Dog Fur: The Long and the Short of It

November 2nd, 2015

Regular clipping, grooming and bathing are an essential part of dog care and should be factored in to every owner’s routine and budget; consider it in the same way as food, bedding, and veterinary care.

A really important factor to consider when choosing a dog breed, is what type of fur will suit you and your family. Whether you choose a dog with short, long, smooth, silky, corded, curly, or double-layered fur, keeping your dog’s coat in top condition takes commitment and is important to their overall health and wellbeing.

A regular grooming, clipping and bathing routine will help to ensure your dog does not develop nasty tangles, skin irritations or end up with painful ‘hot spots’ deep within the fur. A neglected coat can cause distress and pain for your dog and can even result in skin conditions.

Dog fur and your family’s health

Your family’s health conditions like asthma and allergies can also be kept to a minimum with regular grooming of your pet. Pet dander – the dead skin that your dog releases into the air – is a common cause of breathing and skin problems in people and can be greatly reduced with regular washing and brushing. Good coat maintenance not only helps with health problems, but gives a cleaner, more hygienic environment for your family.

If your family is prone to asthma and allergies, you may consider choosing a non-shedding and hypoallergenic dog to reduce the amount of allergens in your home. There are many breeds that are known to be better for allergy sufferers including labradoodles, poodles, schnauzers, and many of the terriers like Maltese, Scottish or West Highland white terriers.

An expert’s touch

It’s worth thinking about a professional grooming service to help you keep up with your dog’s coat management and there are plenty of good quality services now available. A professional dog groomer can save you money too, preventing skin conditions that may need veterinary attention.

At home grooming tips

Make sure you look after your dog’s coat in between visits to the salon too. You never know when your companion might pick up a painful tick or burr or develop a skin problem. Take the time to check under the arms, behind the ears and around the neck. Part the hair and check the skin for dry or red patches and signs of irritation as well.

A do-it-yourself, home grooming kit can come in handy. Visit your local pet store, dog salon or veterinary clinic to find a good quality brand. There are plenty of great online videos available to help you choose the right grooming method and to offer advice about the best equipment to use.

Manage your dog’s grooming routine to suit its coat type. Smooth coated breeds like whippets and chihuahuas for example, are prone to insect bites and are sensitive to harsh products, brushes and tools. Combination-coated breeds like golden retrievers and border collies are prone to matting and accumulation of dirt between the pads on the feet and need regular trimming. Wire coated dogs, have a soft undercoat and dense overcoat. These breeds include Irish wolfhounds, wire haired dachshunds and most terriers, and must be bathed, brushed and plucked or hand stripped regularly to avoid mats and tangles.

Consider Pet Insurance

Even with the best of care, many dogs will have issues with their skin that will require some treatment. At least with a good grooming routine you know you have done your best to protect your pooch’s general health and wellbeing, and have the best chance of picking up any issues early. Taking out Real Pet Insurance is a good way to manage any unexpected conditions that your dog may encounter and manage your veterinary expenses.

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