Caring for Your Dog’s Coat

posted: 05/15/12
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How often should a dog's coat be brushed?

In general, most dogs should be brushed every other day. If you are getting a lot of coat on the brush, increase brushing to daily. Likewise, if you aren't getting a lot, you could drop down to once a week. It really depends on your pet's lifestyle and type of coat. You should start out brushing a dog's coat at least every other day and then adjust accordingly.

What are some tips for getting a pet accustomed to being brushed?

Start brushing your pet when they are young or when you first adopt them. Both dogs and cats love routine, as it makes them feel safe. You should start brushing in the back and work your way towards the front. Brush your dog or cat the same way every time so that they know what you're doing. Give praise and treats and make it fun.

Be careful not to brush the skin — brush down to the skin but not on the skin. Brushing the skin will make it irritated.

Although cats are mostly self-grooming pets, some need to be brushed every day, especially long-haired cats.

What is the best way to remove a mat or knotin your pet's coat?

Put cornstarch in the mat or knot to loosen it up - or buy a hair-coat conditioner to loosen it. Do not get the mat wet, that makes it tighter. Use a wide-tooth comb to tease out the mat. If you are brushing your dog's coat regularly, you shouldn't have any issues with mats or knots.

What do you look for in a healthy coat?

When you run your hands over your dog's coat, they should be clean and dry - not greasy or have dirt on them. Part the coat and look at the skin. The skin should be white or pink, and there should be no odor, redness or crusting. A healthy coat should be sleek and glossy.

Are products like the Furminator safe to use on all dogs? How often should tools like this be used?

I love the Furminator and use it on dogs and cats. Just be careful that you aren't overzealous with these products; use them every three to four months in between regular brushing.

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