Dog Grooming For Dogs
Grooming isn’t something we usually give a lot of thought to when choosing dogs, but we should. If you’re a neat freak, a heavily shedding dog is going to make miserable. Dogs with heavy coats can exacerbate human allergies, and some coats require extra care to keep the dog happy and healthy.
Many people have allergies to dogs. Symptoms of allergies include sneezing, coughing, red, itchy, water eyes and nose, scratchy or sore throat, and wheezing or breathing difficulty.
If an allergy specialist has diagnosed you or a family member with a dog allergy. It doesn’t mean you have to give up your pet. You can discuss the possibility of allergy shots or medication with your doctor, but there also are ways to reduce the allergens in your dog and your home so that you can continue to live happily with your beloved dog.
Keep at least one room of the house dog free. The bedroom is the best choice to ensure a good night’s sleep free of allergens. But if you have forced air heating and air conditioning in your home, the air currents may still spread the allergens throughout the house. Fit your home with a central air purifier that uses a HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) filter
Vacuum floors and furniture frequently using a machine with a HEPA filter. Regularly clean walls with water to further reduce exposure to allergens and dust.
Use washable blinds or shades, cotton covered furniture, and limit the number of rugs, upholstered furniture, and drapes in the home. Opt for hardwood floors or tile rather than wall-to-wall carpeting.
Clean dog bedding and crates frequently. Wash clothes that you wear while interacting with dogs before putting them back in the closet or drawer.
Bathe your dog weekly and brush or comb daily. Weekly baths can greatly reduce the level of allergens on fur.
Look for symptoms of dermatitis in your dog, which often leads to accelerated skin sloughing and fur shedding. Always wash your hands after touching your dog and do not touch your eyes or other areas of your face before your hands are washed.
Wear a dust mask to reduce exposure to allergens while you groom your dog and do housework. If possible, have a professional or family member without allergies take over these tasks.
Hard To Groom Dogs
Double coated, long haired dogs are among the hardest to groom. Dogs such as Australian shepherds lose huge amounts of hair, especially when they blow coat (shed)., which happens twice a year. If you don’t keep up with the brushing, your house will be adrift with Aussie fur. Some double-coated dogs have fairly short and coarse hair. However, they shed their fuzzy undercoat almost year-round, leaving giant dust bunnies in their wake.
Another notorious shedder is the Lab. Despite their low maintenance reputation, Labs shed throughout the year. Wear a pair of black pants when you pet your next yellow Lab, and you’ll experience the bane of Lab owners everywhere: short spiky hairs stuck to you in copious amounts. Even the most conscientious brushing won’t prevent their hair from appearing just about everywhere.
Easier To Groom Dogs
Some of the dogs who shed the least are the setters. They have a single coat and, although their fur is long, it is fairly thin, almost like human hair. They shed minimally but need to be brushed regularly to avoid tangles in their feathering.
Issues On Dog Types For Their Owners
A dog can have a coat that is perfect for one person but a nightmare for another. For example, poodles don’t shed much, so allergy sufferers fin that they have fewer symptoms when thy keep poodles. On the other hand, poodles require regular brushing and clipping. Their tightly curled coats can quickly become matted if grooming lapses. For those without the time or money to maintain a high-maintenance coat, a poodle is the wrong dog.
All dogs should be brushed at least weekly. Breeds such as the Australian shepherd or the Belgian Malinoois do best with daily brushing as a way to keep shed hair to a minimum. Unless they spend a lot of time rolling in the mud, or in other less appetizing substances, dogs don’t need a bath more than once a month. Dogs have natural oils that keep their bodies warm and their skin healthy. Too much bathing can wash away these oils and lead to dandruff and other skin conditions. However, dogs with severe skin allergies may benefit from weekly shampooing. Weekly shampooing can also help decrease allergies in owners.
Other regular grooming includes ear cleaning, nail clipping, and teeth brushing. Dogs with drop ears, such as Labs or golden retrievers are prone to ear infections, so be sure to clean their ears regularly with a cotton ball and an ear cleaning solution-never use cotton swabs or any cleaning utensil small enough to fit into the ear canal. Dogs who aren’t walked on concrete need to have heir nails clipped because they aren’t worn down naturally from a tough surface. And ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least weekly.
Grooming The Shetland Sheepdog
As this breed is my favorite breed of dog, I felt composed to write a section about them regarding grooming.
Your basic healthy Sheltie is as much a “wash and wear” dog as any long coated breed can be. The correct coat texture sheds dirt and moisture and does not mat easily. For the average pet Sheltie, a good brushing once a week or so will keep him tidy and neat most of the year.
Good grooming of your Sheltie starts with good health. Freedom from parasites such as worms, fleas and ticks, and good nutrition are all essential. Shelties are generally easy to care for, a result perhaps of their original island heritage, needing as a rule no special supplements to a good balanced diet. Your veterinarian’s good advice and your attention to basic sanitation will help to keep parasites under control. And you can easily prove the most important “supplement” to your Sheltie’s happiness and consequent well-being: attention and approval from his own people.
Shelties are not, as a rule, bathed frequently. If you wish to give your dog a bath say perhaps after a romp in the swamp or roll in something dead in the woods, or if the dog is simply very dirty or, as is sometimes the case, the coat is a rather oily one use a good quality shampoo, made for dogs, and lukewarm water.
Perhaps the most important step is to be sure to thoroughly rinse all the suds out of the coat, as soap not removed can irritate. After rinsing, squeeze as much water out of the coat as possible, and then towel dry the dog. For an extra fine coat, dry carefully with a hair dryer.
Being double-coated breed, Shelties do, indeed, shed heavily at times. No amount of prayers and stratagems will prevent the dead coat from falling out when its time has come, and it is best to hasten it along and get the process over with. A fairly warm bath will help to loosen the dead coat, and when the dog is dry, a hearty brushing will be necessary.
Grooming What We Have Learned
We have covered what to do in case you have allergies to dogs, how often to wash and brush different kinds of dogs, including Shelties. Recommendations on some types of dogs you should or should not have depending on allergies, as well as how often you would like to spend on brushing and grooming.