July 20, 2010

Grooming your Dog

Filed under: grooming and or medicating to control shedding — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:49 am

Grooming is an important aspect of pet care that gives you an opportunity to spend some quality time with your dog.  Most dogs enjoy being groomed as it is a practice that has evolved as a central part of their natural social order.  Proper grooming can help to maintain your pet’s health because you can keep an eye out for skin problems like parasites, lumps, fleas, or other problems.  Grooming for dogs with short coats, medium coats, and long coats will help you determine which practices are most appropriate

Dogs with short coats like the Jack Russell terrier or German shorthaired pointer should be brushed with a soft bristle to remove dead hair and skin while spreading natural oils throughout the coat.  Dogs with short coats often have more sensitive undersides and a soft bristle brush is gentle and comfortable.  Choose a brush that is an appropriate size for your dog.

The Labrador retriever and German shepherd are good examples of dogs with medium coats.  Dogs with longer hair need to be brushed but grooming is usually a bit more challenging.  First, groom with a slicker or wire brush to remove dead hair from the undercoat.  A slicker is a brush with a rubber base and metal pins that may or may not have a plastic tip.  After combing your dog to remove hair, give him a good brushing to distribute oil throughout his coat.

Finally, long coated dogs like the Afghan or shih-tzu will require the most grooming to maintain their coats.  You’ll need to brush long haired animals every day to prevent knotting and matting.  If you’re brushing a coat that has been neglected try a mat rake or shedding comb to loosen knotted hair and remove it more comfortably.  When you have removed the tangles from your dog’s hair, use a wire or slicker brush to remove dead hair and the undercoat.  It is important to brush daily because once your dog’s hair becomes matted to the skin you’ll need to visit a professional groomer or veterinarian and your dog will probably need to be shaved.

About Dr. Amber Reed

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