Grooming your pet plays a vital part in caring for them. It not only ensures that your pet looks their best, but it also keeps them clean and hygienic, which is significantly essential for their overall well-being (If you’re still confused about grooming your pet, read our blog: ‘Why should I groom my pet?’ first).
Although all dogs require brushing, bathing(with the best Himalaya dog shampoo, Lozalo dog shampoo, Wahl shampoo, or Beaphar shampoo), and regular grooming, its frequency depends on your pet. When it comes to grooming, numerous factors come into play; the most necessary factor is their breed, especially their coat type, as different coat types need different levels of fur care. So, before you start grooming your dog, understand their coat type to give them the best grooming experience.
It is essential to remember that, except for brushing and bathing your pet, which depends on their coat type, regularly brushing their teeth, trimming their nails, and cleaning their eyes and ears are equally important.
Reminder: Be gentle with brushing your dog's joints and sensitive areas. Avoid getting their face wet while bathing; instead, take a damp cloth to wipe their face. For more tips to bathe your pet, read our blog, 'Guide to Bathing your pet'.
Now, let us explain the six primary types of coat types.
1. Short-smooth coat:
Among the various dog breeds available, the breeds having short-smooth coats are Beagle, Pug, Dachshund, and Chihuahua. They require minimum grooming. Although short, their fur sheds a lot, but with appropriate grooming, you can minimize it. They need regular brushing at least once a week.
Take a soft bristle brush and brush it against the lay of the hair(direction of hair growth) first to remove any dead hair and dirt, then brush it with the lay of the hair. Brushing the dog's coat helps with spreading natural oils throughout the body. They need baths only once in a long while or only when they get dirty. A short-smooth coated dog also means you can easily towel-dry them after bathing them. Take them occasionally to a groomer to get their face, paws, and ears trimmed.
2. Double coat
The popular breeds that have double coats are Husky, Retriever, German Shepherd, and Shetland Sheepdog. The undercoat coat helps regulate the dog's body temperature even during summer, while the topcoat keeps the parasites and dirt away. They require a higher level of grooming than the other breeds, especially when they shed their fur once or twice a year, during fall and spring. They need regular brushing, ranging from twice a week. Don’t be surprised if brushing them takes longer than bathing them.
With dogs with short-haired double coats, you need to brush their undercoat with a slicker brush outward from the skin to remove any loose hair with dead skin, followed by combing their topcoat with the lay of their hair.
With long-haired double-coated dog breed, use your hand or a comb to make sections of your pet’s fur and then use a pin or slicker brush to brush their undercoat away from the skin, and use a wide-toothed comb or an undercoat rake to remove the loose hair, continue brushing their topcoat. Carefully detangle knots as they can turn into large mats, creating blogger problems for you and your pet. If you see a big knot, leave it to your groomer, as they can take the best care of it. Before bathing them, brush their coat fully and thoroughly dry them afterward.
Take them to a professional groomer three to four times a year, depending on their breed and lifestyle. Ask your groomer to guide you through tips and tricks to take better care of your double-coated dog.
3. Long coats
Dog breeds like Shih Tzu, Afghan Hound, Maltese, and Spaniels have long coats. Just like double-coated dog breeds, they shed once or twice a year. These coats can be silky or coarse, depending on the dog breed. Long-silky-coated dogs have no undercoat.
The fur of these breeds needs to be brushed daily to prevent the formation of any knots or mats. Use a detangling solution while brushing (through the lay of their hair) to make the process easier. Brush them in the same way you would a double-coated dog, by sectioning their hair, using a slicker brush to brush their undercoat(if they have any) away from their skin, removing the loose hair and dirt with a wide-toothed brush or a rake, and then brushing the topcoat with the lay of their hair.
Bathe them every four to six weeks using shampoo and conditioner(a must). Brush their coat before and after bathing them. If needed, use a hair dryer to dry them entirely after every bathing session, as knots are easily formed in long-coated dogs, especially when their coat is wet. Don’t forget to trim their nails regularly. Take them to a groomer every 2-3 months to take better care of their beautiful long coat.
4. Wiry coats
Schnauzer, Irish Wolfhound, Wire-headed Vizsla and most terriers have wiry coats. This coat type is coarse and rough to the touch, also known as a ‘broken’ coat. The dogs with wiry coats have a harsh topcoat and soft undercoat. Although they don’t shed much, their fur requires brushing at least twice a week with a slicker brush. Using a stripping comb would be optimal with thicker coats to thin the fur before brushing with the slicker brush. After thinning their hair, utilize the brush to comb through their fur away from their skin. Use a detangler solution to simplify the process.
Bathe them every 2-4 weeks with a shampoo exclusively made for wiry coats. Use a leave-in conditioner to soften their fur. Remember to dry them after every shower. Take them to a groomer at least twice a year to properly remove the loose hair from their coat. They might also need clipping, depending on their unique coat.
5. Curly-wavy Coats
Dogs breeds with curvy- wavy coats have thick and soft curls close to their body. These coats can range from loose waves to tight spirals. Poodles, Bichon Frise, Havanese, and Bolognese are some of the dog breeds with curvy- wavy coats. This coat type is most likely to suffer from matting, so it needs regular grooming. It needs to be brushed at least once a week(if possible, every day), with a slicker brush against the lay of their hair to remove loose hair and dirt; it also helps to fluff it up. Use a wide-toothed comb or a de-matting tool to gently remove knots in their coat.
Brush them before and after every shower. Bathe them every two or three weeks with a shampoo made exclusively for curly-wavy coats. Apply a leave-in conditioner to keep the curls/ waves defined and moisturize. Use a blow dryer to dry them thoroughly, as their curls don’t air dry or towel dry efficiently. They require professional grooming every four to six weeks to get their fur trimmed, as a long wavy-curly coat is more of a hassle.
6. Hairless Coat
Now, let’s talk about a lesser-known coat type, which is 'hairless'. Xoloitzcuintli and American Hairless Terriers are completely hairless dogs, while Chinese creased and Peruvian Inca Orchids are completely hairless at times or have short patches of fur on their head, paws, and tails. Some hairless dog breeds might have some peach fuzz. Although they might not need brushing because of the lack of fur, they require regular grooming to keep their skin healthy. They require special attention to their skin.
To lift the dander off of them(skin cells, dirt, debris, and oils from their skin), you need to bath them at least every other week with a mild shampoo, as most of them have sensitive skin. Use a moisturizer to keep their skin hydrated. As they don’t have a layer of fur protecting their fur, they are vulnerable to sunburn. Apply hypoallergenic sunscreen made for dogs on your hairless dog every time you take them out. Don’t apply it once, and forget it if you stay out in the sun longer than recommended on the sunscreen.
Some pets, especially mixed breeds, may have combination coats, which can be confusing to categorize. If this is the case, take them to a professional groomer; they will help you out. It is also not unusual for a dog’s coat to change as they age, so keep an eye out for that.
If you still aren’t clear on what your dog’s coat type is, don’t worry; our professional groomers are here to help. Book an appointment on the Petzzing app, and our groomer will be at your doorstep to give your pet the best at-home grooming service based on their coat type. They will even help you figure out the best care you can offer your pet until the next appointment. Not just this, our experts will clean the mess after the grooming is completed.