing my dogs a bonding activity.  My dogs were a little unsure of the brush when I first introduced it, but after some sniffing and a little brushing, they decided they love it.  Both of my dogs sort of melt when I start brushing them.  And then their eyes start to close in that contented sort of way. You know what I'm talking about--The look of a happy and relaxed dog.

The only disadvantage, really, is that the brush doesn't collect the hair, like traditional brushes do.  It might gather some, but most of the hair get pushed out of the coat and onto the floor.  This is why I like to brush my dogs outside.  Then the hair just blows away and gets recycled back into the ground (eventually).  When I do brush them inside, I like to work the fur into a little pile on their rump and then scoop it all off at the end. But you know... do what works for you.

There are other rubber/silicone brushes out there, also.  I have one that fits over my hand as a mitt and has smaller teeth-- I think it's Petmate brand.  I don't like it as much as the ZoomGroom.  I haven't tried some of the other brands.  If I do, I'll report back.  But for now I'm quite pleased with my ZoonGroom.

Think your dog would benefit from a ZoomGroom?  I've seen them at most pet stores.  The brand is Kong.  Otherwise, you can buy one here from KONG ZoomGroom, Dog Grooming Brush

Happy Grooming!

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