Dogs don’t wear makeup—ok, some wear nail polish—but they need grooming every day just as we do. Grooming does the following:
prevents hair from matting,
contains loose hair in the brush so that less is shed in the environment,
ensures injuries are found before they become infected,
identifies bone and muscle pain that should be discussed with your veterinarian,
keeps your dog comfortable with being handled, and
relaxes and soothes your dog.
Begin grooming slowly rather than aggressively so that your pet enjoys the entire process. Five minutes of pleasure is better for you both than 15 minutes of aggravation. If grooming is frustrating for you, ask professional groomers to show you the tricks they use.
Expect shedding with many dogs
Dogs’ coats can be classified into two types: those producing hair continuously who do not shed and those producing hair in cycles that do shed. Poodles and Shih Tzus are examples of dogs whose hair grows continuously; these dogs require clipping. Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers have hair that sheds in small amounts daily and in large amounts once or twice a year. In these dogs, hair growth and shedding is influenced by the amount of sunlight and the temperature. With modern dogs living indoors exposed to constant temperatures and limited amounts of natural light, there is an increase in the amount of hair shed continuously and a decrease in the amount shed once or twice a year.
In addition to sunlight and temperature, other factors influence your dog’s coat, such as nutrition, bathing and brushing, thyroid and adrenal hormones. Nutrition for healthy skin includes meat without hormones or antibiotics, vegetables, flax, and fish oils. Bathing and brushing are necessary stimulate blood flow to hair follicles and promote robust skin. Proper shampoos for dog’s skin are better than most human shampoos are for them. 1-800-PetMeds Shampoo, for example, is gentle for the skin, cleans thoroughly, and does not remove flea and tick products.
Thyroid hormones determine the hair growth cycle. Dogs with under-functioning thyroid glands (hypothyroid dogs), have dormant hair follicles, which contributes to their having thin, dry, lackluster coats. Adrenal gland hyper-functioning or Cushing’s disease is another cause of shedding. Cushing's Disease, causes the coat to thin over the sides and tail. Eventually pets develop a bald tail with a tuft of hair at the end called a “rat tail” and large bald areas over the flanks.
This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.
The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.
Note: Any trademarks are the property of their respective companies