When we think about grooming dogs we often picture Poodles, Pomeranians and posh pooches. But grooming is essential for all dogs. Dogs skin and coats are a vital health concern for dog owners to consider.

When it comes time to brush up on your dog’s grooming, here are some helpful hints.

1. Select a brush that is intended for your dog’s hair type. Brushes with bristles that are farther apart, such as pin brushes, are useful on dogs with longer, thicker hair, while brushes with shorter, harder bristles are useful on shorthaired dogs.

2. If you’ve purchased your dog from a breeder, ask the breeder what kind of brush is best to use on your breed.

3. Wire brushes and slicker brushes help remove dry, dead skin from your dog’s coat along with the excess hair. Getting the hair out of the wire brushes and slickers once you’ve groomed your dog can be difficult if not impossible. To help remove the hair deposits on the wire brush, use a toothpick between the bristles.

4. An alternative to a brush is a grooming glove that you wear on your hand. The tiny prongs on the glove’s surface remove dead hair as you gently stroke your dog. Pull the hair off for disposal in the trash.

5. An undercoat rake will help remove the undercoat of hair on your pet that typically knots up. Note: If you are showing your dog, make certain that removing the undercoat of your dog’s coat is acceptable for the show ring.

6. To remove excess loose hair from your dog, wrap masking tape around your hand and run the tape lightly over his coat.

7. Massage your dog with dampened hands after you take a shower or bath to remove excess hair.

8. A damp rubber glove will help remove excess hair from your dog as well as your furniture.

9. If your dog enjoys being massaged, purchase a battery-operated massager or one that also functions as a brush and a way to collect loose hair. The gentle sound relaxes tension and the massage soothes sore muscles as you groom your dog.

10. Vacuuming hair from your dog helps when shedding season arrives and prevents some of it from attaching itself to your furniture. Some dogs like the vacuum cleaner; others don’t. To accustom your dog to the vacuum being gently run over his coat, begin using it when he is a puppy.

11. If burrs have become tangled in your dog’s hair, crush them with a pair of pliers before brushing them out. Another method of removing burrs is to first saturate them with white petroleum jelly or mineral oil, then work them out of your dog’s hair with your hands.