You have a long-haired dog, and despite your regular brushing, you find hair clumps on him?
Long-haired dogs have two types of hair, a long and thick hair on the upper part (topcoat) and a shorter and denser down on the lower part (fluffy hair).
The hair covers several functions such as:
- A barrier to protect the skin from injury, water and dust
- A protective barrier against the sun's rays
- A barrier that serves as thermoregulation against cold or heat
Irregular brushing will inevitably lead to tangles. Knots prevent the skin from breathing and will cause a pile of dead hair, which in turn will create a nest of bacteria and bad odors. In addition to this, your dog will suffer from some discomfort as the skin will tug at the most sensitive areas as well as at the friction zones. When it's too late, the only way to get rid of the tangles is by clipping.
So how do you avoid tangles?
First of all, you must brush your dog regularly, at least once a week. Prevention is the key, don't wait for your dog to get tangles before brushing, and don't think your dog doesn't need it because he doesn't have tangles. Weekly brushing will remove dead hair and aerate your dog's skin.
Establishing a routine around brushing will help your dog get used to the act quickly and not refuse to let you approach with a brush in hand.
Pay more attention to areas of friction as well as areas that can quickly become matted: behind the ears, on the legs, chest, belly and tail.
Use a brush that is adapted to your dog's coat, they don't all have the same needs!
Keep in mind that the coat reflects the health of your dog, and health is a matter of nutrition. If your dog has a poor quality coat (roughness, dry skin, irritation, alopecia), it may be a sign that his diet is not of sufficient quality. You can also add extra nutrients to his daily ration by using food supplements such as fish oil or brewer's yeast, which are very beneficial for skin health.
If despite your best efforts, your dog has knots, do not pull on the dry skin hoping to untangle them, as this will be very painful for your dog, and he will probably not let you.
Always have one hand on the skin, so that you only pull the hair. The hair should never be dry, so remember to moisten the knot area to make it easier to untangle.
If the knot doesn't come out by hand, use a fine metal comb to remove it. If the knot is too dense, it may need to be cut with scissors, or the area may need to be mowed.
Once detangled, finish with a good, gentle brushing and drying of the wet areas.
You can also make your own detangler to spray on impacted areas, most recipes involve mixing warm water with baking soda, cider vinegar or olive oil.
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