Dog’s have a unique way of keeping themselves clean (in their eyes haha). Their clean and our clean can mean two very different things. Today we are going to provide pet parents with some helpful tips and tricks on keeping their dog’s coats manageable between grooms.
Personally, I like to start by giving my dog a good brushing. This helps remove all the nasty bits such as; dead hair, dirt and dandruff and whatever other little things have gotten stuck in their coat. Plus a good brush can get rid of some of the loose mats, and provide you the opportunity to check for pesky little critters like lice, ticks or fleas (yuck!).
Hold up! You maybe wondering what brush to use…
With such a variety of brushes and combs available, things can get confusing. I will name our favorite three, just to keep it simple (there are a ton more options).
Slicker Brush: Basically this is the go to brush. It works well for all coat types. It’s row of thin wired type pins help remove loose fur, assisting in de-tangling the coat. The Pin brush is very similar to the slicker brush. The wire pins are tipped with rubber or plastic, which is made for silkier coat types.
Bristle Brush: A great option for short and wire coats. It’s soft bristles help removes shedding hair and smooths out the fur. A great option for sensitive areas like the face.
Rake: Rakes are designed for thick-haired dogs. It is designed to penetrate the coat, removing the undercoat.
We personally do not recommend the Furminator. In our experience we noticed it tends to damage the top layer of the coat.
Holy heck: Enough about brushes! Let’s get back to our steps.
After you have given your dog a good brush (we call it the prep phase). It’s time for a bath! If you have a tub that contains a handheld hose that’s a bonus! Otherwise you can go to a dog wash station (I recommend this if you have a double coated dog) or fill the tub with a couple of inches of water and utilize a cup or small bucket (to fill and rinse the dog).
Give your dog a good rinse off, soaking the entire coat. Ensure to protect your dogs eyes, ears and nose from water.
Once the coat is damp, begin the shampoo process: Here at Four on the Floor the groomers utilize the Melanie Newman Salon Essential line. I find it easier to dilute the shampoo with water and put it in a squirt bottle (think ketchup bottle). This way I can easily distribute the shampoo all over the dogs body. Once you have the shampoo all over the dog, begin to give the coat a good scrub. Our groomers utilize a rubber bath brush, to ensure each inch of the dogs coat is getting a good clean.
Rinse, and repeat….Yes, repeat the shampoo and rinse.
After the shampoo process you can opt to utilize a conditioner. A variety of conditioners are available at your local pet store. Pick one suited for your dogs coat. I find conditioners are best used for dogs with silky, long haired or curly coats. If using a conditioner, I recommend taking a couple extra minutes to brush your dogs coat while letting the condition soak in (helps de-tangle). Our groomers love utilizing Emu Oil conditioner.
No its time to dry the coat, duh duh duh....
Give your dog a good massage with a towel. Take your time and get all those hard to reach areas (under the legs, stomach, behind ears, in between facial folds and feet). You have a option to grab your hair dryer and give your dog a good thorough dry. This would be a ideal option for those curly and silky haired dogs (their coats tend to get matted when wet and not brushed out). Note: Ensure you put your dryer on the cold or warm setting and not sit in one spot for too long. Once your dogs coat is 100% dry, you can start step one again and give your dog a good brush, removing any matting.
Personally, I would not bath your dog more than once every 4-8 weeks. However; how often you bath your dog really depends on a variety of factors (health, coat type, activity level). My rule of thumb; If your dog looks or smells dirty, it’s time for a bath!
If you get your dog groomed regularly, SKIP the bath, but continue to brush the coat daily or after outdoor activity. This helps keep the coat free of mats and debris free (your groomer and wallet will thank you).
If your anything like me (Jordan), after writing this, I just looked down at my dog and realized he is over due for a groom. If this is the case give us a call (403)945-8834 to book a spot with our two fabulous groomers!