Grooming the Double Coated Dog
If you have a dog of the working or sporting breed, such as German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers, your dog may have a double coat of hair. If this is the case and your dog was outside doing the activity he was bred for, then the double coat probably wouldn’t bother you. In fact, you may not even notice.
Natural Double Coat Shedding During the Summer
However, many of these dogs are indoor pets rather than outdoors, and the natural shedding that occurs is often a frustration to you and other human companions around the house. That winter coat that grew nice and thick to keep your dog warm outdoors will shed everywhere during the summer.
Shedding Requires Care
It’s important to take care of the extra hair that is shedding off your dog’s coat. If you don’t remove the hair from your dog, as he is shedding, it can cause thick clump-like mats. Unfortunately, if your pet has clumps of unattended hair on his body, bugs (such as fleas and ticks) can get on board and hide from you. Also, twigs and other materials can get tangled in his fur and cause hard and tight knots.
RELATED: Dealing With Springtime Shedding
Bathing and Brushing
There are a couple of ways to deal with shedding hair. Bathing regularly is important. Some of that extra loose hair can be flushed away with the bathwater. You can also brush your dog’s hair. When the hair is dry, very gently brush his fur. Pet supply stores have dog grooming tools, such as a rake or slicker. These are designed to get under the top layer of fur and pull at the lower undercoat.
When you brush your dog’s coat with these items, make sure to use short gentle strokes. You don’t want to pull hard or scrape the dog’s skin. Hard brushing can cause brush burns. If the brushing becomes painful, your dog will struggle to get away and it will be unpleasant for both of you. Worse, your dog may get skittish and not cooperate with brushing in the future. You want a cooperative dog since the brushing sessions must be frequent so be gentle.
Before Shaving, Consult a Dog Groomer
Some dog owners will try to avoid the whole problem by having their pet shaved. This doesn’t completely prevent shedding though. Yes, shaving will take the hair off the dog, but he can still shed little hairs left behind by the clippers. While the double coat keeps out the cold in the winter, it can also help keep out the heat. So shaving may unwittingly cause the dog a temperature discomfort. Check with a professional dog groomer before taking this step.
If you have a groomer do the job, she may charge a little more than normal, especially if your dog’s undercoat was not previously tended to. She will remove the undercoat and make your dog feel comfortable and happy nonetheless.
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