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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).

grooming

Different brush strokes for different coats

As pet parent, we all understand the benefits of having a clean, well-groomed dog not just for our pleasure, but first and foremost for the benefit to the dog. Different breeds have different coats, here’s how to groom different types of coats.

Benefits of grooming

Hound Glove, Combs Shedding Blade Undercoat Rake Slicker Brushes

Hound Glove, Combs Shedding Blade Undercoat Rake Slicker Brushes

  • Happy and healthy: A regular grooming schedule can keep your dog happier and your pet’s skin and hair stays healthy when it’s brushed regularly as the natural oils in their hair and skin are distributed over the body when brushed on a regular basis.
  • Bonding time: Grooming can also help improve relationship with your dog, with a puppy it is especially important to use grooming sessions as a time to bond with your pet and to gain their trust. An older pet may require touch to soothe aches and pains as they get older, so if they are used to being groomed they will respond positively to handling for other health reasons.
  • Regulating body temperature: Dogs use their coats for insulation, keeping the cold out in the winter and the heat out in the summer. It is important to keep your dog’s coat in top condition so that they are happy & healthy as well as being able to regulate their body temperature.

Here are different types of coat dogs have and the best ways to keep them tangle free and clean.

Smooth coat: brush ‘n shine

Characteristics: Smooth coated dogs have a short coat that lies flat against the dog’s body and is sleek and shiny. Smooth coats shed all year round rather than just twice a year.

Care: Smooth coats only require brushing and an occasional bath, they need to be brushed about once a week which will help to keep the oil evenly distributed over the coat and make sure the coat is free of dead hair and dirt.

Brushes: The best types of brushes for this type of coat are hound gloves and shedding blades.

Popular breeds: Labradors and Boxers.

Double coat: brush regularly

Characteristics: Double coats have two layers: a thick, fuzzy undercoat and a longer topcoat, which is weather resistant, these dogs moult in huge amount twice a year. The thick undercoat acts as insulation from the cold and heat and is usually thick enough to keep water out.

Care: Double coats require lots of grooming due to the dense undercoat and they should be brushed regularly especially during the spring and autumn when they are shedding their coat. If they are not brushed thoroughly enough, the undercoat can become too packed so that it cannot fluff up or dry properly. So, make sure that you can get a comb right through the hair to the skin. If possible, these coats should not be clipped as the top coat grows back more slowly.

Brushes: The best types of brushes to use on these coats are undercoat rakes, wire slicker brushes and combs.

Popular breeds: Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute.

Drop coat: bushing is a must

Characteristics: A drop coat is long, straight and flowing usually with a parting down the middle of the back. Drop coated dogs shed less than shorter coats as they take much longer to reach the predetermined length.

Care: Drop coats require daily brushing and combing as they are prone to matting, especially around the armpits, ears and groin areas. When bathed, they should also be conditioned and then dried by hand while being combed through as this will prevent the coat from knotting up while drying.

Brushes: The best brushes for drop coats are slicker brushes and metal combs.

Popular breeds: Afghan and Lhasa Apso.

Wiry coat: minimal brushing

Samantha Laws

Characteristics: Wiry coats are harsh, stiff and can be single coated or have a soft undercoat depending on the breed. Wiry coats shed lightly all throughout the year and more in spring and autumn when the coat is ‘blowing’.

Care: Wire haired dogs require minimal brushing by the owners but can have the occasional knot if neglected, although knots in a wiry coat are usually fairly easy to brush out. These types of coats are traditionally hand stripped meaning that the harsh guard hairs are plucked out twice a year when the coat is ‘blowing’ to reveal a thinner tidier coat underneath. Some wiry coats will require clipping or scissoring as having the coat previously clipped will make the coat softer and unsuitable for hand stripping.

Popular breeds: Schnauzer and Wire Haired Fox Terrier.

Curly/woolly coat: high maintenance

Characteristics: Curly coats are single coated and prone to become dry and matting; the softer the coat is, the more likely it is to matt.

Care: These coats require very high maintenance and are more like sheep wool than other types of dog hair and they don’t moult. Curly coats require daily brushing and combing to prevent them from matting, these coats should be sprayed with water or coat conditioner before brushing to prevent the hairs from being damaged or broken. When bathed, they should be blow dried straight away to get the best finish. Since they don’t shed, they will need to be trimmed every eight weeks or so.

Brushes: The best brushes for curly coats are slicker brushes and metal combs.

Popular breeds: Poodles and Bichons.

Hairless: grooming still a must

Characteristics: Hairless breeds of dogs aren’t actually hairless but have small amounts of very fine hair. They usually have black or blue skin and are prone to sunburn.

Care: Hairless dogs don’t require grooming like other breeds due to their lack of hair. However, they still need regular baths and moisturiser to keep the skin supple, they also need sun cream applied regularly to prevent them from getting sunburn. It is also recommended that hairless dogs are regularly exfoliated to prevent them getting acne and blackheads.

Popular breeds: Mexican Hairless and Chinese Crested.

(Samantha Laws owns Doggy Styling Professional Grooming Salon in Cambridgshire, England. She is also a member of the British Dog Grooming Association and English Groomers Group.)

Understanding canine Strokes

One day he’s normal. The next he’s walking funny, eating funny, or losing his balance. There’s a possibility he may have had a stroke. Once considered a rare occurrence, canine strokes are now more frequently diagnosed, thanks in part to advances in neuro-imaging. But don’t confuse the word “stroke” with “heat stroke.” Although related, a “stroke” involves the obstruction or rupture of blood vessels in the brain. And because the brain controls the entire body, a stroke can impact your dog in a number of ways.

What is a stroke?

Like in humans, a dog’s brain relies on a constant supply of blood, which brings oxygen and nutrients and removes waste products. A stroke interrupts this blood flow either through:

  • A blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain.
  • The bleeding of ruptured blood vessels (hemorrhage) in the brain.

Either instance may result in the death of brain tissue. In addition, dogs sometimes experience “mini strokes” where the blood flow is only cut off for a short amount of time, causing less immediate damage. However, this could be a warning sign that a larger stroke may be around the corner.

Identifying a stroke

Common signs may include a lack of recognition of sensory stimuli on one side of your dog’s brain, resulting in his eating out of only one side of his dish or turning his head to the wrong side when his name is called. He may also have head tilt or turn, loss of balance, blindness, circling, and falling. Of course, these signs may be indicators of other brain conditions, too. If you notice any of these symptoms, have your pet examined by your vet immediately for a proper diagnosis.

What causes canine strokes?

Common causes of strokes in dogs include thyroid conditions, kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, arterial diseases, diabetes, blood clotting diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure, bleeding from a brain tumor, and bleeding from head trauma.

Treatment options

Once your dog has had a stroke, there is no specific treatment that can repair the damage done to his brain. Your vet will focus on identifying a potential cause for the stroke in an attempt to prevent another one from happening. Most dogs tend to recover within a few weeks of having a stroke, depending on the location where the stroke affected his brain and the severity of the stroke.