The Ultimate Dog Coat Care Guide

Read to know more about dog coat types and how to take care of them.

#coatcare #petforlife #dogcare
The Ultimate Dog Coat Care Guide

Beautiful, shiny, healthy and silky coat. It’s what every owner dreams of when it comes to their dog. Regular grooming is important for many reasons, but it’s essential to know which grooming product is right for which coat type. In the following article, we will discuss the subject of dog grooming in more details.

Type matters

Dog coat care from "head to paw" is very important in all life stages. Proper coat care makes the dog look and feel good. But there are hundreds of dog breeds with different coat types, it’s not easy to decide what type of care is required. Over the centuries, dogs have adapted to different requirements, and so does their fur. In most cases coat is made up of two layers: top coat and undercoat. Both layers have their own funcitons. The outer top layer’s main role is protection, and the undercoat’s role is insulation.

The density of the undercoat may vary from breed to breed. Some breeds, such as Newfoundland and St. Bernard, has very dense undercoats, which protect them from the cold in winter (and – contrary to popular belief – from the heat of the sun during summer). On the other hand, some breeds, such as the Dalmatian or Basset Hound, have very little undercoat. Depending on the coat structure, different grooming tools are needed for proper coat care.

Short hair

Short, smooth hairs have no or very little undercoat. As the coat is almost entirely made up of top, there is only a light shedding. The dog loses hair throughout the year, but there’s no heavy shedding. This coat type is often called „low maintenance” but this doesn’t mean „no maintenance”! Short haired dogs also need grooming on a regular basis but it’s true that their coat is easier to handle.

Long hair

Long-haired dogs have long hair that is a bit more difficult to handle than the fur of short-haired dogs. Some long-haired dogs have lighter undercoat, some have thicker. Breeds like Old English Sheepdog have long-hair and thicker undercoat and therefore coat care requires more time and energy. This coat type is prone to tangling. It is worth asking a dog groomer for advice on grooming a long-haired dog.

Curly hair

As the name suggests, curly-haired dogs have wavy or curly hair. The most well-known curly-haired breed is poodle, which has curls all over the body. Other popular curly-haired dog breed is Portuguese Water Dog, which you might have already heard about, as President Barack Obama had Portuguese Water Dogs too. Curly-haired dogs have almost zero undercoat, and they lose only a small amount of hair every now and then. Shedding is not typical for curly-haired dogs, but they need regular clipping. This fact should be taken into consideration when choosing a dog.

Special coat

There are many articles about dog coat care, but there are special breeds – even hairless breeds – that require special care. Hairless dogs have little hair and are usually easy to care for. But their skin needs to be protected from sunlight. Other special coat type is called „corded coat” and most herding dogs like Puli and Mudi have such coat. Due to its structure, as it grows, hair becomes matted and clumps together, providing insulation without damaging the skin. This coat type requires extra special care.

Grooming: healthy coat and bonding

Grooming is good for all dogs, that is for sure. Regular brushing removes dead hairs and prevents tangles. It’s like a massage for the dogs and similarly to humans, grooming improves blood circulation as well. Moreover, grooming can also help to strengthen your bond with your dog. Remember: checking the ears and claws should always be part of the grooming routine.

Getting used to grooming: tips and tricks

Many pet parents have this question in mind: When is the best time to start grooming? The answer is simple: the sooner, the better. It is highly recommended to start grooming as soon as your puppy arrives to you. Puppies get used to things pretty fast and you can avoid issues later on. The best time for grooming is when the puppy is tired after a long walk or play.

Choose a soft brush and start brushing your dog’s fur. Make sure it’s a comfortable and enjoyable experience for your pup. When you are done, reward your dog to reinforce good behaviour. A few minutes of grooming every day saves a lot of time for you and makes your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.

How to choose grooming tools?

There are many grooming tools available on the market, but you should always choose what’s the most suitable for your dog’s fur. For classic short hair, a regular soft brush or massage brush is OK, but for long-haired dogs – especially for dogs with thick undercoat – more tools are required. Slicker brushes, rakes, pin brushes, shedding blade… the list is endless. It’s recommended to ask your vet or dog groomer which tool is required for your dog’s fur.

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