Proper grooming of your dog plays an important role in animal-friendly dog ownership. In addition to regular care of the claws, special care should also be given to the care of the dog's fur.
Depending on the type of fur, dog fur care can be very time-consuming, but don't worry, there are now a lot of tools that can make grooming your dog easier for you.
In this article you will find out which accessories are best suited for which type of fur, when a bath can be useful for your dog and when a visit to the dog groomer is appropriate.
Dog fur - why is grooming so important in dogs?
In wolves - the ancestors of our domestic dogs today - grooming took place almost automatically by moving through hedges, bushes and by scrubbing on trees. Many people therefore believe that even today's domestic dogs do not need any special grooming.
Through targeted breeding, selection and today's typical way of life of dogs as domestic dogs, humans are responsible for significant changes in the fur structure of dogs compared to their ancestors. Therefore, the dog today depends on adequate grooming by its people! Very few dogs get along without regular grooming. How much grooming your dog's fur really needs depends on your dog's breed and type of fur.
By the way, grooming dogs is not only important for optical and hygienic reasons. Regular brushing of dead dog hair and dirt promotes the health of your dog's fur and skin. It also stimulates blood circulation, prevents dog fur from matting and potential itching. Regular grooming also helps you to detect and treat injuries, inflammation and any parasites at an early stage.
Incidentally, it is advisable to playfully get a dog used to dog care from an early age. With a lot of time, rest and rewards, your fur nose will easily get used to brushing and combing and will be happy to do so in the future. No matter how old your dog is, in general the grooming of the dog should be done carefully and the patience of the four-legged friend should not be put to the test for too long.
Dog fur - The different types of fur and their care
In dogs, like in humans, the hair roots lie under the skin. In humans, only a single hair grows from a hair root. There are usually several in dogs. The fur is supplied with fats and minerals by sebum glands.
All types of fur in our domestic dogs today have developed from the fur of wolves, the so-called stick hair. This is made up of two different layers, the wool hair (shorter, very fine hair) and the top hair also called guide hair or awning hair (firm and mostly longer hair).
The wool hair lies close to the dog's body and forms the undercoat, which serves as a heat buffer for the dog.
The top coat determines the characteristic look and feel of the dog fur. It lies as a harder structure over the lower skin and forms an additional insulation layer to the outside and additionally protects the dog from injuries and weather influences.
In the case of stick hair, the fur changes twice a year: in the spring, the entire undercoat dies and falls out. This makes the summer coat significantly thinner than the winter coat. Another coat change takes place in autumn and the warming undercoat for winter is formed. The covering hairs are changed all year round.
Due to human breeding efforts, in addition to typical stick hair, there are other, very different types of fur in domestic dogs today. The classification of the different dog fur types is based on the structure of the fur and the way of changing the fur - this too is influenced by humans and the way of life as a domestic dog.
Long hair type
With the classic stick hair one differentiates again in different lengths of the dog fur: With the short stick hair the covering hairs of the fur are about 3-4cm long. Typical dog breeds with short stick hair are, for example, Rottweiler and Labrador Retriever. In dogs with long stick hair, the top hairs are about 5-10cm long, the fur is smooth or slightly wavy. Typical dog breeds are German Shepherd Dogs, Collies, Somojeden and Spitz.
The longer your dog's stick hair is, the more often you should brush your dog's fur to prevent it from matting. In the phase of changing fur, dead undercoat should be removed daily.
Fur type shorthaired dog
In dogs with frizzy hair, such as the poodle and the bedlinton terrier, all hair is the same length. The fur of these breeds mainly consists of undercoat and very little top hair. A change of fur takes place in these breeds, but the hair can still be very long. This type of fur should therefore be combed at least once a week and shorn or cut regularly.
Coat type wire-haired
Wire hair is very firm, water-repellent, harsh and usually feels like fine wire. Dogs with the wire-hair type include, for example, Cairn Terrier, Schnauzer and Wire-haired Dachshund. With this type of fur you can find the typical two layers as with the stick hair. However, in dogs with this type of coat, the outer coat changes at the same time. They have a growth cycle of 6 months regardless of the season. Since the loose, dead hair does not fall out of the dog fur itself, it must be plucked / trimmed and brushed by hand regularly.
Fur type felt hair
A characteristic feature of felt fur type dog fur is a long, thick undercoat, which tends to become matted very quickly. Such dog fur forms cords that are reminiscent of dreadlocks. These cords usually only start several centimeters above the dog's skin and must be thinned out regularly. Typical dogs with this type of fur are the Puli and the Komondor.
Useful accessories for dog fur care
For the regular grooming of most dogs you only need a brush and a comb. The brush is the most important tool. With this you simply brush thoroughly the entire fur of your dog down to the skin. Of course, you should be particularly careful on the sensitive areas of your dog, such as the belly and between the legs.
If you find matted areas when brushing, a comb will help you to unravel these areas. The longer the dog fur, the longer the bristles of the brush used or the teeth of the comb used must be. If your dog has dense undercoat, such as a German shepherd, a rough brush is required. For dogs with less or no undercoat, the brush used should be finer and denser. For rough-haired breeds, you should use brushes with short bristles.
For long-haired breeds that tend to knot and matting, a special detangling comb can also be used, which separates the dog's hair from each other more gently than a normal comb.
For dog fur that tends to felt, there are also special de-felting combs that thin the fur at the same time. If used improperly, such a comb can lead to serious injuries and should therefore only be used by experienced operators.
The Furminator is particularly suitable for removing and thinning stubborn undercoat. However, it should not be used too often. It can be used once or twice a week for dogs with fur changes.
For additional massage of your dog, special rubber harrows or pimples can be useful. These easily remove dirt and dust from your dog's top coat and stimulate the blood circulation in the dog's skin through a gentle massage. The use of a glove is particularly useful for dogs who are not particularly keen on grooming, as the use of the glove is comparable to petting. However, this type of care accessory is not suitable for the sole care of thick, long fur with a lot of undercoat, since the short knobs do not completely penetrate and de-felt the fur.
Grooming from the inside
In addition to the right accessories for grooming your favorite, nutrition also plays a very important role: grooming for dogs starts from the inside. A high-quality and needs-based nutrition of your dog not only ensures a healthy, active dog, but also healthy, shiny dog fur.
By giving high-quality oils with the essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, you can additionally support the healthy growth of your dog's fur.
Dull, brittle, flaky, oily fur, hair loss and itching can also indicate illnesses or poor nutrition in your dog and should be taken first.
Should I bathe my dog?
Grooming dog bathing Whether a dog should be bathed regularly is still a hotly debated topic. In general: If your dog wallows in strictly smelling things regularly or appreciates an extensive mud bath, you can not avoid bathing your dog. The same applies to four-legged friends who suffer from skin problems due to an allergy and who, for example, need to be washed regularly with a special shampoo to avoid bacterial skin infections.
The crucial thing when bathing the dog is choosing the right shampoo. Since the skin of dogs has a different pH value than that of us humans, care products for humans must not be used in dogs under any circumstances.
For bathing your dog, you should definitely use special dog care products. When washing, you should also always make sure that the shampoo is completely washed out of the fur, otherwise your darling may experience unpleasant skin irritation.
You should also pay attention to a non-slip surface so that your fur nose does not slip during the bath and can possibly injure yourself. If you follow these points, bathing your dog is generally harmless. Nevertheless, you should of course not bathe your dog too often. Okay at most once a week.
When it makes sense to visit the dog groomer
In general, you can of course take care of your dog's coat according to its coat type. However, if you have problems with grooming your dog's fur, or you are not sure how to properly groom your dog's fur - then a visit to a well-trained dog groomer will definitely help you. This can stand by you in an advisory capacity, as well as take over and show the professional care of your dog. This can include, for example, correct bathing, cutting, shearing, trimming and removing undercoat and matting.