Coat Care 101
So now that you have your tools ready, here is your crash course on coat care
First and foremost, never, EVER bathe a matted dog! Water only serves to tighten tangles and existing matting even tighter, so that you end up with a sponge. This can take a long time to dry thoroughly and in the meantime is a breeding ground for irritations brought on by wet coat against the skin for an extended period of time, as well as the very real possibility of not having all the shampoo effectively rinsed out of the coat. The matting or ’sponging’ has held onto some of it, making for a very itchy dog. If they are not ‘Zestfully’ clean (younger owners might have to google that phrase!), then soap residue can wreak havoc on normally healthy skin.
So, always brush and comb BEFORE the bath, as well as after.
If at all possible, put your pet up on something to perform any grooming. Whether brushing and combing or checking their ears, as a general rule, dogs will be more cooperative when they are UP on something, away from the floor. You play with them on the floor, so sometimes dogs will have a hard time distinguishing between play time and groom time, if you attempt to try this on the floor with them. (You’re trying to get on with the business of brushing, and they are hoppin’ and boppin’ and grabbing the brush and ready to get their play on. Sound familiar?!) Of course, that’s not always possible with a larger dog, so just make do as you can.
The best time to start a brush out routine is when:
1) You have a brand new fluffy puppy with no or minimal tangles at this point
2) After your pet has been clipped down short. You can keep up with it VERY easily as it grows, starting at that point