Unlike their ancestors, dogs require special care of their fur as a result of domestication. Wolves only shed about twice a year, while dogs can shed all year round.
You should get your dog used to brushing or bathing as early as the puppy age, there are special soft brushes available, initially only brush the dog for a few minutes a day to get it used to it. Start on the back and sides, only then do you brush the more uncomfortable areas such as the head, chest, paws and stomach. Reward the puppy with food, clickers, toys, or words of praise.
Even an adult dog - like a puppy - can be used to brushing with the help of various rewards.
Always brush up to the skin to avoid matting, especially typical places for matting are under the ears, under the armpits and on the stomach. Tangles are particularly dangerous in summer, as the skin is no longer ventilated, which can lead to heat build-up. Furthermore, tangles can lead to restricted mobility and pain.
There are different types of fur, such as:
- Short-haired, simple fur like a Doberman, here a brush with nubs is sufficient to remove loose hair.
- Short hair with an undercoat like a Labrador, here the undercoat should be brushed regularly, especially in the transitional periods.
- Short-haired dogs tend to have more sensitive skin, so they should be brushed more than bathed.
- Long-haired dogs with an undercoat are, for example, a Newfoundland or a Maltese, here the care can take some time, you should comb the dog daily to prevent knots and matting. The undercoat must be brushed out in any case, it cannot simply be shaved off.
Dog breeds such as terriers and poodles should be trimmed, here the dead fur is plucked out in order to stimulate fur growth again and to preserve the natural protection against cold and warmth, and skin eczema can also be avoided by regular trimming.
Regular grooming not only strengthens the bond with your four-legged friend, but also recognizes vermin infestation, skin changes or injuries in good time. Another positive aspect of brushing is that it stimulates the blood circulation in the skin and thus also the growth of the coat.
The choice of the right brush or comb depends on the type of coat or breed of the dog. The bristle length should be chosen so that you can use it to penetrate the dog's skin. For example, you can choose from these variants:
- Metal comb: a coarsely toothed metal comb is suitable for all types of fur
- Plucking brush: Rectangular head and short bristles are particularly suitable for breeds with thick fur to remove loose hair and excess undercoat.
- Harrow: With coarse prongs, this can be used to remove excess undercoat in large dogs with a thick undercoat
- Soft brush: this can be used to polish short fur after brushing
- Detangling comb: gently loosens adhesions and light matting
Grooming doesn't just consist of brushing, but also of bathing. For this you only use a special dog shampoo or a very mild baby shampoo without additives. Bathing the dog seldom so that the natural protective layer of the skin is retained; you can usually bathe the dog once a month.
The dog's fur or skin often shows signs of deficiency, intolerance or allergies, which are warning signs of health problems. If the coat no longer shines, but is rather dull, strawy and dull, these are possible signs of a deficiency. Various deficiency symptoms, intolerances or allergies are often accompanied by itching and rashes. Diet often plays an important role here. By adding food supplements such as various oils (linseed oil, hemp oil or fish oil) you can compensate for these deficiency symptoms, just as you can compensate for the health problem by omitting any allergens. In any case, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian here.
The grooming treatment is supplemented by the intimate care of the dog. Often these areas of the dog are glued or matted as a result of licking or frequent marking. That is why it is important to ensure adequate care here too.