For many dogs and cats, the arrival of spring means that shedding season is here. The temporary closure of pet grooming businesses for public health reasons can be difficult for dog owners accustomed to handing their pups over to a professional for grooming services.
We’ve gathered some of the best at-home grooming tips from the experts so that you and your dog can get through shedding season in style:
Brush or comb your dog regularly
Your groomer can advise you on the best grooming tools for your pet’s specific hair type. The American Kennel Club also offers the following grooming tool advice:
Use a natural bristle brush or a hound mitt/glove with bristles on the palm for dogs with short coats.
Slicker brushes are good for dogs with long double coats. For heavy shedders, an undercoat rake or shedding tool can be helpful. Use a quality steel comb on mats.
Give your dog a bath
Regular bathing can reduce shedding in dogs. Bathing helps to loosen and remove hair that’s ready to shed. You can try using rubber bathing tools designed to help scrub your dog’s coat. There are also shampoos specifically formulated for shedding. Talk to your groomer for a recommendation.
Feed your dog a quality diet
Proper nutrition is key to healthy skin and coat in shedding season…and all year round. Veterinarians report that a poor diet can lead to dry skin and a coarse, dull coat that sheds. Talk to your veterinarian about choosing a dog food that promotes a healthy coat.
Some pet owners give their dogs supplements that are said to improve coat condition, such as fish oil or coconut oil. Always talk to your vet before giving your dog any dietary supplement to ensure safe and effective treatment.
When it comes to caring for our dogs, cats, and other pets, many devoted pet owners will do just about anything to make sure that our fur kids lead healthy, happy, and pampered lives. Trends in the pet industry reflect our continuing interest in providing the best food, products, and care for our four-legged friends.
What will be the hottest trends in the pet business in the coming year? Industry experts predict the pet industry will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Here are the top projections:
Natural Pet Products
Consumers will continue to be aware of the safety and sustainability of the products they buy, and that goes for pet food and other supplies. More and more of us will be seeking out natural pet food, cat litter, flea and tick products, grooming products, and toys.
Specialty Pet Services
We also will continue to provide our pets with the best care we can. The market for upscale pet services will continue to grow. Areas include training, grooming (and other “spa” services), behavioral consulting, photography, and boarding/pet sitting.
Other pet trends to watch for include the growth of mobile dog and cat grooming services, more businesses like stores and restaurants that welcome pets, pet-friendly travel and hotels, and the growth of pet health insurance.
One of the most common questions dog groomers get is whether or not a dog’s coat should be shaved in warm weather to help keep her cool. And the answer is…maybe! Here’s some advice from the experts to help you decide if shaving your dog is the right thing to do.
A dog’s coat insulates her from the cold and also acts as waterproofing in some breeds. In the warm weather, a coat that is brushed thoroughly “lofts” as the dog moves, allowing air to cool the skin. Removing the hair can remove this built-in air conditioning.
When to shave your dog’s coat
Dogs that are active, get themselves dirty, or are prone to allergies and mats can benefit from a trimmed coat. Bad mats trap heat and moisture.
Breeds with hair that grows constantly (such as poodles and cocker spaniels) also need trimming, and do fine with a short clipping. Certain breeds (like terriers) require trimming to conform to breed standards.
Dogs with a lot of dense fur can benefit from a “thin and trim” cut, also called a “teddy bear” or “puppy cut.” The dog’s coat is sculpted with trimmers but not cut too close, and then given a final finish with shears.
When not to shave your dog’s coat
Certain northern and spitz-type breeds (such as huskies and Pomeranians) should not be shaved. Shaving can cause permanent damage to the outer hairs and results in a condition called “clipper alopecia.” The outer coat many never grow back, and the dog will be left with just the fuzzy undercoat, giving her a balding appearance.