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.)


Shine even when it pours…

Monsoon is a time to enjoy with your doggies. Unlike summers where it’s too hot or the winters where it gets too cold, the rainy season is one of the most enjoyable times for pet parents to spend with their dogs outdoor as long as some rules are followed.

Keep them dry: The most basic rule is to protect their skin and coat and to keep them dry. This can be


Aanchal Malhi

accomplished with the help of dog raincoats, which will provide complete protection from the rain. If your dog gets wet during his walk, ensure that you dry them completely with the help of a towel and a hair dryer. Infections, especially those that are fungal in nature, spread rapidly in the presence of moisture, therefore it is imperative to keep your dog 100 percent dry at all times.

Shoes for paws: Another very useful tip is to make your dog wear shoes. The footwear will protect your dogs’ precious paws from ticks, fleas, dirt and infections, which they can easily attract when they step out.

Company during thunderstorms: Keep your pet indoors and keep him company during storms, as thunder and lightning can be very unnerving for them. Distract them during loud storms with their favourite toys and treats and play with them. Don’t fuss over them. Remember, if you act scared or stressed, it will only make them more fearful.

Beware of fleas and ticks: Fleas and ticks are rampant in this weather so make sure you apply your flea and tick medicine on time. Fleas and ticks live in the house so fumigation along with their regular repellant is necessary protection. A useful tip is to add citronella oil to the water used for mopping your house as that helps keeping them away.

Essential grooming: Longhaired breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, etc can have their underbelly and under paw hair trimmed to avoid getting wet and dirty if the dog is stepping out without a raincoat. Brushing your dog is very important in the rainy season to remove any dirt or moisture, which can add to the risk of matting of their coat.

Clean drinking water: Always ensure clean drinking water and nutritious food.

Warm n’ cosy bed: Give a nice warm bed for your pet to sleep.

Seek a vet: With rainy season comes a lot of skin diseases, take your pet for a routine check-up.

Exercise n’ play: Your pet needs his daily dose of play and walk. If it rains, you need to give him the needed exercise indoors. Play Frisbee or toss a ball…keep him involved and happy.

Go…enjoy the rain…!

(Aanchal Malhi is a certified all breed dog groomer and owns It’s A Dog’s Life!, – a pet grooming solutions and boutique in Mumbai but most importantly is a proud pet parent of two!)


Let your canine shine in winter

Dry skin, dry hair, cracking heels – all are signs of winter setting in…not just for you but for your pooch as well. Here’s how to take care of your canine in winter.

Grooming your dog is essential to responsible pet parenting. Here’s how to keep your pet well-groomed in winter:

Brushing: Regular brushing is a must to keep dry skin away. To help him stay warm, use a smart dog coat.



Bathing: Prepare all in advance, have extra towels, make the bath quick, if you heat the room where you dry your dog will be great. Properly dry his coat. Get your dog used to a blow dryer. Use the blow dryer with caution and care.

Nail-clipping: Clip their nails regularly.

Cracking paws: Check your pooch’s paws for dryness and cracking. Use Vaseline to relieve any such symptoms.

Pamper your pet at a groomer, keep him hearty, happy and warm by cuddling up with him!