When you think of the condition of an animal’s coat, you must consider both its hair and the skin under that hair.
You undoubtedly have noticed that when dogs are brought into the warmth of a house in cold weather they have a doggie odor than they do in warm weather. That is due largely to the greater secretion of sebum, a protective substance emitted by glands embedded in the ski nand deposited mostly against the shafts of the hair. To some extent it coats the skin, acting as a waterproofing agent helping it to shed rain and dampness, and it also serves as a protection against some types of bacteria. The sebum serves several useful purposes, but when it is allowed to accumulate on the dog’s coat it may produce a strong odor that must be removed by bathing.
The animal’s skin functions as an organ of the body, just as do the kidneys or liver. Its exposure subjects it to all kinds of abuse which better-protected organs never experience. In a healthy animal, glandular secretions of the skin keep the coat shiny. But a coat must be combed often. Dead hair must be removed and snarls untangled in all long-haired breeds. Only a comb or wire brush and elbow grease will accomplish this. Burrs most be removed by hand. Hard mats have to be cut with scissors. To do this, push the scissors under the wad, pointing them away Irons the body, and cut the wad in half. Large wads may be cut into massy sections which then comb or brush out with the least pairs to the pet. It is almost never necessary to do the easy thing – snip across the hair. With patience, all the dead hair can he separated Irons the wad, leaving a lovely coat.
Combing of long-haired dogs should he done as frequently as necessary to keep the coat in good condition. Animals should be taught floppy to stand or lie on a table or, in the case of a large dog, on the floor, and expect and abide combing.
Shorthaired animals need less attention. Some people take a hacksaw blade and drag it, like a comb, over the coat. The teeth catch the loose hairs and pull them out. The bare hand, moistened and rubbed over shorthaired dog’s coat, will pull out many loose hairs and leave the coat looking glossier.
Soft-bristle brushes should not be the mainstay of grooming. Running brushes over the outside of a long-haired animal’s coat accomplishes little in the way of loose hair removal. It does sweep out some of the finest skin scales, accumulated dust, and a few loose hairs. There are massy kinds of specialized brushes. Thousands of elaborate groom-in brushes, with wire bristles on one side and fiber bristles on the other, are available. You can get along very well with (1) a comb with very strong teeth, ten to fourteen to the inch, which can pull out snarl sand do rough work; (2) a fine comb with twenty teeth to the inch; (3) astron brush; and (4) a pair of scissors.
A tried-and-true method of producing a natural sheen on many coat sis to rub the coat briskly with a handful of green grass.
If the animal is a small, smooth-coated pet, a fine, strong comb pl usa small scrub brush will suffice. Coats grow slowly in the summertime and rapidly in the fall. This kind of clipping can be a disaster for a show coat; but if you are interested in comfort for your pet and a minimum expenditure of time and energy on its coat, haircuts are the answer: comfort in the summertime and a beautiful coat by December.