Spring cleaning your dog’s coat

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Now the weather is warming, it is a good time to think about spring cleaning your dog’s coat. While you’re at it, you might as well give your dog a complete grooming. If you’ve kept up with regular brushing through the winter, your primary task will be to make sure any loose undercoat is brushed out. Because the undercoat will loosen over time as the weather warms, this will likely need to be done more than once. If things have gotten away from you, you may need to deal with some tangles. Severely matted tangles may require cutting out. If you do this yourself, be very careful not to accidentally nick the skin. A professional dog grooming salon is another option. In addition to spring cleaning your dog’s coat, think about ears, nails, teeth, and skin.

Video: Help Remove Your Dog's Winter Coat

This article from AnimalHospitals-USA gives some good tips.

Coat

Basic coat care can consist of simple maintenance or fine-tuned grooming. If your dog requires trimming, plucking or cutting, you are going to need help, at least initially. If you decide to do it yourself, get some beginning instruction and be sure to buy the proper equipment.

Bathing Procedures

When bathing your dog, start by putting a nonskid mat in the tub. Use a good dog shampoo on its body and a human baby shampoo on the head. Always put eye dropsinto your dog’s eyes before a bath to avoid eye irritation. The water should be lukewarm. Soak and lather all the way around your dog’s neck to prevent fleas from heading toward its head. Isolate the pests down on the body and give them their due. Use a mobile shower spray head or a plastic pitcher to soak the dog’s coat. Work the lather through the dog’s coat again and again, and then rinse thoroughly. Don’t leave soap on the skin or you will invite itchy spots and constant scratching. Towel dry your dog and keep it in a warm place. If you have a heavy-coated dog, use a hair dryer while you brush the coat into shape.

Undercoats

A good many breeds have heavy undercoats. To loosen and remove undercoat fur, use a rake, a toothed band of steel with leather handles at both ends. Form the band into the loop and go to work, out-of-doors. If you don’t rake the undercoat loose in the spring, you will be driven mad all summer and fall, because your dog will shed that coat instead.

Dry Shampooing

Some dogs do not really need baths. If there is not some grand emergency, dry shampoos are best. These are powders, available in pet shops, that are brushed through the coat, leaving it clean and neat. Read the instructions carefully and take the manufacturer’s advice. Bathing off-standing coats more often than is really required will break the coat down and leave it limp and unimpressive. If your dog has been swimming in salt water, rinse it thoroughly with fresh water to prevent dermatological complications. Elaborated coated dogs need daily brushing.

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No doubt both of you will enjoy the spring and summer more following a good spring cleaning of your dog’s coat. Share with us your spring grooming tips below.

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