While we may still have frigid temperatures, spring is definitely on its way. This time of year it is especially difficult to keep your dog clean and their coat in good condition. The months of snow can wreak havoc on curly coats in particular. The snow and slush constantly wetting dog’s legs and drying is a recipe for bad matting. This time of year we often see non-shedding dogs that had longer haircuts over the winter needing to be shaved down. While it can be a drastic change to see a dog go from a long shaggy coat to a very close trim we think it is often the best solution to tangled coats this season.
Matting can be a serious health concern for non-shedding dogs if it gets out of control. While it’s normal for tangles to grow behind the ears and around the collar, during the winter they can easily form on a dogs legs, belly and anywhere that gets snowy or damp. When dogs have longer winter haircuts they can also hide down in the coat next to the skin and are difficult to see during normal brushing. While it may seem like the best thing to do would be to leave that long coat until the weather gets warm it is often better to get rid of a matted coat as soon as possible. Tightly matted hair restricts blood flow to the skin, retains moisture and is the perfect growing conditions for all sorts of bacterial and fungal infections as well as a sponge for dirt and allergens. You and your dog will be happier and healthier without all that hair.
Sometimes I think of March and April as “slush months”, the hardest time of year to keep your dog clean and keep them from bringing mud, dirt and wet snow into the house. Long hair can make this even more difficult! It is so much easier to keep your dog and house clean with a shorter haircut. They wash and towel off so much quicker and pick up less dirt and debris on walks.In addition, you can get the jump on brushing out a shorter coat and if you start a habit of brushing your dog every day when it is easy for both of you, you can have a summer of easy, hassle-free grooming.
If your dog needs to be shaved down this spring, don’t fear! Remember all the benefits that come with an easier to maintain coat and start brushing right away if you want your dog’s hair to grow out to a longer length. It is also important to remember that humanity should always come before vanity: a short cut might not be your favorite but think of how much better your dog will feel without that long, tangled hair weighing them down. The best way to get the haircut for your dog that you’d like is to have their coat in good condition. Daily brushing at home and regular appointments with your groomer will keep you both happy and keep matting at bay.We suggest regular grooming every 6-8 weeks to help keep the hair in good condition.
Next time on the blog: how to best communicate with your groomer to get the haircut you’d like for your dog!