How to care for long-haired pets properly?
Whether you have a border collie or a Yorkshire terrier at home, one thing is clear - you can't do without a brush and dog shampoo. And what should a proper long-haired pet care routine look like?
When getting a dog, it is also important to think about whether a short-haired breed or a long-haired breed will keep us company for years to come. The second option involves regular brushing and bathing, which many dog keepers unfortunately forget. However, if you do not want to have a "dreadlocks" at home with an itchy coat, then it is important to pay extra attention to dog hair care. Again, the sooner you start with brushing and bathing of your four-legged friend, the faster he will get used to these necessary "beauty procedures".
Brushing = best friend of long-haired breeds
It removes dead skin, massages the dog's skin, "greases" the entire length of the hair, and also gets rid of everything the dog brought from the walk (from thorns to pine needles). Brushing is literally a health-promoting ritual that we should set aside a few minutes for regularly, ideally twice a week for long-haired pets. Of course, the intenzity of brushing depends primarily on the particular breed and the dog himself. If you have a Yorkshire that doesn't spend his days running around the woods, then brushing him once a week is sufficient. Collie keepers, on the other hand, can pick up a brush up to four times a week. On the other hand, remember that too much of anything is bad for you. It is definitely not desirable to brush your dog for half an hour every day.
And what should the ideal brushing look like? If you have a long-haired pet, then first of all get a sparse metal comb. After a gentle brush through, get a brush with longer bristles with which you can brush the dog thoroughly. Proceed as your pet likes. For example, if you see that he really enjoys brushing his back, then don't rush off. It's really important that your dog understands that brushing is a pleasurable activity that brings only benefits. Finally, leave the area around the ears and neck, the areas with finer and shorter hair, with a comb with thicker bristles. Voilà, you're done!
What about a trimming comb?
You may have heard of a trimming comb, which makes it relatively easy to remove dead hairs. Although a trimming comb seems like a great tool, you should definitely not underestimate its handling. First of all, keep in mind that the trimming comb should only be used on breeds that have an undercoat. At the same time, combing with a trimming comb requires a certain amount of "skill". If you have never used a trimming comb before, ask for advice from experts, such as a dog groomer or vet. They will show you how to use a trimming comb without endangering your four-legged friend. Once you become familiar with the trimming comb, using it once or twice a month will be sufficient.
When brushing becomes a nightmare
Did you start brushing late? Or do you have a small puppy who finds brushing uncomfortable? Either way, don't give up on this important activity. In the beginning, it's worthwhile to brush your puppy really briefly and only on areas that are not sensitive (e.g. the back). Try to make brushing as pleasant as possible for your dog. Talk to him, give him his favourite treats and don't forget to stroke him enough. Do the same for other "brushing sessions". You will see that your pet will quickly get used to brushing and understand that it is an integral part of his dog's life.
Quickly to the bathroom
Long-haired pets also need to go under a stream of water from time to time. Unfortunately, even in this case, there is no uniform rule that determines how often to bathe the dog. On the other hand, it is logical that if your dog "rolls" in the dirt or excrement, then you will not delay bathing for a second. In any case, bathe your dog only in lukewarm water.
Especially with long-haired dogs, it is important to get down to the undercoat. When bathing, take your time and be really thorough. The biggest help will be dog shampoo, which you should choose according to the breed and requirements of your dog. Nothing prevents you from using an anti-parasitic shampoo in summer, for example, to reduce the risk of ticks and fleas attaching to your dog's skin. For long-haired dogs, you should also use a dog conditioner, which will make it easier to comb out afterwards.
Don’t forget the diet
It's no secret that the quality of the diet is reflected in the quality of the hair. If you feed your pet a balanced dog kibble with no added colours, flavourings or salt, then your dog will probably have beautiful and seemingly healthy hair. Otherwise, there is a risk that his hair looks dull or is prone to brittleness. So try to make sure you give your furry buddy a first-class diet full of protein and vitamins. Alternatively, you can support the quality of his coat with special supplements that are rich in zinc and fatty acids.