Yes, you can use a Furminator on an Australian Shepherd as long as you use the right product and sparingly. Here is your guide to understanding what this equipment can do for your pooch as well as gaining a better understanding of how to utilize it properly.
Is the Furminator Safe for Australian Shepherd?
For the most part, Furminators are completely safe for your dog. They are used rather often for this breed with great results.
What’s great about the Furminator is that it is a de-shedding brush that makes it easy for you to get rid of any loose fur, particularly in the undercoat of your dog. The Furminator’s teeth can penetrate the top coat and rake out the fur from the bottom layer.
The tool is especially useful during your Australian Shepherd’s shedding seasons. The Furminator gets rid of the excess hair and ensures that your entire home isn’t covered in fur.
Before you use this brush, it is a good idea to take a closer look at your dog’s coat. For the most part, Australian Shepherds have double coats and are moderate to significant shedders. It is possible for some dogs to have less fur than others.
If this is true for your pup, you may want to re-think the Furminator. With less fur to deal with, you may end up hurting your pup.
Can the Furminator Damage a Dog’s Coat?
One reason that some owners are hesitant to use the Furminator is because they believe it can damage a dog’s coat. Is this possible?
Well, this is a brush that has been designed only for occasional use. This means that unlike the slicker brush or undercoat rake, you shouldn’t use it every day or even weekly. Using it more than recommended can damage the coat.
As with all brushes, it is important to be gentle, even when you’re trying to get to the undercoat of a double-coated dog. Use the least required amount of pressure and make sure that you aren’t scraping against or scratching your dog’s skin.
Many owners also feel a bit alarmed at just how much fluff this brush can remove from their dog. However, if you are using the brush properly, you are only removing the loose fur from our dog’s coat.
Keep in mind that during shedding season, the amount of loss hair can double. Therefore, you are only getting rid of what is needed, even though it can appear to be significantly more.
At the same time, if you don’t angle the Furminator properly, you run the risk of cutting the hair. Most groomers recommend that you don’t shave your Australian Shepherd as it can damage their coat or make it grow oddly.
Due to this, you have to be aware of how you use the Furminator on your dog.
How Often Should You Use a Furminator?
How often you should use a Furminator does depend on your pup’s coat and how much they shed.
If your dog sheds a lot, then using the Furminator at least once a month can help to reduce how much loose fur falls off your dog. On the other hand, if your pup is just a moderate shedder, you can just wait for the shedding seasons to come around.
One trick you can use is to determine how much hair you are brushing off your pup. In the beginning, you may find that you are brushing out a lot. This should gradually decrease with every brushing. Stop when only a minimal amount of fur is being brushed out and switch to another brush.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye on how your dog’s coat is looking. Only use the Furminator as long as your pup’s coat looks healthy and as full as it is meant to be.
How To Use a Furminator on an Australian Shepherd
Here are some tips you should follow when using a Furminator on your Australian Shepherd to minimize damage and maximize impact:
Only Use on Adult Dogs
Never use a Furminator on a puppy as their coat hasn’t fully developed yet. Using this brush on a puppy can damage the coat and change the way the fur grows out. Not to mention, you also increase the risk of hurting your pup as their coat may be thinner.
When in doubt, ask your vet whether your dog’s coat has fully grown in. This should be a good point to start using the Furminator. Or, wait until your pup is considered an adult dog.
Use the Correct Product
Furminator tends to be an umbrella term, which is why many people don’t realize that there are different options. These brushes are categorized by the size of dog as well as the length of coat.
It is important to make your decision based on your pup. Most Australian Shepherds are considered medium-sized dogs, although some can be considered large. In this case, the brushes for medium-sized breeds should work fine.
The next thing you have to consider is your dog’s coat length. While many Australian Shepherds do have longer, shaggy coats, shorter coats aren’t unusual. Thus, you need to select a brush that is well-suited to your pooch.
In case you have more than one Australian Shepherd in the household, but your other dog has fur of a different length, make sure to get them a corresponding Furminator. Don’t use the same brush for dogs with two different coat types.
Work with a Slicker Brush and Rake First
Unless it is shedding season, it is best not to use a Furminator straightaway. Instead, first use your slicker brush and undercoat rake to get rid of the excess hair. This will give you some indication of whether or not you should resort to the Furminator.
If you have used both brushes and your pup still appears to be shedding quite a bit, then it is time to bring on the Furminator.
After the first time you use it, monitor how much fur is still falling off your pooch. If there isn’t much, stick to the slicker brush and undercoat rake. Only use the Furminator once a month.
If the hair fall is still significant after a short period of time using the Furminator, you can think about using it every two weeks or so. Remember that less is more here.
Brush at the Right Angle
To avoid cutting the fur, make sure not to aim the brush head straight down. Instead, tilt it at an angle before brushing it through your dog’s fur. In most instances, a 45 degree angle works best.
Make sure that the brush is always at an angle with every brush stroke. Once you get some practice, this will become automatic. A sign you that you’re not doing it correctly is if you notice that a lot of fur shows up on the brush with each stroke.
Use Your Hand as a Guide
The last thing you want to do is to scratch your pooch. In the beginning, it can be tricky to know just how much pressure you should use when brushing with the Furminator.
Due to this, place your hand close to where you will be brushing. Make sure that you dig into the double coat and that your hand is resting right next to the skin. Then, brush your dog. The brush should be right next to your hand, but make sure that you don’t scratch it against your own skin.
This will show you just how much pressure you should achieve to get to the undercoat without scraping the skin.
Stick to the Thickest Part of Coat
If you are hesitant about using the Furminator on your pooch, use it only on the parts with the most amount of fur. If you are able to reduce the amount of loose fur in these areas, you should be able to keep the shedding in general to a minimum.
Not to mention, these spots are more forgiving of mistakes. Even if you accidentally take off more than you wanted to, it will not look as bad.
So, start around the neck, stomach, hindquarters, or any other area that looks especially shaggy.
Clear Out Brush Often
One of the perks of the Furminator is that it is easy to clean. You simply press a button and the fur is ejected from the blades.
For your first run through with the brush, it is a good idea to clean it out with every swipe. This is because there is bound to be more loose fur. By cleaning out regularly, you can ensure that the brush can work efficiently each and every time.
This helps you to keep every part of the coat at an even level.
You can use a Furminator on an Australian Shepherd, but you need to know how. Once you have managed this, you can use it cut down on your pup’s shedding, all while ensuring that they a positive experience all around.