7 Quick Tips for Grooming Long-Haired Dogs

Posted Sunday, 16 October 2011

Long-haired breeds can be a challenge to groom. Their long, flowing hair and thick undercoats are easily matted and tangled. However, failure to groom a long-haired dog can cause long-term problems. The hair may mat so tightly that the only option is to completely shave the fur. Dirt, debris and bacteria can nest inside uncombed hair, causing your pet to become unsanitary. In addition, mats can cause your dog’s skin to develop sores. It can even prevent cuts from healing. As a result, grooming the long-haired dog is extremely important. While the job can be challenging, there are a few tips to make it easier:

Groom your pet regularly. While grooming a matted dog with bundles of hair can be overwhelming and exhausting, the task becomes much more manageable when you keep up on it. Daily brushing can work wonders in keeping your pet free from mats and tangles.

 Use a rake. This tool is an effective way to loosen the undercoat and break up mats. Its long, steel teeth can grab handfuls of hair, making your pet’s coat look shinier and well-kept.

Brush thoroughly. Before attempting to bathe your pet, make sure you have removed all the mats. Even if your long-haired dog is mat-free, it’s essential that you thoroughly brush him before the bathing process. Tangled hair is hard to wash and can be painful for your pet.

 Use a de-tangling conditioner or rinse. After rinsing the soap out of your dog’s coat, apply a conditioner that is designed to eliminate tangles. These products are available over the internet. On All Paws, an online, high-end pet boutique carries a sweet-smelling conditioner called Furtastic Cream Rinse. This product combines rich emollients and moisturising agents to deliver a tangle-free soft coat.

Rinse well. It takes longer to rinse a long-haired dog than one with shorter hair. However, avoid cutting corners. Make sure you get all of the soap out of your pet’s coat. Long hair often harbours extra suds so you may need to rinse your pet 2-3 times to make sure he is squeaky clean. If soap is left in the coat it can irritate your dog’s skin.

Trim the feet. Long-haired breeds tend to develop mats between their toes and pads. Use grooming clippers or scissors to remove the excess hair.

Always use the dryer. Long, wet hair can tangle easily, especially if it is windy outside or if your dog tends to be playful. Blow-drying the coat will keep the hairs separate and make your pet look fresh and beautiful.