The maintenance of the dog’s hair is an important job, because the health of the animal depends on it. It acts against the cold, bad weather, and many other inconveniences. If the maintenance is more or less tedious depending on the breed, the length of the coat, and its texture, whatever the type of dog, it must be regular.
Taking care of your dog’s coat is both a question of aesthetics and health. The hair contributes, to protect the animal against external aggressions such as cold and humidity, among other things. It’s therefore essential to ensure that they are always able to fully fulfill their function, in addition to preserving their beauty.
Dust, vegetation debris, dead hairs, and other impurities are to be removed with regular care, which ranges from simple brushing to in-depth grooming. It should not be forgotten that the dog’s diet also contributes to the quality and beauty of the coat.
Brush your dog
All dogs should be brushed at least once a week, regardless of the breed to which they belong and the specifics of their hair. This is indeed the main maintenance measure. It helps to rid the dog of its dead hair, debris of different kinds (plants, dust, dirt) and to stimulate blood circulation in the skin.
It’s also a special moment with the animal. Generally, dogs like to be brushed, as long as it is done gently and with the grain. They still have to be taught to keep quiet during the treatment. This is why it is important to get them used to it from a young age.
Brushing becomes more frequent during the moulting period, which occurs once or twice a year depending on the breed. In some dogs, it must be done every day. In long-haired dogs, it is advisable to find and untangle any knots before brushing them. Otherwise, there is a risk of strengthening the knots and no longer being able to undo them. It’s not recommended to cut them, because there is a risk of touching the skin and therefore injuring the dog.
As for the tools, we use the comb which facilitates disentangling, the brush with metal rods, and the horsehair brush to finalize the brushing and make the hair shine. Finally, it is worth remembering that brushing is an opportunity to inspect the dog’s hair and skin to ensure that they do not contain external parasites.
Grooming for some breeds
For some breeds of dogs, grooming is a necessary exercise, even if the subjects are not intended for display or competition. Grooming helps maintain the beauty of their coat as well as clearing certain sensitive areas of the body such as the ears, and thus prevents infections and skin diseases.
The treatments range from cutting to waxing, including disentangling and shearing. They depend on the specifics of the coat and should be done by a professional groomer, as they can be harmful if poorly done. However, it is not uncommon for dog owners to take care of the grooming themselves. Unless they really benefit from the experience and the necessary equipment, this approach is strongly discouraged.
Bathing your dog
As with grooming, bathing is not a must for all dogs. The more rustic breeds, used to living outdoors, can do without it and be content with regular brushing, except when they get dirty.
For others, especially those who live in urban areas and who are exposed to urban pollution, it’s recommended to wash them several times a year using a specific shampoo. It must be ensured that it has been rinsed well and that the dog is perfectly dried using a terry towel and, possibly, a hairdryer. The dryer must be kept at a safe distance to not burn the dog’s skin.
Baths should not be too frequent to not damage the layer of sebum which constitutes a protective film.