Many dog owners may look at regular brushing as a cosmetic concern; however, you may be surprised to learn that regular brushing is an important part of your dog's overall health. For instance, it acts as a preventative measure since it will be easier to spot any abnormalities, like growing lumps so that you can take your dog to an animal hospital sooner rather than later. Here are three reasons why regular brushing is so important. 

You Can Catch Ticks and Other Parasites

Even if your dog wears a flea collar or takes medication, they could still pick up ticks and other parasites in the yard. Ticks can cause Lyme disease and other co-infections, which can cause problems like fatigue, joint swelling, and kidney issues. The longer a tick is attached, the more likely it can transmit disease. So, it's important to brush your dog regularly and use a flea/tick comb to catch any bugs that have latched on to your pet. If you do spot a tick, your vet can help you take the appropriate actions, such as a course of antibiotics if need be.  

You Can Break Up Matted Fur

Mats form on dog coats when new fur becomes incredibly tangled with loose, dead fur. While they can form anywhere on your dog's coat, they are mainly found in areas of friction, like around the armpits, around the neck and underneath collars, and near their feet. Mats can cause a number of health issues. For one thing, they can easily trap dead skin and dirt, so they can cause skin irritations and bacterial infections. Brushing your dog regularly helps to spread your dog's natural oils and helps to prevent dandruff and other skin issues.

Dogs with severe matting may have a difficult time going to the bathroom because tight hair mats may make it painful to squat. It may be harder for your dog to properly remove urine and fecal matter because of tight mats. Believe it or not, severe mats can also injure blood vessels and cut off circulation if they are incredibly tight. In short, it's important to brush your dog's hair before it starts matting or clumping. If the mats are so bad and cannot be broken down with a brush, you may need to take your dog to a vet or groomer to have areas shaved off so that a new healthy coat can come in.

You Can Help Your Dog Regulate Its Temperature

Dogs don't use their skin to perspire because they have insulating coats for both cold and hot weather. They do have sweat glands in their ears and on the bottom of their feet, but their coat plays a huge role in maintaining their temperature. If a dog isn't brushed regularly, it's harder for them to cool off because shed hairs may build up and lead to matting. If your dog has frantic panting, extreme salivation, or other symptoms of over-heating, it's important to get him or her veterinary help right away.

It's especially important to brush dogs with double-coats—like Great Pyrenees and Bernese mountain dogs—as they blow their dense undercoat to prepare for different seasons. A lot of brushing may be involved during this time, so you may want to invest in high-quality, durable pet rakes and combs to make the job easier.

As you can see, although regular brushing can improve your dog's appearance, it's actually an important preventative health measure. Reach out to an animal hospital today for more details.