Tips for Home Grooming Between Dog Grooming Appointments

Types of Dog Hair and Shedding


Some dogs have coats that grow continuously and do not shed, requiring frequent trips to the groomer. Other breeds are double-coated with a dense undercoat for insulation and an outer coat of guard hairs. A dog with this type of coat is likely to shed heavily in the late spring and late fall. Huskies, retrievers and malamutes are examples of double-coated dogs.  Many dog breeds with short hair shed continuously, though lightly all year round.


Dog Brush or Comb Selection


Dog grooming brushes and combs are made for each type of dog coat. Dogs with curly coats that don’t shed, such as a poodle, should be brushed with a slicker brush. Combs or brushes with stiff bristles work well for a dog with a medium coat that sheds, such as a retriever. Smooth coated dogs, such as a pointer or boxer are best groomed with a brush with short bristles or a grooming glove. Combs with long teeth in offset rows work well on dogs with long coats, such as collies. It is also helpful to remove shedding hair and tangles.


How Often to Brush Your Dog


Brushing your dog removes loose hair, dead skin and keeps them clean as well as stimulating natural oils from the skin and distributing it along the hair for a healthy luster. Dogs with long or curly coats should be brushed daily to remove tangles and mats. Pay special attention around the ears, armpits and the back of the legs when brushing a long or curly haired dog. Dogs with short coats don’t require daily brushing, but it helps to cut down on dog hair and pet dander in your house when it is captured in a brush.


How Often to Bathe Your Dog


Dogs only require a bath about every six to eight weeks so as not to strip the coats and skin of natural oils. Sometimes you may need to bathe your dog more often, if he gets dirty, a sticky substance on his coat or has accidentally soiled himself. If your dog has skin allergies, talk to your veterinarian about how often to bathe him. Some vets advise bathing them more often to remove outside allergens, such as pollen from the coat. Only use a shampoo that is specifically for dogs on your pet. Dog skin is a different pH level than human skin and human shampoo is very harsh on canine skin. Use warm water when bathing your dog and work the shampoo thoroughly through his coat to remove all debris and dirt. Double rinse him to make sure and remove the shampoo adequately from his skin and coat. Allow your pet to air-dry inside in a warm area or blow dry his coat with a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting. These tips can keep your dog’s coat in tip top shape until his next visit for pet grooming.

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