Raise your hand if you’re a curly, wooly or long-coated dog owner and you fear your dog will come out of a groom looking “naked”? Raise your hand if your dog has had to be taken short once or twice as it gets a little bit too knotty between grooms?
That’s ok if you put your hand up, there’s absolutely no shame in a fresh start with a dog’s coat. After all, we’re all dog lovers and we all want what’s best for our four-legged friends.
This post is all about keeping your dog’s coat healthy and why sometimes there’s no option but for a shorter fur-doo.
Don’t worry, these tips are for double-coated breeds like Alsatians, Golden Retrievers and even silky coated dogs too!
Coat Maintenance - What You Can Do At Home
Sometimes, bringing your dog in for a pamper isn’t always possible - we totally get that life is unpredictable - there are some simple steps you can do at home…
- Like a muddy walk? Get as much off your dog as possible and then dry them thoroughly. Absorber towels are brilliant for getting the excess moisture!
- Does your dog wear a harness? Stick to keeping it on for walks only, they can rub around the neck and chest which is where knots love to form.
- Got a puppy with a candy floss style coat? Introduce them to brushing with positive rewards so they’re ready for their grooms.
- Brush your dog's coat regularly with either a slicker brush or wide-tooth comb
- Don’t keep brushing over the same spot as they can get friction burn
- Seperate the fur and go in different directions to make sure you’re not just touching the surface
- Avoid bathing at home
- This mainly applies to wooly and curly coats.
- If you do have to (hello, wild roll in the fox poo on a Sunday morning walk!), dry your dog completely and then brush or comb them. Knots and mats form in damp fur which can be quite cold and uncomfortable for your pooch.
- Invest in a conditioning shampoo
- For All Dog Kind have an excellent one, which we use in our groomers and Jess in the shop has also washed her hair with it too!
- Don’t fall for the myth that your dog needs to be short in summer and long in winter. Mud, moisture and anything else trapped in a long coat can cause skin irritation and your dog will feel the cold after a winter walk!
Why Was My Dog Taken Short?
We can demat but only for 15 minutes so this is only really suitable for one or two small problem areas.
With matting, there’s the risk of hematomas, the groom becoming stressful for the dog, and it is painful for a pooch to sit through us tugging at different parts of their floof. The quickest and kindest thing to do is to take them a tad shorter.
Which is ok, fur grows! Fur grows much happier and healthier when it’s been given a decent cut. A bit like our hair if we’ve not been to the hairdressers for a while!
We do add on a matting fee - as do most groomers - this is to cover the cost of our equipment and maintenance as matted fur can damage and even break expensive grooming tools.
By sticking to a regular routine at home, or coming in for between-groom appointments, your dog’s skin and coat will be healthy, the risk of severe knots are minimised, we can talk you through brushing techniques for different breeds and it’s more purse friendly in the long run.