Dog Grooming: The Dirt on Dog Fur

Soft and white. Red and curly. Smooth and brown. Your dog’s fur is its most distinctive feature. It’s the reason we love petting our dogs and it’s the attribute that makes them so darn cute.

But your dog’s coat is about more than just good looks. It protects her from the environment, microorganism and foreign objects. Fur also acts as insulation keeping her cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Dogs also use their coats to communicate. Ever seen the fur on a dog’s back stand up when it’s mad? That’s its fur talking!

So your dog’s coat serves a purpose, but it can also cause some problems. Fur gets pretty dirty because it traps dust and pollen that can cause allergic reactions for you – and your pet. Fleas and ticks take cover in fur. And let’s not forget the “s” word: shedding.

So, what’s the best way to keep your pet’s coat clean and healthy?  It depends on the type of coat.

Here are a couple of pointers on dog grooming based on common coat types.

Smooth, short coats:

  • Brush weekly with a rubber or bristle brush
  • Bathe as needed but at least every three months

Dense, short coat:

  • Brush weekly with a slicker brush to work out tangles and mats
  • Bathe as needed but at least every three months

Long, smooth coat:

  • Daily brushing with a slicker brush will keep the coat neat and tangle free
  • Some dogs will need regular, light trimming to maintain shape
  • Bathe as needed but at least every three months

    Dylan by Landon - Dog Grooming Flickr Photo

    Courtesy of Landon/Flickr

When it comes to bathing, you can let the pros handle it for a price or do it yourself. Summer time is ideal for outdoor doggy baths because it’s less messy. If you choose to bathe your dog in the tub, be sure to use a non-stick mat to keep your dog from slipping. Don’t use too much water (a few inches is enough) and rinse thoroughly avoiding the dog’s eyes, ears, and nose. Avoid using too warm of water as this can exacerbate any skin irritation your dog may have.

Which dog shampoo should you use?

Antiseptic, deodorizing, conditioning, antimicrobial – there are lots of great shampoos on the market. Choose the type that matches your pet’s needs or have your veterinarian recommend a shampoo.

We stock a wide range of shampoos for dogs. So order one up, grab your dog and just add water! Which dog grooming shampoo do you use? Let us all know by leaving a reply below. Thank you.

Happy bathing,

Wes

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