Managing your dog's coat at home
So, you have just got a new puppy and each time you look at him he is getting bigger and bigger; but not height wise. What once started off as a little bit of cute puppy fluff is now an uncontrollable ball of fur with twigs and muck embedded into it. I can hear the screams for help.
Many people are confused as to how to manage their dog's luscious locks at home, but it definitely isn't a complicated task. Here is a list of products I recommend for home grooming:
- Groom Professional Coat Repair Conditioner (depending on coat type)
- Slicker Brush (depending on coat type)
- Undercoat rake (for double coated breeds)
- Groom Professional Shedding Blade (for serial shedders)
First off, you want to choose which products are best suited for the breed of dog you have. For example, a shedding blade is completely useless for a cockapoo and won't help you at all. A slicker brush for a Labrador? Forget about it! Your local dog groomer will help guide you in the right direction of which tools are best for your pets, but here, I am going to give a bit of general guidance on how to maintain your dog's coat at home.
Now, all dogs are different. Some love to get outside and roll through the muck, whilst others cringe at the thought of getting their paws dirty. Let's start with our dirty dogs.
A dirty dog is going to need a more in depth home grooming regime than a clean dog. I would set up a routine for your dog. If he goes for a really muddy walk everyday, rinse him off at the end of every walk ensuring all mud is off him. Give him a thorough towel dry and if he lets you, stick the hair dryer on him. If your dog is a long coated breed, you will want to brush him really well after you have dried him. I suggest a firm slicker followed by a 50/50 comb. I also would ensure you incorporate a good bath between professional grooming appointments just to keep him nice and fresh and also to keep any mud or dirt from irritating his skin.
For your lovely clean dogs, I would follow these steps, only I would imagine you are going to spend a lot less time rinsing your dog after muddy walks. Any long haired/ curly haired dog should be getting brushed everyday, if not, multiple times a day. They should also be on a strict schedule with their dog groomer, I recommend every four, six or eight weeks at the most. Having a long coated dog is a commitment and I always like to urge people to research into this before bringing a long or thick-coated dog into their life!
For the likes of your Labradors, Jack Russells and French Bulldogs, (or serial shedders as I like to call them), I suggest purchasing a rubber scrubber. I do recommend doing your brushing for these breeds outside, as it does get hairy! Just because these dogs do not look like they need a haircut, it doesn't mean they shouldn't pay a visit to the dog groomer. Groomers have equipment and specialized training to help with the deshed process; they are also way more equipped to care for and look after your dog's skin. I always say to owners of these breeds when you notice the shedding is getting a bit OTT, contact your local groomer and they will come to the rescue. Other than that these dogs are pretty manageable (as long as you don’t have allergies!)
Overall, this is a very basic intro on how to care for your dog's coat at home, however, everyone has got to start somewhere. Paying extra attention to your dog's coat at home will make your trips to the groomer a lot cheaper and you can even go longer between appointments if you are really good with brushing! However, I always recommend staying on a good schedule with your groomer as it makes our lives, your life and your dog's life much easier.