Caring for your dog’s coat can seem daunting, especially if you are a first-time dog parent. You want to take the proper measurements, but also not overdo it.
Your dog’s coat should be soft and fairly smooth, depending on the breed. You will know your dog’s coat is unhealthy if it feels dry with a lot of abnormal shedding. It may be greasy and have a strange odour from the oils in their skin.
Furthermore, the length of your dog’s coat is to consider when creating a coat-care routine. From the type of brush to the frequency of bathing, it will depend on your dog’s breed and its health.
Some dogs, like Bulldogs, are prone to rashes and inflammation so there are breed-specific steps to take in caring for their coat. Other dogs get tangles easily as they have double-coats or play outside a lot and will need more baths or brushing.
Brushing Your Dog’s Hair for a Healthy Coat
Brushing your dog’s coat prevents shedding and spreads the natural oils from the hair shaft, which will make the fur smoother and help dirt fall off. These natural oils help naturally moisturize your dog’s coat as well as help with keeping it clean. It is the first step in an effective coat-care routine.
You will need the right brush for your dog. Ideally, you should have two different brushes, including a wide-tooth brush for your dog’s outer layer and a finer-spaced brush for around the face. You can ask your groomer for advice on which brushes to use for the best outcome.
Here is some advice based on the breed of your dog :
Smooth/Short-Haired: Breeds such as Boston Terriers, Greyhounds, and Basset Hounds tend to shed more frequently even if their hair is shorter. However, regular brushing helps prevent it. Though shedding is inevitable, there are ways to prevent it from getting out of hand.
Wire-Haired: Breeds such as many Terriers, Affenpinschers, and Otterhounds have bristly hair. It can be rough to the touch, but it should not be dry. Use a slicker brush and go from the skin out as only brushing the top may cause more mats.
Long-Coat: Breeds such as Bearded Collies, Shih Tzus, and Old English Sheepdogs are more apt to get a tangled or matted coat. Brush your dog’s coat from the skin to the ends of the hair. The most important thing is never to ignore tangles as they will get worse if left unattended. We recommend using a pin brush and comb for the best results.
Curly-Coat: Breeds such as the Standard Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Irish Water Spaniel are known for low shedding, so if dirt clings on their coat will likely not fall off. The attached dirt quickly gets matted and stuck. Use a slicker brush and go from the skin outwards. You can also use conditioner on spots that are tougher to untangle for a more comfortable brush.
Double-Coated: Breeds such as Chow Chows, Alaskan Huskies, and Akitas have two different layers of coats for different purposes. Dogs with double coats need regular brushing because the undercoat can easily tangle together. Brush from the skin out and make sure not to ignore any tangles as the inevitable will happen (say no to knots!).
Bathing Your Dog
The typical ‘dirty’ smell that dogs give off is a mixture of bacteria buildup and oil in their coat. Bathing your dog will get rid of the smell, dirt, and also prevent shedding.
It is essential not to over-bath your dog, as this will cause skin dryness and irritation. You should not need to bath your dog more than once a month unless your dog gets dirty from being outside.
When bathing your dog, use a shampoo made for dogs, for example our Pet Shampoo with Hemp Oil. It leaves your dog’s coat moisturized and smooth with a boost of aloe and eucalyptus.
Furthermore, when training your dog for bath time, make it a positive event. Show your dog that bath time comes with a reward! This way, you can focus on properly massaging the shampoo into their coat without worrying about your dog jumping out of the bath or making a mess.
Here are some things to add to your dog’s bath routine:
- Brush your dog’s coat to remove any mats before bathtime. This way, you can easily remove matted dirt and hair in the bath.
- Avoid wetting the head area of your dog as they are sensitive. Instead of pouring water on their head, use a face cloth to clean their face easily. Avoid putting water directly in their eyes, ears, mouth, and nose.
- Brush your dog’s coat again after the bath. Get rid of any excess hair that didn’t fall out in the tub. This is a good trick for short hair dogs or those that shed a lot.
- Give your dog a healthy treat before and after their bath. Show them it is a positive event that will bring rewards. You can also give them a toy or play their favorite game right after.
- Lastly, try not to use an air dryer as this can scare your dog, or it may be too hot on their skin. We want to keep the experience as pleasant as possible!
Nutrition is Everything
Your dog’s diet has an impact on their overall health as well as their skin and fur. You see, hair is primarily made up of protein. Thus, the better your dog’s food, the better their skin health.
If you feel that your dog’s fur is brittle or dry, it may be their food. Your veterinarian can help you find the right food for your dog and their conditions.
Foods that are rich in fatty acids are good for your dog’s health and coat. We use the superfood hemp oil in all of our products because it contains a perfect balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6. These healthy fats promote a healthy and smooth coat, fuel the brain, and help with inflammation.
For more information about grooming your dog’s coat or about hemp oil, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment down below!