Grooming is essential to any dog. Regular baths, nail trims and brushing keeps your dog not only looking their best but is an essential part of your dog’s health. It helps reduce dander and allergens on the skin, keeps the coats healthy and protects your dog’s joints from the strain of overgrown nails. Brushing also helps reduce shedding, saving you and your home a lot cleaning time!
Long coated breeds also require regular grooming appointments for a professional haircut. Without regular grooming, long coated breeds can develop tangles and mats that pull on the skin. Mats cannot be brushed out as they are very painful for the dog. Once mats form, groomers often must resort to shaving them out for a fresh start at a new coat.
So how do you avoid this unfortunate scenario? Maintenance grooming at home! Yes, even if you bring your dog to the groomer’s regularly, it is still necessary to do some upkeep yourself. You wouldn’t go the several weeks without brushing your own hair! There are several different coat types and textures, and all require different tools to maintain.
Curly coated dogs mat very easily. These coats require the most maintenance as groomers suggest daily brushing. This is especially important when you choose a longer cut. It is important to brush all the way to the skin for curly coats. Start with a slicker brush and finish with a metal comb.
Short, Smooth Coats
Even though short coated breeds are less maintenance, they still shed and need regular brushing to help remove dead hair. The best tool for this type of coat is a rubber curry brush. They are very versatile as a scrubber in the bath and as a de-shedder when the dog is dry. A boar bristle brush helps distribute natural oils and is great to make your dog’s coat shinier.
Straight, Silky Coats
Straight silky coats easily tangle and can be a daunting task of maintaining if you choose to keep your dog in a longer cut. Start with a slicker brush for short cuts or a pin brush for longer coats. Be sure to brush to the skin! After you brush all over, go back through with a metal comb to ensure you did not miss any tangles.
Double coats shed quite a bit and tend to get matted. They have a top layer of guard hairs and a dense undercoat. Using a slicker brush a few times a week helps remove the dead undercoat hairs and prevent mats. An undercoat rake is perfect to remove excess undercoat, especially during shedding season!
Wire coats are characterized as rough to the touch. They require a weekly brushing with a slicker brush and a metal comb to keep their fur from tangling. Wire coats can also benefit from being “hand stripped” at the groomers, meaning they remove the dead fur from the root rather than clipping off the top layer. This process helps their coats shine!