When grooming dogs is your profession, there are some things that you wish all dog owners knew about their pet’s hygiene and coat maintenance. If you ask most groomers what their biggest frustration is, most will tell you horror stories about owners who don’t brush their full-coated dogs often or thoroughly enough at home. Grooming dogs isn’t something that should only happen at the pet salon. To maintain a full, fluffy, or long coat, it’s the responsibility of the owner to provide daily brushing.
1. “Can’t you just brush out the tangles?”
It’s important to realize the difference between tangles and mats in your dog’s coat. Tangles occur daily, from normal activities and are located in the outer layer of the coat. Matting occurs when tangles aren’t promptly brushed or combed out, causing the surrounding coat to cling to the tangled hair. Mats will them tighten and grow as more hair becomes involved.
While brushing and combing out tangles and dead undercoat can be time-consuming, once mats have formed the process of removing them becomes very painful for your dog. De-matting by hand requires your pet to have its coat and skin tugged by tools that essentially either rip the coat from the skin or cut through the coat to break up the clumps of matted fur. It is much more humane and ethical to shave mats when grooming dogs.
2. “But I don’t want my dog to be shaved!”
To keep your dog’s coat fluffy, long, or full, you must be willing to spend time brushing and combing her daily. Most breeds have a national club with a website that includes home grooming techniques for their specific coat type. Take the time to read and study up on how to maintain the style you want your pup to sport. Google it. Watch videos. Go to your local pet supply store and buy the tools you’ll need to properly care for Fifi’s daily beauty regimen at home. Commit to spending the necessary time grooming her at home to keep her happy and healthy, as well as cute.
3. “I don’t have the time…”
For some owners, this is true. For them, setting up a weekly or semi-weekly grooming appointment may be the best solution. If that isn’t an option, they should seriously consider keeping their dog in a shorter, more manageable style. Remember—daily brushing can happen while you watch TV in evening or while you carry on a conversation.
An unhealthy coat can lead to a slew of other issues including infections, hot spots, crankiness, and even biting people or other pets due to pain. [Tweet “An unhealthy coat can lead to other issues including infections, hot spots, crankiness, and even biting people or other pets due to pain.”]
Grooming dogs is not an easy profession, but you can make your groomers life much easier by maintaining your pet’s full coat with daily brushing and combing. Read Stefani’s post on grooming tools for further help.
Stefani Fortney has loved dogs for as long as long as she can remember. At the age of nine, she and her little Beagle mix, Puppy, learned obedience together for the first time in 4-H. As an adult, Stefani became a professional groomer, then later earned her accreditation (ABCDT) as a dog trainer from Animal Behavior College. She uses Positive Reinforcement training techniques exclusively. Stefani currently shares her home with her wife (Melissa), six dogs (Phaedra, Spectre, Mani, Fritter, Poppy, and Opus), and one cat (Pudge).