Do You Know Your Breed?
When you see a puppy in a magazine, and it is super cute, fluffy and sucks you in with those baby eyes – right away do your research on the breed! Way to often I arrive at someone’s house and they say ‘I have never had a dog before, what do I need to do with this dog for grooming?’, or ‘I do not know how to look after this dog for grooming I have never had this breed before’. These sentences are my que to give a little information on how to look after the coat on your pet. There is a lot of other knowledge about breeds that you should investigate other than the esthetic parts but I’m a groomer, so my main focus is getting you knowledgeable about their coats.
Sometimes clients will be in shock over the amount of maintenance it takes to keep a coat looking a certain way and they do not want to keep it up. This will cause the groomer to perform the ‘shave it down’ look. The main thing is to make sure that you have the RIGHT brush for your pets’ fur, and the time dedicated about 3-4 times a week to brush them out. When I say the RIGHT type of brush, I am meaning the ‘pin brush’ – the one that everyone buys to brush out their dog – is not the right one for most breeds. This brush is the go to of brushes because people are familiar with it’s look based on our own hair needs. Big red flag I tell people is ‘does your hair look like or feel like the fur on your dog?’. There are slicker brushes, combs, rakes, razers (furminators), pin brush, curry combs, and many more. Each with their own size and ergonomic abilities to make your life easier. These different brushes are designed to get through different coat types of fur and detangle them and separate the fur making it appear fluffier. Ask your groomer or do some research about which brush is best for your breed as some breeds need a couple different brushes ones for different effects on the coat.
Next is the method of brushing or the way to do it. People show me how they brush their dogs and it is usually just the back of the dog, the tail and sometimes the back legs. The best routine to get into for brushing out your pet is start at the head, brush the top of the head, and the face – yes the face, brush tangles out behind the ears, down the neck and chest, following down each leg right to the paw. Continue along the back, the sides – going under the belly, each back leg (again from the top to the paw), the bum area and then finish off with the tail.
Yes this is going to take you about 15 minutes (if it is maintained), yes this is going to take some getting used to for your pet and you, and yes this will make a much happier pet when they are not covered in matts and knots.
Lastly make this a routine in your home at least 3-4 times a week. Even pets that do not have longer, or thicker fur still need to be brushed out to remove the dead uncoating and create less shedding. Your pet, your house and you will very much appreciate a routine like this and so will your groomer!