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- Maintaining a healthy coat
Maintaining A Healthy Coat
The feel of a puppy’s coat is as soft and delicate as a baby’s bottom – but for the puppy’s sake, hopefully a little furrier. To keep that angelic fleece healthy and beautiful – now and as they grow up – you need to know the right grooming techniques and tools to use on your pup’s coat.
How do I brush my dog?
Brushing is the easiest and most enjoyable grooming duty – for you and your puppy.
Get the right brush for your puppy:
- if your dog has a short coat you only need something with short soft bristles, or a grooming mitt with short, soft rubber bristle-like teeth
- if your dog has a longer coat you’ll need a brush or comb with longer teeth to get through the fur
- be careful not to damage your puppy’s skin with sharp bristles and forceful brushing
Your vet clinic staff can advise you on the best brush for your puppy.
Start brushing your puppy as early as possible:
- put your puppy on your lap and start to brush their coat gently
- in the initial session, just brush gently along your puppy’s back
- talk in a calm soothing voice as you do it, and praise them if they are well behaved
- start at just a couple of minutes and gradually build up to longer sessions
- as they get used to brushing and the sessions become longer, move to more sensitive areas, such as their chest, tummy and legs
- at the end of the session praise your puppy and offer them a treat
Get puppy used to general handling
As you brush you should also:
- handle your puppy’s ears
- touch around the eyes
- check their teeth and gums
- gently open the mouth
- pick up their paws, feel between the toes and touch the nails
This will make cleaning and medicating all those important bits and bobs much easier in the future.
How do I clip my dog’s coat?
Dogs, especially those with long Fabio-like coats, need an occasional clip to help keep their coat unmatted, healthy and generally gorgeous to the eye. It’s not likely your puppy will need to be clipped before they’ve reached four to six months of age, but here are some tips for when the time arrives:
- choose a clipper blade that works best for your dogs
- be sure the blade is sharp, as blunt clippers pull hair more
- use the same starting techniques as you would with brushing
- clip very gently and praise and reassure your puppy as necessary
- at the end of the session praise your puppy and offer a treat
If you don’t have the time but do have the money, you can have your dog brushed and clipped through specialised dog grooming salons as well as some veterinary clinics and pet stores.