Shedding is a natural part of a dog’s life and he will shed even more as the weather gets warmer. However, hair looks better on your dog compared to your living room couch. You can minimise shedding with regular grooming, which will also help to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and clean. This way, you can spend less time vacuuming and more time playing together.
Grooming your dog not only helps him look his best, but grooming sessions are an excellent time to check your dog’s health. Changes in appearance or behaviour may be signs of illness, so if any changes do occur please consult your veterinarian.
Dogs have different grooming needs based on the type and length of their fur; however Purina has a comprehensive range of products from PETLIFE, Professional Deshedding Tool and TOTAL CARE to facilitate each step of the grooming process.
Shorthaired breeds should be groomed two or three times a week, whilst longhaired breeds require daily grooming. If your dog’s coat requires complicated grooming, you may want to have it groomed by a professional groomer.
It is always good to establish a regular grooming routine for your dog, while there is no set time that is best to groom a dog; it is not a good idea to handle any dog immediately after they have eaten. When planning time for grooming make sure you can give your full attention. The place should be one that is convenient for you, has good light and is free from distractions. Have your grooming equipment ready and within reach. After each grooming session thoroughly wash, rinse and dry the grooming equipment.
Not all dogs enjoy the grooming experience at first as some areas of their body can be sensitive. So start with short sessions of a few minutes and never punish your dog for not responding positively. Reward good behaviour with a yummy treat and/or lots of praise.
Shedding varies from breed to breed, but they all lose their winter coat. Brushing ensures your dog’s fur is clean and healthy as it removes excess hair and dirt, helps to prevent matting and spreads natural oils throughout the coat.
All dogs should be brushed. Brushing is basic to maintaining a clean and healthy coat,frequent brushing loosens and removes scale, dirt and dead hair; distributes the natural oils throughout the coat and helps prevent tangles in long hair. A brush with natural bristles is popular for removing dead hair. Use a brush with correct bristle length – short for medium and short haired dogs and long for longhaired dogs. Another option for many medium and long haired breeds is a brush with fine bent-wire teeth called a “Loose Hair Remover”. For short haired breeds a grooming mitt with short bristles on one side that you can slip over your hand is very effective.
It is important to get the brush down to the skin as massaging action helps loosen and remove dandruff flakes.
- Start by gently grooming down his back & towards the tail, being careful not to harm eyes or ears.
- Smooth your dog’s neck brushing downwards.
- If your dog has long hair on the back of the legs (feathering), comb it out as it has a tendency to tangle.
- Lastly, Brush gently on the soft underbelly to remove any remaining loose hair.
If longhaired dogs are not groomed daily, knots and tangles can be a serious issue. Sometimes tangles can be brushed out. If you are having difficulty brushing the tangles out, try using your fingers to pull the mat apart and then brush the hair in place. For those stubborn mats, use a Stubborn Knot Remover from Purina KraMar Petcare to smooth out the coat. If combing is not working, the mats may need to be cut off. Gently pull the mat away from the dog’s body, and then carefully cut the hair between the mat and the skin. Short-haired dogs, such as Dobermans and Boxers, don’t require so much grooming effort but still need brushing two or three times a week. A comb will do the job. And if your pet has fleas, use a Purina TotalCare Flea Comb to help get them out.
Dogs should be bathed when they look dirty and/or have a strong doggy odour. Have your dog’s shampoo, brush and towels nearby before you start, soak your dog through to the skin and use a shampoo that is pH balanced for dogs. If your dog has sensitive skin there are shampoos available. Apply the shampoo and massage into the coat with your fingers until it lathers, making sure you keep away from your dogs eyes. Once you’ve finished shampooing, thoroughly rinse him with warm water while ensuring it’s not too hot.
Let your dog drip dry for a few minutes as you squeeze the excess water out of the coat. Cover them with a towel and squeeze the coat until most of the water has been absorbed, then begin to brush dry.
Trimming your dog’s nails play a vital role in maintaining your dog’s health. Neglected nails not only drive you up the wall with their continuous clacking across the tiled floor, but can also cause health problems in your dog, such as painful ingrown nails and sore feet, legs and hips.
Small indoor dogs require trimming every four to eight weeks, while outside dogs that walk on concrete usually wear their nails down more quickly but still need some maintenance. Purina’s range of nail clippers is made for large and small dogs, including puppies.
Clipping your dog’s nails:
- Hold your dog’s leg gently, but firmly in front or behind in line with the leg. Don’t twist the foot or hold his leg out sideways.
- Hold the nail at the nail bed (pointer finger on top and thumb underneath) and place the nail clipper on the nail where you wish to cut.
- Cut the nail.
Keep in mind, every dog is different when it comes to tolerating nail trimming, especially if they have had a bad experience. It can be painful if you cut the quick (blood vessel). The quick is a dark spot in the centre of the nail, which is more visible in white nails than black.
If you are nervous about cutting your dog’s nails, make an appointment with a qualified groomer or your local veterinary clinic so you can watch the process and be more confident to try it yourself next time.
Looking after their ears
Check your dog’s ears regularly. If the inside of the ear flap looks dirty, it can be cleaned gently with a small piece of cotton wrapped around a fingertip and moistened warm water. Look for dirt, cuts, scratches, swelling, discharge and unpleasant odour. To avoid possible injury, never probe deep into their ear.
Looking after their eyes
Any dried matter in the corner of your dog’s eyes should be gently cleaned away with a cotton swab moistened with warm water. Be careful not to rub over the eye with cotton as the fibres can cause irritation.
Our new PETLIFE Professional Deshedding tool can help you reduce shedding by up to 90% with ongoing use. Visit www.petlife.com.au for more information.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.