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Fur dressing – Brush to shine

Every new dog who enters a family goes through an intensive study on appearance, height, weight, colour, behaviour, preferences and probable life span. Products to make the pet comfortable are researched upon and bought. The house is made pet-friendly and the extended family is informed of the new addition. Who will train the dog, who will feed her, who will take her for a walk, who will take care of her during holidays and what the dog is prohibited from – everything is thought of and decided upon in advance. But has one extensively thought about grooming?

Well, the dog has now been home for a couple of months. Everything has gone well so far and the dog has

dog grooming

Kristine Schirmer and Dr Lochana Baney

charmed the whole family. Then something happens that is very natural. There’s something under the front leg! An ulcer? No, it turns out to be a matt! Did the breeder not say that the dog’s coat does not need maintenance? Or did he just say that the dog does not shed? How does a dog get such a matt and why are there similar matts on both hind legs? Funny! Exactly in the same place on both sides! This requires action! A pair of clippers should be got immediately or, better still, a dog groomer should be given this responsibility. Brushing the hair at home may not be possible because the dog will run away when you try to brush the hair. And if you force her to brush her hair, she will whine so loud that your heart will melt and the evil brush will disappear!

But it shouldn’t happen that the poor dog will have big, hard matts, until one goes to a professional for help. A clean shave is also not an option either! It is extremely embarrassing for the dog and harmful as well. Bald, shaven dogs freeze in winter and get sun burn in summer. The whole spectrum of skin protection functions of the coat becomes useless. Thus fur dressing by professionals who have sound knowledge of different types of coat in different breeds and how to work in the best way to conserve the texture, colour and breed standards, can help your dog to remain clean, free of matts, well groomed and healthy.

Benefits of pooch coat…

The condition of the coat defines the general health of the animal. The skin and hair form the largest organ of the body and protect the dog from external factors such as water, ultraviolet rays and micro-organisms. The coat is also responsible for temperature control and immunity regulation and for preserving water, salts, fats and sensory perception.

Every dog requires conscious fur dressing. If one thinks that short-haired dogs like Dalmatians, Doberman and Boxers do not require fur dressing, think again. Their hair falls like the leaves of a Christmas tree. It happens in such a way that it doesn’t stop for the rest of the dog’s life. Meanwhile, long-haired dogs must be regularly brushed in order to avoid matts. Only regular hair brushing will overcome matts.

With most breeds of dogs, the fur is dense and has multiple layers of hair. Here, fur dressing is particularly important. A dog’s hair has a tendency to matt if proper care of the skin and hair is not taken. Infections and parasitic attacks are not noticed with just a cursory glance. With regular care and proper inspection of the skin, skin diseases can be detected at an early stage.

Benefits of bathing… .

There are various reasons why dogs should be bathed regularly. It serves to clean the dog and remove dead hair from the skin. At the same time, dandruff and dirt are also removed. Bathing also helps to deodorise the dog from internal smells, as well as smells caused by external factors. In order to prevent the dog’s skin from any kind of danger, it is essential that the dog is taken to a professional for a dog shampoo.

Fur dressing… what does it mean?

Fur dressing means working with the skin and hair of dogs in a professional way after evaluation of the general condition of the coat. This includes services like:

  • Gently brushing the different layers of the hair using layer specific brushes, without causing injury to the skin and other delicate organs, either to dematt, stop shedding, clean the skin of dust and debris, etc.
  • Haircuts or trims for convenient, healthy lifestyle.
  • Bathing with nontoxic, coat specific shampoos.

All these procedures are conducted to conserve the natural texture, colour and coat patterns.

How fur dressing helps…

Fur dressing enables the upper layer of the skin to breathe, while the coat’s in-built temperature control mechanism stays effective. As the process of fur growth is controlled by daylight, dogs who mostly stay in the house are more likely to shed a lot of hair.

The purpose of fur dressing is to improve and maintain the skin and fur of the animal so that he can protect himself from environmental factors, retaining the breed-specific characteristics of his physical appearance. In addition, the natural tendencies of the animal are retained and his social contact with his pet parent is intensified. Do not forget to reward your dog after fur dressing!

Mock fur dressing, for instance, light brushing with a soft brush, just getting used to standing on the grooming table for a few minutes at a time, should start right after the second month after the dog’s birth and continue regularly. Technical specifications should be adhered to by consulting a professional. A professional dresser can also help in the early years of the dog’s life. The rule of regularity is to be followed, rather than clipping off the hair altogether once a year, which is destructive. More natural the fur of the dog, the more it will tend to protect the dog from the environment.

(Dr Lochana Baney is a veterinary physician, who runs GORDON – Just FUR Dogs, where you can get detailed advice regarding the hair and skin care of your dog.)

Comfy ‘n’ stylish winter dressing

It’s winter time again- the chill is in the air- but it’s also perfect for snuggles with your pet and lots of long walks and belly rubs galore! Just dress him in a warm and cosy jacket and off you two go to enjoy the winter chill.

We all know how smart winter dressing is! The same can be for your pooch. Dress him in a fashionable and stylish jacket. Here’s how to pick the right jacket for your pooch:

  • Measurements: Before you head out to make your purchases, please measure the pet’s neck (collar), Complete Carelength (from collar till start of tail), and the tummy around the widest point. These three measurements must be tallied with the product you wish to buy.
  • Patterns: Winter coats and jackets can have a variety of different fitting patterns. Some provide complete covering from the top and the bottom, others provide top covering only. Some come with sleeves and others without! Please assess your pet’s activities before deciding on what style of jacket to go for.
  • Fitting: Just remember that the jacket/coat should be snug and well fitted. It should not constrict movement of the pet, and a foot or mouth should not get caught where it doesn’t belong! It should also be very easy to put on and take off! If uncomfortable, your pet will probably not be able to sit flat on the floor. So, if you put on a jacket and find your pet standing still in one place – there is a huge possibility that he/she is very uncomfortable!
  • Thickness of the jacket: How warm should the jacket be? This depends on how cold a weather you live in, and how cold your dog feels. Some dogs have a nice, thick coat and do not require additional covering. However, short coat dogs may feel very cold requiring a thicker covering. It is important that pets are supervised when they have clothing on as they can get into a destructive mood and tear it off! The other thing to watch out for is overheating. It is advisable to remove clothing during time of exercise and play as it can result in overheating.

Once you have found the jacket that suits your pet’s requirement and his fashion statement–who cares for the winter blues?

(Rashi Sanon Narang owns Heads Up For Tails, a pet corner for a huge collection of luxury accessories to pamper your furry babies from head to tail. For further details, e-mail at: huft08@gmail.com).