Do you know what type of coat your dog has? For instance some dogs have double coats, made up of a coarser over-layer of hair with an undercoat that is more fur-like, being softer and shorter. Breeds with double coats include Huskies, Collies and Newfoundlands. Most dogs have hair that will grow to a certain length and stop, while others have continuously growing coats – such as Poodles and Schnauzers. Many dogs shed their undercoat each spring, to be re-grown in the winter. In some cases however, the coat may shed continuously throughout the year.
It’s useful to know what type of coat your dog has, in order to know how to keep it in good condition and whether it will benefit from being clipped. Clipping a pet takes some expertise and is best done by professionals, but once you have the basic shape established, it is possible to maintain it yourself, at home.
When the coat is shedding, it’s useful to use a slicker brush that teases away the loose hair and helps prevent the coat from becoming matted. For a thicker coat, a de-shedder which actively thins out the coat may be useful. Otherwise it just takes a good brush. If you’re using one with metal or plastic pins, make sure the ends are rounded and they are held in place with a soft cushion to avoid the risk of damaging the skin.
Finally, always give your dog plenty of access to fresh clean water, especially if you have been down to the beach for a cooling dip or you have been playing ‘fetch’ out of the sea. Playing around in the sea doesn’t harm dogs but they can experience ‘beach diarrhoea’ from ingesting a combination of sand and salt. Fresh water can help prevent this. In the event you are concerned about your pet’s health, always ask a vet for advice. Information on slickers, de-shedders and general grooming is available from Oster.