Choosing the right brush for your pet

I have had quite a few customers asking me about which brush they should use on their pooch, so I have put together  a list of different brushes and their uses on different coat types. Hope you find it useful.  Here it goes:

Choosing the right brush for your pet is an important first step for even the most basic home grooming.

BRUSH TYPES - Although there are many different shapes and sizes, there are basically three different brush types.


When brushing, be gentle and take your time. Be especially careful when removing mats or tangles. Brushing can and should be a pleasant experience for your pet as the gentle stroking feels good on your pet's skin. It does not take too many painful 'rips' through snarls, however, to make brushing a procedure your pet will try to avoid rather than invite. The best way to build trust and make this a pleasurable bonding time for both of you is to brush your pet often, preferably daily. This prevents problem mats and tangles from developing.

Bristle brushes: Bristle brushes can be used on all coat types, and vary according to the spacing between bristles and the length of the bristles. In general, the longer the hair coat, the more widely spaced and longer the bristles should be. Also, the coarser the hair, the stiffer those bristles need to be.




Wire-pin brushes: Wire-pin brushes, with or without rubber-tipped ends, are the preferred choice for pets with medium to long hair and those with curly or woolly coats.




Slicker brushes: Slicker brushes have fine wire bristles and are especially useful for removing mats and tangles.





Hair coat types - The right brush and brushing technique will depend on your dog's hair type.

Short, smooth coats (most Retrievers, Hounds, Chihuahuas, etc.): Brush with the coat's grain using a soft to medium bristle brush with short, closely spaced bristles.

Short, wiry coats (Terriers, etc.): Brush with the coat's grain using a slicker brush or a firm bristle brush with short, closely spaced bristles.

Medium to long, flowing coats (Golden Retrievers, Spaniels, Setters, Lhasa Apsos, etc.): Brush with the coat's grain using a wire-pin brush or a soft to medium bristle brush with long, medium- to wide-spaced bristles. Use a slicker brush for mats and tangles.

Harsh, outer coats with soft, woolly undercoats (Sheepdogs, Collies, Shepherds, Chows, Pomeranians, etc.): Brush with the grain on the outer coat and against the grain on the undercoat using a wire-pin brush or a firm bristle brush with long, wide-spaced bristles. Use a slicker brush for tangles and mats.

Thin, delicate coats (Yorkies, Maltese, etc.): Brush with and against the coat's grain using a wire-pin brush and a soft slicker brush for tangles and mats.

There are many benefits of regular brushing. Removal of loose and dead hair and skin is obviously the first benefit. By grooming out any unwanted hair and dandruff, the look of the coat is dramatically improved, allowing a glossier colour and healthy shine. By removing these articles that clog up the coat, air circulation and the health of the skin can be enhanced. The motion of brushing increases blood flow to the dog’s hair follicles also improving the health of the coat and skin, in addition to stimulating the lymphatic system which provides additional health benefits for your dog.

Happy brushing!




My article "Keep your pets safe this season" -published in the local SE23 Magazine

Published on 14 December 2016

Keep your pets safe this season

written by Around Dulwich


With the festive season just around the corner we are all busy planning how we are going to celebrate, have fun and spoil our loved ones – including our pets.

It is a time of year when our home is bursting with family and friends, fancy decorations and treats, which can be overwhelming for our pets.

Try to keep your pets’ eating and exercise habits as close to normal during the festivities as you can, and follow these few steps to ensure they are kept safe:

The Christmas tree

The best place to put a Christmas tree is in a corner, tied with fishing wire to secure it, preventing it being knocked over by your dog or pulled down by your cat.

Electrical safety

To prevent any accidental electrocutions, exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or the sides of the house.

Poisonous foods and plants

Holly, mistletoe, poinsettia plants, grapes, raisins, sweets, liquorice, chocolate… Keep them well out of the way of your pets’ reach. Don’t be tempted to share chocolate with your dog, it contains Theobromine, a chemical very toxic to pets. Cats are even more sensitive to Theobromine poisoning than dogs!

Fire safety

Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pets’ way – there’s no telling where a wagging tail may end up. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.

Gift wrapping

Be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth when swallowed can cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.

Outside the home

When walking your dog in freezing weather, be mindful of his paws. Frosty grass and salt grit can cause contact dermatitis. Wash your dog’s feet after a walk, to keep them clean and healthy.

But remember, most of these dangers are easily avoidable. Christmas is a time for fun and enjoyment, and apart from a well-deserved and needed grooming session, a new cosy bed, a jumper, toy or warm blanket the best present you can give them is your time, attention and love.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Sylvie Marks, owner of Waggy Wagon, mobile dog grooming salon.

1st December 2016

What a week it's been! 

Waggy Wagon has been very popular with BIG dogs recently! And the winner in the "biggest dog that can fit into my hydro bath" competition is this gorgeous Golden Doodle puppy, Pickle. He is only 7 months but his paws are bigger than my hands.  What a beautiful,  huggable dog! 

So December is here, and we can finally get really excited about Christmas.  I personally refuse to do anything Christmas related in November but as soon as December rolls in, it's all go on the festivities front.  The fairy lights came out, our traditional secret family recipe mince pies are tried & tested, and this year we have also been making dog treats. The recipe is from A Cosy Kitchen, find it here:

I made mine with organic beef stock instead of chicken stock but it worked just as well. 
My son and I tried them and they really are yummy, even to our human taste buds. 
They are packaged up and all my furry customers receive one free pack after their session. I am told they are popular. 

December is going to be a busy month, as doggies come in for their pre-Christmas groom, so they look and smell amazing for the forthcoming Season. 

Happy holidays everyone!

Saturday 5th November 2016

It's been a very busy week. Sign writing for Waggy Wagon is finally done.  I am really happy with it. Thanks to Gregory Signs for doing a great job, guiding me through the process,  helping with the artwork and layout.  People see it and smile. I was stuck in a traffic jam this morning and the lady in the car next to me asked me for a business card. It's catching people's attention for sure!

Waggy Wagon with signwriting

Also, my ad and article on grooming just came out in the November issue of the local SE23 Magazine!  Thanks to editor, Angela Burgess for giving me this opportunity to introduce myself and my company to the local community.  I have had a few bookings from it already, it's all very encouraging. 

My poor husband , Bruce has also had his fair share of Waggy duties. My new electric grooming table arrived from Christies Direct and it didn't fit in my van! The H-bar was just too high. So Bruce redesigned the bracket system and had it made&fitted in the space of only one afternoon! He has supported my through the entire start up period, and I admire his enthusiasm, positive outlook and calm personality.  Without him I would be so lost! 

Then I managed to lock the van keys in the back. I didn't realise that once you close the doors you cannot open them again without a key! There we were with the van parked up, my bag, house keys etc all locked in. 
My  six year old came to the rescue. Luckily he loves climbing. We put him on the roof and he climbed in through the roof light and saved the day! It's handy to be so small sometimes. 

I am absolutely loving being my own boss. And can't believe how lucky I am to be able to work with dogs- I am living my dreams. Bookings are rolling in and life is good.

Here is to many more Waggy customers!