Many dogs shed. Some don’t. Either way, taking care of your dog’s fur is important to maintain the dog’s health. There are a few major ways to care for your dog’s fur: brush, cut, and wash. Dogs get dandruff, and they get infections. Dogs are prone to mange and other skin issues that directly relate to caring for their fur.   

Brushing the fur

You should regularly brush your dog’s hair. It sounds like “no kidding,” but it’s really easy to forget. Put it on the calendar. Set reminders. Get a brush that has both a fine comb and a coarse comb. Start with the coarse comb and brush your dog’s hair gently. It’ll take a while, especially if your dog has curly hair. The first few times might be uncomfortable for your dogs, but it ends up being a massage for them.

Going first with the coarse brush allows you to take care of the dirt and grime from general daily play. These long brush strokes, starting at the head and going towards the rear, should take about ten minutes (depending on the size of your dog). It will definitely take longer the first time as you get through all the knots. It’s like your hair, keeping it brushed keeps it healthy! Similarly, when going with the fine brush, your looking to take care of the skin more than anything. A fine-toothed brush comb gets rid of old, dead skin, and it gets fur to that fresh shine after the next step.

Washing the fur

We need to wash our dog’s fur regularly. Too much, and you risk the skin drying out and skin cells dying and flaking. Too little, and you risk bringing pests, critters, bugs, and just gross outside things into your house, and worse, your bed. Many vets suggest that a monthly wash is good for your pup’s fur health, though it can be more or less often depending on how often your dog is exposed to outside elements. If you regularly take your dog out in the mud, on hikes, to the beach, or just outside in the wilderness, more regular baths could be called for. If your dog only goes when it has to because you have Patio Pet Life biodegradable grass on your fiftieth floor apartment balcony, baths can come less often. Either way, put regular baths on the calendar and be sure to bathe your pup to keep clean fur.

Are haircuts right for your pup?

Haircuts are tough. Some vets believe that long dog hair can cause problems. Others believe that because most dogs shed, there’s no reason to cut a dog’s hair. Non-shedding dogs, conversely require haircuts. This may all be well and good, but it’s also a personal decision. Some owners believe that long hair in the summer, even long shedding hair, requires a haircut so the pup doesn’t get too hot. A lot of owners shave their dogs during the summer, and it’s a personal decision. It’s worth considering if you notice extra panting during the heat, but keep in mind that dogs can get sunburnt too! Even though you can choose to cut your dog’s hair, your dog’s fur keeps the sun at bay. Just remember that the decision to cut a pup’s fur is also a decision to put the dog at risk for sunburn and to expose the pup to elements that the breed is not used to. Dogs evolved with certain fur length and density for a reason, so keep that in mind!