How often should your dog be groomed?
It is important to keep your pet on a regular grooming schedule. Neglecting to maintain your pet's coat can result in matts, skin problems, and ear problems among a slew of other health issues.
Many factors determine how often your pet should be groomed:
Home maintenance of the coat - The less often your dog visits the groomer, the more often your dog will need to be brushed and combed at home. For example, a Pomeranian that's groomed every 6 weeks will need to be maintained at home, while a Pomeranian that visits the groomer every 1-2 weeks may not even need to be brushed or combed between visits. Even if you don't have your dog groomed that often, they can come in for a "bath and tidy" in between complete grooms that will reduce the amount of work you have to do at home to keep your dog looking good.
- Type of coat - Coat type varies even among dogs of the same breed. Coats that are wiry and coarse do not tangle as quickly as soft and cottony coats and thus, are slightly lower maintenance. This does not, however, mean that wiry coated dogs cannot matt or don't need to be groomed at all. They simply require less brushing and combing to maintain. Also, thicker coats are higher maintenance than thinner coats.
- Type of groom - Different types of groom are higher maintenance than other types. For example, a dog with a groom that requires more scissor work needs to visit the groomer more often than a dog with a clipper groom.
- Personal preference - The way you want your dog to look is part of determining its grooming schedule. If you prefer to keep your dog looking as though it was recently groomed, you might want to bring it more often, even if it's just for a bath or "bath and tidy."
- Grooming schedules vary depending on the individual dog and owner. When you come in for a bath or groom, talk with us about it to determine what will work best for you and your dog.
- This is a general guideline for grooming schedules based on the most popular breeds. Remember that even dogs of the same breed are very different when it comes to grooming needs, and mixed breeds especially vary when it comes to a grooming schedule:
Bichon Frise.....3-4 weeks
Cocker Spaniel.....4-6 weeks
Golden Retriever.....8-10 weeks
Lhasa Apso.....3-4 weeks
Miniature Schnauzer.....6-8 weeks
Standard Schnauzer.....8 weeks
Giant Schnauzer.....10 weeks
Shih Tzu.....3-4 weeks
- Time of year - It is often wrongly believed that the weather influences how often a dog should be groom. Dogs with long or thick coats do not become too hot in the summer heat. If the coat is well maintained, it will actually help to keep the dog cool. In fact, short, sleek coated dogs are more at risk of becoming overheated than dogs with thick, long coats as long as the coat is maintained and matt free. Also, a long, unmaintained or matted coat will keep a dog cold in the winter - more so than shaving the coat.
What can you do at home to maintain your dog's coat?
There are many things that you can do at home to keep your dog's coat healthy and beautiful.
- Brushing and combing - The first step is brushing as well as combing. Brushing the coat is important, but a brush does not go entirely through the coat to skin. If it did, brushing would be very painful for your dog. A comb is necessary for detangling hair near the skin.
- Proper nutrition - Proper nutrition is essential for a healthy, shiny coat as well as healthy skin. Many popular brands of dog food contain large quantities of wheat, which is not a natural component of a dog's diet. Think about it - how often are wild dogs eating wheat? In fact, many dogs are allergic to it. Unfortunately, most dog food companies are skilled at hiding this fact from customers. If you check the list of ingredients, the first thing listed may be chicken or beef. However, the most prevalent ingredient could still be wheat. How is this possible? Wheat can be given several names, allowing it to be listed more than once. For example, the first ingredient may be chicken, followed by wheat gluten, wheat flour, and wheat meal. It is also important to note the difference between meat and meat "by-products." By-products have questionable nutritional properties and can include anything from heads and feet to intestines. This is not to say that these brands are horrible for your pet, but a dog with sensitive skin or an unhealthy coat may especially benefit from a change in diet. Even dogs with chronic illnesses or health issues would benefit.