Did you know that unlike humans who have one hair for each hair follicle, dogs have three hairs? That equals to around 15,000 hairs on every square inch of your furry friend’s skin! Not only does a dog’s hair grow in bundles, the hair also cycles. This means that the hair reaches a certain length, stops growing and then dies. Say hello to shedding.
All dog owners know that eventually a bath is necessary. Bathing plays an important role in the health of your dog’s coat and skin, helping to keep your dog clean and free of dirt and parasites. And of course, there’s the added benefit of making your pooch more pleasant to be around.
While bathing is the first step in cleaning your dog, drying is equally as important. It is a good time to check your dog for any abnormalities of the skin, teeth, ears or nails while running your hands through your dog’s hair. If you have a short-haired or thinner coated dog, drying can seem like an easy step, however, if your dog’s coat is thicker, longer or a combination of both, the drying process can seem very challenging.
Here are some handy tips and tricks to help you handle the toughest coat:
Human hair dryers may seem like a good idea, but can actually harm your pet. Dogs have thinner skin than humans and run the risk of being burned if the temperature is set too high. When blow drying your pet’s coat, it is important to use a dryer specifically designed for dogs with lower heat. Your dog cannot tell you that you are hurting him until he is in pain.
Towel dry your dog first. Place the towel on your pet and squeeze a section of the coat one at a time the same way you would use a sponge. The goal is not to dry the hair completely but rather prepare it for more effective blow drying. Rubbing your dog’s coat vigorously will not speed up the process! You run the risk of creating tangles and blow drying can take longer.
Start with the lowest dryer setting and hold it away from your dog’s coat first so he gets used to the sound. Then very slowly begin to dry the coat. If the dryer does not have temperature control aim slightly off the coat to avoid injury to your dog. Keep the air flow in constant motion the same way you would blow dry your own hair. Avoid concentrating the dryer in one spot as the heat could bother your dog. Dry against the grain of the hair to speed up the drying process.
Run your fingers through your dog’s hair and continue to blow dry until you feel slight dampness. It is important not to over dry as this can cause your pet’s hair to become brittle and damaged. Allow for natural air to complete the drying process.
Give your dog lots of love and positive reinforcement in the form of words or a favorite doggie treats to make the experience one that he will want to come back to again and again!