A beautiful, shiny coat on a dog – hardly anything reflects the state of health as conspicuously as the coat. It becomes clear: Regular grooming of the dog is by no means just a beauty ritual. Rather, if neglected, it can quickly become matted, infected with parasites, or inflamed. In order not to let it get that far in the first place, we have put together valuable tips for you on the subject of dog grooming.
It is important to adapt the care to the condition of the coat. Because among the dogs there is a wide spectrum in terms of coat variants. For example, if you compare a wire-haired dachshund to a poodle, the differences are unmistakable.
Curly or straight, with or without an undercoat, soft and supple or wiry and rough – there is hardly a type of coat that is not represented. So it is not surprising that every dog needs special grooming that is tailored to him.
The Optimal Grooming for Dogs with Short Hair
Let’s start with the fur noses, which are often classified as easier to care for than their long-haired representatives: the short-haired dogs. Which four-legged friends are included? A coat length of up to 5 centimeters is considered short hair – thus, for example, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, Boxer, or Beagle fall under it. In contrast to the four-legged friends with a lush head of hair, matting usually occurs here rather rarely. However, special features must be taken into account and intensive coat care must not be neglected even with the short-haired dogs.
Short-haired coat: single-layer or multi-layer?
The coat of short-haired dogs is divided into single-layer and multi-layer fur. A Labrador, for example, has multilayered fur. This means it has an undercoat under the first layer. Supportive grooming by the owner is particularly important during the change of coat. Regular brushing, for example with a knife comb, removes the dead undercoat and allows the air to circulate better.
For dogs with little or no undercoat, i.e. with a single coat, weekly grooming is often sufficient. Nevertheless, the coat should be checked regularly for ticks and other parasites after walks in nature. This shows that even the most easy-to-care-for dogs, such as the Rehpinscher, cannot do without grooming.
A short-haired dog bathing in winter? Only in urgent cases!
A shorthair dog’s coat takes a long time to dry completely. This is particularly tricky in the cold season. In general, the skin of short-haired dogs is often sensitive to shampoos and other care products. Accordingly, the same applies as with all four-legged friends, but here expressly: bathe the dog as seldom as possible!
In many cases, cleaning outside the bathtub is sufficient. For example, the owner can remove wet mud from the coat with the help of an absorbent bath towel for dogs. A soft brush that does not irritate sensitive skin has also proven itself. Gloves with knobs can be used even more pleasantly for the fur nose and for very light soiling. The dog is gently massaged with this accessory. In addition, excess hair is easily removed and blood circulation is stimulated.
Checklist: Accessories for grooming short-haired dogs
- Absorbent towel;
- Knife comb, for removing dead undercoat;
- Grooming glove for the dog;
- A soft brush, for example, made from natural bristles.
Long-Haired Coat: Dog Grooming
Regular brushing, combing, and grooming should be part of everyday life for lovers of long-haired breeds. The consequences of inadequate grooming can be dramatic: Small knots can quickly develop. If the initially harmless nodules are not treated further by the owner, matting and even felt sheets are the result. These are not only very painful for the dogs, as they go down to the skin. Another danger lurks: Parasites feel particularly comfortable in matted fur. At this stage, only experienced dog hairdressers, also known as groomers, can help and shear the dog.
Grooming of different breeds of dogs
Long-haired dogs also have single-layer and multi-layer fur. If the long-haired dog has a thick undercoat under the top hair, for example like the golden retriever, a plucking brush can help. Fur combs with rotating tines are also recommended in order to comb out the first small knots. A soft brush can be used for final care.
Dogs with little or no undercoat tend to become matted due to their soft and fine fur if they neglect to groom. Ideally, grooming is so routine here that it doesn’t even get that far. Breed examples for long-haired dogs without an undercoat are Poodle, Bichon, or the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Checklist: Accessories for Grooming Long Haired Dogs
- plucking brush;
- fur harrow with rotating tines;
- a soft fur brush.
Grooming Your Dog for More Shine
Well-tried household remedies can be used for a radiant shine. But it is important to know: The basis for a shiny coat is primarily a healthy and balanced diet. Based on the condition of the coat, it can be clearly seen whether a dog is supplied with all the important nutrients or whether there is a deficiency. Even if the dog’s coat is lovingly devoted to grooming, the coat can be dull and brittle.
Coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, etc.
Special dog conditioners and grooming products are not always required to achieve a shiny coat in dogs. Some healthy additives can make your four-legged friend shinier. For example, there is coconut oil. It is used internally as well as externally on four-legged friends and can give the coat more shine. Grooming dogs with coconut oil can also help dry skin to restore its natural protective coating.
There is another valuable oil that can be added to the feed: salmon oil.
The natural product, which is enjoying increasing popularity, is an important supplier of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It can be beneficial not only for dogs with skin or coat problems. The daily addition to the food also has a generally positive effect on the dog’s well-being.
Another home remedy for grooming your dog is apple cider vinegar. If it is itchy, apple cider vinegar can be mixed one-third and water two-thirds. The texture is applied to the fur using a spray bottle. The home remedy proves to be a true all-rounder: Apple cider vinegar is said to help the dog to shine when grooming its coat.
Grooming your dog with home remedies or additives is no substitute for a veterinarian. If the four-legged friend is seriously ill, it is always necessary to see a veterinarian.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
As already explained in the section on grooming for short-haired dogs, bathing should be done as infrequently as possible. The same goes for puppies. Certainly, a four-legged friend who has rolled in cow dung will definitely need a decent bath. However, washing plays a rather subordinate role in dog grooming.
Too frequent bathing can unbalance the protective film of the skin and the dog has to deal with dry skin as a result. Since the skin of dogs has an average pH value of 7.5 and thus has an alkaline value, shampoo for humans should never be used. The pH value of our skin is around 5 and is in an acidic environment. There are different needs for dog shampoo among dog breeds. Individual advice from competent dog hairdressers or dog breeders is therefore recommended.
Checklist: what should be considered when bathing a dog?
- Bathe the dog as rarely as possible so as not to damage the natural acid protection of the dog’s skin.
- Before bathing, remove all tangles and knots so as not to further promote them.
- Special dog shampoos, which are adapted to the needs of the dog, are lipid-replenishing and do not contain any fragrances.
- Slowly bring the dog to bathe. The brave fur nose can be rewarded with treats afterward.
- The water should be at a comfortable temperature and any shampoo residue should be rinsed out thoroughly.
- Be careful not to get any shampoo in your eyes or ears.
- Close all windows after bathing to avoid drafts.
Conclusion: Tips for Grooming Your Dog
As we have found, grooming a dog is very individual. Our four-legged friends have special needs that must be taken into account. The coat is extremely important for the dog: It offers protection against moisture, cold, warmth, and injuries at the same time. A healthy coat should be a priority for dog owners. You should get him used to combing, brushing, and grooming as soon as possible. So the fur nose can lean back and relax and even enjoy it when a grooming glove is used for the dog. We humans can also treat ourselves to a little break with grooming and strengthen our bond with our own fur nose.