Different strokes for different coats!, – By Aneesha Rai

As a groomer, I often find that pet parents are not really aware of the coat their dogs have and what care needs to be taken to maintain it. Below is a simple guide to what home grooming entails based on the coat type of your pooch.

Combination Coat

  • Identification: Very short tight smooth coat about the face and front of legs,
    Aneesha Rai

    Aneesha Rai

    shorter coat on body and long silky coat on undercarriage, sides, rear of legs and tail.

  • Popular breeds: Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel.
  • Daily grooming needs: Thorough brush down starting from the head towards tail in direction of the growth in small strokes.
  • Weekly grooming needs: Ear & eye cleaning, tooth brushing.
  • Shedding cycles: Seasonal shedding pattern depending on the climate.
  • Special needs: The longer coat tends to matt up if not brushed regularly. The fur between paw pads is long. This tends to matt up and collects a lot of dirt and debris.
  • Products required: All purpose conditioning shampoo, rubber curry, slicker brush, de-shedding tool, ear wipes, eye wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush & nail buffer.

Double Coat

  • Identification: A combination of straight harsh to touch outer coat and a thick and dense soft undercoat to protect the dog in extreme weather conditions.
  • Popular breeds: Siberian Husky, German Shepherd.
  • Daily grooming needs: A thorough brush down, especially when the dog is shedding else he is prone to matting. The brush down needs to be more methodical than most breeds. Starting at the bottom, split the coat into manageable vertical lines that you can work through. Lift each line at a time to expose the undercoat and then work through it with a slicker brush to ensure no matts are formed. These breeds have a tendency to produce natural body oil that creates a ‘doggie odour.’
  • Weekly Grooming Needs: Ear & eye cleaning, tooth brushing
  • Shedding cycles: Climate changes can trigger shedding in these breeds.
  • Special Needs: Thorough brushing can be quite a task and if not done properly can lead to matting and in turn skin infections.
  • Products Required: Conditioning shampoo, conditioner, detangling grooming spray, rubber curry, slicker brush, de-shedding tool, ear wipes, eye wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste & nail buffer.

Short Coat

  • Identification: The coat is short, close to the body and harsh. They normally have two layers of short coats, making it quite dense and effective against environmental elements.
  • Popular breeds: Pug, Beagle, Basset Hound.
  • Daily grooming needs: A light brush down with a bristle brush or even a piece of suede cloth is effective in invigorating the coat and getting the loose coat off. These breeds have a tendency to produce natural body oil that creates a ‘doggie odour.’
  • Weekly grooming needs: Ear & eye cleaning, tooth brushing
  • Shedding cycles: Generally shed twice a year and during that time, the shedding is profuse.
  • Special needs: A thin film can be felt on the coat if the dog is dirty.
  • Products required: All purpose conditioning shampoo, rubber curry, bristle brush, de-shedding tool, ear wipes, eye wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush & nail buffer.

Smooth Coat

  • Identification: The coat is short and close to the body.
  • Popular breeds: Dachshund (smooth), Bulldog, Dalmatian
  • Daily grooming needs: Their skin is soft and sensitive, hence no harsh grooming tools should be used.
  • Weekly grooming needs: Ear & eye cleaning, tooth brushing
  • Shedding cycles: Generally shed twice a year and during that time, the shedding is profuse.
  • Special needs: A thin film can be felt on the coat if the dog is dirty. Skin is sensitive to harsh weather conditions. Hence, a jacket or tee is recommended when exposed to extreme weather.
  • Products required: All purpose conditioning shampoo, rubber curry, bristle brush, de-shedding tool, ear wipes, eye wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush & nail buffer.

Long-Haired Coats

  • Identification: The coat is naturally long and of a drop coat type.
  • Popular breeds: Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Yokshire Terrier
  • Daily grooming needs: Thorough brush down starting from the head towards tail in direction of the growth in small strokes. The coat tangles easily if not brushed and cared for regularly. Formation of matts can lead to skin inflammations and infections.
  • Weekly grooming needs: Ear & eye cleaning, tooth brushing.
  • Shedding cycles: Generally considered to be non-shedding.
  • Special needs: Since the fur between feet and pads is long, they have a tendency to matt and collect dirt and debris. Hair in the ear canal needs to be plucked out for allowing proper air circulation. Ear and eye problems are common due to excessive coat.
  • Products required: Conditioning shampoo, conditioner, detangling grooming spray, rubber curry, slicker brush, de-shedding tool, ear wipes, eye wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste & nail buffer.

Bath for all once a month or as required. Once you have identified the coat type of your pooch, groom him accordingly and let him shine with good health.

(Ex-software professional Aneesha Rai is one of the leading professional all-breed groomers. She is also the founder of DAWGZ-Grooming & More in Mumbai).

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