Gone are the days when dogs were simply bathed in a tub in the backyard with a bar of hand soap. Now there are shampoos, conditioners and coat care products designed to help your dog have a healthy, clean smelling and shiny coat. It is important to note that dog’s hair has a different pH than human hair, and products designed for us will not work as well on dogs and can, in fact, lead to skin rashes and hot spots. Use only those products that are indicated for use on dogs.
There are many different types of shampoos for dogs ranging from flea and tick shampoos to dandruff control shampoos. There are also products that have herbal ingredients and those that are guaranteed to be safe for even those dogs that have an allergic reaction to other shampoo. Spa type doggie shampoos for those that truly want a pampered pooch come in lavender and mint scents or in exotic floral combinations.
When purchasing a dog shampoo be sure to read the instructions completely. One of the major factors is to be sure to completely rinse all the soap or shampoo of the skin and hair before applying conditioner or drying the dog. Residue from shampoo is the leading cause of rashes and dry skin patches that can lead to inflammations and bacterial infections.
Crème style conditioners are used to help dogs with short or long hair have a healthy coat even if they are outdoor dogs. A good quality pet conditioner works to strengthen the hair shaft, helping to minimize and prevent breakage during drying and grooming. In addition the shampoo will strip some of the natural oils and moisture from the coat and the conditioner helps to replace this until the skin is able to secrete natural oils.
Conditioners, like shampoo, need to be well rinsed from the hair prior to drying. Leave-in conditioners are sometimes spritzed into the coat when grooming and drying, especially for dogs with long coats that tend to tangle and easily mat.
A misting bottle filled with detangler is a handy item for grooming long-haired dogs or dogs with fine hair. A good detangler can be used diluted and will not need to be used full strength. Regular brushing and thinning of the hair (stripping) can be done to prevent tangles and mats from developing. Always brush the dog before the bath to prevent tangles and knots from getting worse as you wash.
There are several dry powder cleaners that can be used between baths to freshen up the dog and help to clean dirt from the hair. The powder is simply sprinkled on the coat and brushed out. Dirt is trapped with the powder and brushed out of the coat. Since many of the breeds do not stand constant bathing a dry powder cleaning is a great way to keep the dog clean and fresh and avoid over-drying the coat.
Shine products are spritzed or misted onto the coat during grooming when the dog is completely dry or just slightly damp. They are not a styling product; rather they work to enhance the shine of the coat. Usually used prior to showing, shine products really can make a huge difference in the gleam of the coat.
There are many different products available to care for a dog’s coat. Do some experimenting and request some free samples of the internet until you find what works best for you and your pooch.
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