The coat protects the animals from temperature variations and keeps them warm. It can even help your dog or cat better perceive their surroundings through sensory data. The look and feel of this fur can also indicate possible health issues or dietary deficiencies. A dull coat and dry skin often portends an underlying health problem for example. It is therefore interesting to take a close look at the hair of its faithful hairy companion, which is an indicator of good health.
How to take care of your pet’s coat? What to do in case of dull hair in dogs and cats? What hygiene care should be given to your pet’s coat? Discover all treatments and tips to maintain the beauty of hair in dogs and cats.
Does the dog take care of its coat on its own?
For dog owners, it is common to see your animal licking its hair or paws for example. This is a normal behavior in canids which allows, among other things, to clean themselves. The answer is therefore yes: the dog takes care of his hygiene more or less on his own, but not necessarily on a regular or sufficient basis.
Unlike felines, dogs are less diligent and some individuals hardly ever groom themselves. It is for this reason that the cat is considered a very clean animal by nature, unlike the dog, which makes less effort to wash.
However, if your dog licks intensively, it is no longer a question of grooming. In addition, many causes can explain this licking: the itchy skin, the presence of a wound, a dog’s ocd or even a flea infestation.
Does the cat take care of its coat independently?
Yes, the feline grooming habits are legendary. Cats even wash after being petted, meticulously straightening their fur in case a human’s touch has messed up a patch. They groom not only to clean themselves, but also to regulate their body temperature and boost their circulation. When a cat stops grooming, something is wrong with his world.
The most cats groom almost constantly (at least in appearance), and it’s not just out of vanity. Licking the fur keeps the cat’s skin healthy and stimulates the sebaceous glands in its skin, which produce oil to lubricate the fur.
Although cats generally spend a large part of their day cleaning their own fur and taking care of their coat, you should help them maintain their coat from time to time to keep it clean, healthy and shiny. Indeed, some cats have grooming problems from the beginning of their lives. If they are separated from their mother too early, they may not have learned the skills to groom properly throughout their lives. In this case, you will probably need to help your cat groom regularly. Of course, he may get used to it.
Similarly, if your cat goes outside, it often rolls around and brings dust and other dirt with it in its fur. It is then advisable to give a bath from time to time to the cat to eliminate this dirt and ensure a beautiful and clean coat. However, it is very difficult to bathe a cat. This is why some brands like Vétocanis offer shampoos for cats in different formats, which do not necessarily require water.
In general, grooming helps to keep fur clean, remove dead hair and prevent fleas from settling in. But sometimes, if something gets stuck in its fur or if the cat neglects its grooming, clumps can form. These clumps of hair can be painful for the cat.
Caring for the coat in dogs and cats: why?
Regular brushing of an animal, both a dog and a cat, is an important task that many owners often neglect. Brushing has several advantages. It allows to :
- Maintain the cat’s coat in good condition.
- Distribute natural oils into the skin.
- Promote good blood circulation.
- Reduce the risk of hairball formation.
- Check your pet for wounds, ticks, or anything that their fur might be hiding.
Looking after the coat of your doggie or tomcat has several important advantages. That :
- Helps prevent the formation of hairballs which can cause bowel obstructions.
- Promotes a healthy, shiny coat.
- Use to check for fleas, skin issues, or bumps and bumps.
- Helps prevent the formation of knots in the animal’s coat, but also the fall of hair.
- Removes debris, twigs, leaves, etc.
- Strengthens the bond between you and your pet.
Taking care of a dog or a cat therefore requires regular care to ensure their good health. Grooming needs are generally greater for long and medium-haired animals. They increase during shedding seasons, when dogs and cats lose more hair. It is generally recommended to groom long and medium haired coats dailywhile short-haired dogs and cats need grooming about once a week.
Here are some tips to help your pet have the best coat possible.
Care of the coat with short or medium-long hairs
For a dog or a cat with short or semi-long hair, it All you need is a flea comb and a rubber or bristle brush. Rubber brushes are the most effective at removing dead hair, while bristle brushes are excellent at removing dirt and debris.
Here are the steps to follow to take care of a coat with short or medium-long hair:
- Run the flea comb through his coat to make sure he’s free of fleas and eggs. If so, ask your veterinarian about your options.
- Gently massage the base of your pet’s fur. This helps loosen hairs that could not be reached or removed by a brush.
- Run the bristle brush in the direction of hair growth, from head to tail.
- The rubber brush or muffle then collects the hairs brought to the surface by the bristle brush. Run it over your pet’s body as you did with the bristle brush.
Coat care for long-haired dogs and cats
Long-haired dogs and cats require a little more grooming commitment. This is because they shed all year round. To reduce the amount of cat hair escaping onto your clothes and to prevent your pet’s fur from becoming tangled, you should brush your long-haired pet several times a week.
Brush your puppy or kitten the same way you would a short-haired cat. Bristle brushes and long-toothed combs, however, are more effective than rubber brushes.
- Check for fleas by lifting the fur. If so, talk to your veterinarian. He is by far the best placed to offer you the best anti-flea solutions.
- Gently massage the base of your cat’s fur. This helps to loosen hairs that could not be reached by the brush.
- Using a wide-toothed comb, brush the fur in the direction of hair growth, from head to tail. Pay close attention to the armpit area, as this is where the hair can get knotted.
- The rubber brush or mitt will then collect the hairs brought to the surface by the bristle brush. Sweep it over the body as you did with the bristle brush.
If you encounter knots in the fur, be sure to treat them gently. Detangle them slowly with your fingers, working carefully from root to tip.
Knots in animal fur aren’t just unsightly. They are also painful for your dog or cat. They can lead to skin irritation and infection if not removed.
Removing knots in fur is usually not a fun experience, neither for pets nor for humans. Take it easy and don’t be surprised if you can’t remove all the mats at once. You can ask the help of an assistant, because even if this technique is the easiest and the least painful, it requires a lot of patience.
Removing knots on dogs and cats indeed requires a steady hand, a lot of patience and sometimes more than one person to keep the animal calm. In case of excessive knots in the coat, it will be better to use a knot cutter or scissors.
What you need to detangle hair
Always start the operation in the presence of a relaxed animal. Otherwise, the dog or cat could become angry and you could suffer serious damage from bites or scratches. Gather a few tools before you begin:
- Scissors with rounded ends.
- A fine-toothed comb.
- A spray or conditioner.
- A corn starch.
- Pet treats.
Prepare the matted surface
Sprinkle a little cornstarch or talc on the area where the knot is and gently work in with your fingers. Gently pull the tuft up away from the skin, so you can see where the skin is.
If your faithful companion resists, pause and speak in a soothing voice, petting the animal until it relaxes. Repeat this at any time during the procedure if your pet begins to get stressed.
Cut the tangled tuft
Carefully slide the blunt-end scissor along the skin in the knotted tuft, holding it perpendicular to the skin. The lower blade should glide along the skin. Cut upwards, into the plate. Make a clean cut and try not to pull the hairs while cutting.
Give your pooch or kitty a little treat and praise him for his patience
Move the chisel about half a centimeter and cut again. Once you are able to, you should begin to separate the separated knots with your fingers and the loose pieces will come off easily.
Comb the tuft
Starting with a separate section of the mat, use your non-dominant hand to hold the base of the mat down with your thumb and forefinger, so the comb doesn’t pull hair out.
Using a fine-toothed flea comb, begin to gently comb the piece of mat, starting at the end of the hairs. Go down into the mat as you work, sometimes using only the first three or four teeth of the comb, for stubborn sections.