These flat brushes typically feature fine, stainless steel bristles that help remove dead hair, mats and tangles from a pet's coat. Victoria Park, owner of Park Pet Supply
in Atlanta, says self-cleaning varieties get top billing during this time of the year, particularly for longhaired dogs. Regardless of which version you choose, regular brushing is essential if you want to fight shedding and tackle tangles before they get worse.
"Grooming is so much more important once it does get hot," says mobile pet groomer Michael Bryant of Snazzy-Pet USA
in Atlanta. "To help an animal stay cool, you don't always have to shave them down. You can also increase the grooming frequency."
Brush dogs before bath time or your daily stroll around the neighborhood. Cats also need regular grooming, and Bryant recommends starting early so they get acclimated to the process. In addition to having much thinner skin than dogs, cat bites can cause more harm, so it pays to proceed with caution.
"It's crucial to keep a cat calm during grooming," he says. "A cat can make itself very, very sick during the grooming process, especially geriatric cats. I can't stress enough how important it is to maintain that animal's state of calm -- with no jerky movement, no sudden noises, nothing that makes a cat agitated; and start when they are young."
Groomer Philip Hendricks of Preferred Pet Grooming recommends creating a routine that begins with brushing and ends with a bath. Use that time to examine your pet.
"Grooming is not just for aesthetics," says Hendricks, who grooms at The Ark Animal Hospital
in Atlanta and often alerts veterinarians when he detects health issues. "During this time of year, feel around and make sure there are no ticks or parasites on the animal."
Flickr image courtesy of Shmoomeema