It's officially Autumn- the season of leaf piles, pumpkin carving, and tasty feasts. During all of that Fall fun, your dog's coat can get a bit messy. Here are a few tips to make your dog look and feel as fresh as possible in between grooming appointments.
1. Brush their Coat Regularly
Although this may sound pretty straightforward, learning to brush your dog correctly can be a bit tricky. For a long-coated dog, your best bet is to get a slicker brush. These can be found at nearly every pet store in Westerville, Ohio. Slicker brushes are great because their dense, stiff bristles are great at detangling fur. Be sure to brush in the direction where their fur grows. Keep in mind that the areas of your dog that you don't see are the ones that often get matted the most. For example, under their collar, under their armpits, and behind their ears. Pay attention to these areas too, because they often get matted faster than other areas.
2. Pick out Burrs and Other Debris
Fall is the season where most plants produce their seeds. Which means many species of burrs are ready to stick to your dog's fur. Burrs are small, spiky seed pods that stick to the fur and skin of animals in order to disperse their seeds. Not only are burrs in a dog's fur unsightly- they can also be dangerous. Over time, burrs can travel further your dog's coat and become embedded into their skin, causing infection.
There are many species of burr, which are active in different seasons. But in the Fall, most burrs are brown and dry. To remove burrs, gently pull them off your dog's fur using fingers or the ends of the coat. Vegetable oil or detangling spray may be helpful in this process, as it helps loosen the burr from the fur. However, if the burr is too stubborn to be pulled out, it may be best to just cut it out with scissors.
Remember- If a burr is already embedded in a dog's skin, a vet will need to take it out. Burrs have many pokey bits inside of them that can cause infection, and it's important for a vet to make sure they're all out of your dog's skin!
3. Keep their Living Space Clean!
This might sound obvious, but a clean environment helps keep your dog clean! Dogs can get dust and dirt from floors and furniture trapped in their fur. The same is true with your dog's exercise and enrichment spaces. A dirty doggy daycare can make your dog's coat gross and grimy. At many indoor doggy daycares, dogs are encouraged to poop and pee in the same areas that they play in, which can lead to their legs getting soiled.
Not all outdoor daycares are great either. Dogs can get burrs, mud, and loose grass caught in their fur. In addition to that, they might choose to roll around in something they're not supposed to, resulting in a stinky pup.
Luckily, Sterling K-9 in Westerville, Ohio is the perfect solution for balancing fun and cleanliness. Our dogs get to run around and play in a clean indoor playground that's mopped throughout the day. Dogs are also encouraged to eliminate on our playground's K9 grass, which is hosed down throughout the day and wicks moisture quickly. In addition, we take our daycare dogs on regular walks, which allows them to safely experience the great outdoors without all the mess and hassle.
4. Wipes are Wonderful!
I love using wipes for my dogs. They're great for cleaning up messy spots on your dogs. After all- a few small messes can lead to big messes. I personally prefer unscented wipes, as they're typically allergy friendly and don't mask your dog's scent.
I personally use Groom Genie wipes for my dog. Since they're soft and made with a gentle formula, you can use them just about anywhere. I wipe any eye boogies and tears he gets in order to prevent tear stains. And I also wipe anywhere where he gets dirty after his daily walks or potty breaks. These are a great tool for helping your dogs stay clean in between grooms. And since there's so many different brands to choose one, there's certainly one that fits you and your pet's needs.
5. Take them to the Groomer's Consistently
This might sound counterintuitive since this article is about keeping your dog clean in-between grooming appointments, but it's true. Dogs should be groomed every 4-6 weeks. Having an inconsistent grooming schedule can make things harder for both you and your dog. This is especially true for breeds that rarely shed. If a dog's hair is allowed to grow too long, it can cause problems. It can get dirtier easily and harder to brush, leading to unsightly tangling in-between grooming appointments. Here at our grooming salon, we can help you set up the perfect schedule, to make sure your pooch is being groomed as often as they need to be.
Nails also need to be trimmed consistently. If a dog's nails are allowed to grow for too long, their Quicks will also grow long, which means their nails won't be able to be trimmed much. A lengthened Quick will naturally shorten over time by frequent nail trimming, but this takes a lot of time. The best thing you can do for your dog's nails is to make sure you or a professional groomer frequently trims them. This is especially important for certain Terrier breeds, which naturally have longer Quicks than other dogs.