Downeast Dog News
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The Importance of Routine Grooming for your Pooch

By Elsebeth DeBiase - Coastal Creations Pet Salon | Feb 01, 2021
Photo provided by: Coastal Creations Pet Salon

Dog grooming isn’t all about fancy haircuts. The act of grooming keeps skin and coat healthy while providing an opportunity to check for injuries, skin conditions, and parasites. Grooming is essential to the overall wellbeing of your dog regardless of the breed. How often a dog requires grooming can be influenced by several factors but breed and coat type are the most common indicators.

Curly coated breeds such as the Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Bedlington terriers have curly to wavy hair that will grow long unless trimmed. These breeds are considered low shedding but still require a considerable amount of maintenance to keep the coat clean and mat free. Owners of curly coated breeds will need to dedicate time to daily brushing and combing to maintain a medium to long trim on these dogs. In addition, curly coated breeds require professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks.

Double coated breeds have hair that ranges in length from short to long. The Australian shepherd, Border Collie, and German Shepherd have a medium length coat with a protective topcoat and shorter, soft, insulating undercoat. These breeds will need home maintenance brushing and combing once or twice per week to reduce shedding and prevent the soft undercoat from matting. Professional grooming is recommended for these breeds every 3 to 4 months to remove large amounts of shedding coat and to trim and tidy longer areas.

Wire coated breeds such as the Wirehaired Dachshund, Cairn terrier, and West Highland White Terrier have a coarse wiry coat that was intended to protect them in harsh environments. Wire coated breeds don’t shed like some breeds and will require brushing once or twice per week to prevent the coat from tangling together and forming mats. Professional grooming is recommended for these breeds every 6 to 8 weeks.

Smooth coated breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, and Italian Greyhound have short shiny hair that lays close to the body and is smooth to the touch. These breeds while low maintenance shed continuously. Home grooming includes the occasional bath 3 to 4 times per year and weekly brushing with a soft bristled brush to help promote healthy skin and coat.

Silky coated breeds such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Irish Setter, and Yorkshire Terrier often have medium to long coats and need weekly combing to remove debris from the yard and prevent matting. These breeds are often trimmed in short functional styles for comfort and owner convenience. Professional grooming is recommended every 4 to 8 weeks.

The amount of grooming a particular breed requires can vary greatly between individuals and is influenced by genetics, lifestyle, and underlying health conditions. Genetics plays a role in the amount of coat a dog produces along with the color. According to DAATA, an organization that educates groomers on dermatology as it relates to the grooming industry, black coats produce thicker smoother hairs than lighter colors. These lighter colored hairs have a thinner wavy texture making them more susceptible to tangles. Additionally, dogs that have active outdoor lifestyles or a history of skin conditions will benefit from frequent visits to the groomer in order keep the possibility of mats, smelly skin and coat, and sores at bay.

Finally, if you have questions regarding the care of your dog’s coat, don’t hesitate to ask your local groomer. Groomers can assist with determining the best grooming schedule for your pooch as well as providing information on the best grooming tools to use at home. Professional groomers are happy to help care for your pet because we love them like our own.