Fur care - Here are our best tips

Pälsvård - Här är våra bästa tips

Taking care of your dog's fur in the best way is a job that requires accuracy and interest in fur care. Some breeds need more coat care, others less. Elin Lindberg is a professional dog groomer at Djurfavoriten in Norrtälje. In this interview, she gives tips on how to manage to keep your dog clean and tidy, as well as how to effectively care for both the skin and fur, regardless of the breed of dog you have .

Groomer Elin has good knowledge and experience in fur care. Text and photo: Sarah Öhman-Tronet.

Fur care according to Elin - Professional dog groomer, Norrtälje

How do you best care for the different fur types?

- Different dog breeds have different needs for fur care. Often a long-haired or curly coat needs more work in the form of clipping, brushing and bathing. An important thing to remember when bathing your dog is to use a good shampoo and conditioner that has the right pH value for the dog's skin. A good example, I think, is Allergenius special shampoo which both cares for the coat and strengthens the skin's natural barrier function.

Furthermore, you should have the right temperature of the water and rinse the dog thoroughly after shampooing. Allergenius also has one leave-in conditioner which should not be rinsed out. It helps to care for the skin while making the fur softer, shinier and easier to comb out, says Elin. And it goes faster because you don't have to rinse.

Three tips that suit most dogs' skin and coat types

  • Use fur care products with the correct pH value
  • Appropriate temperature - avoid too hot water
  • With a leave-in conditioner, the coat becomes easier to comb out

Fur care according to fur type

- a shaggy coat should be trimmed, not cut, which as a beginner you need help with. Here it is recommended to contact an experienced dog groomer for tips and care advice. When trimming a brindle coat, you remove dead hairs in the top coat layer with the help of your fingers or, if you master the technique, a trimming knife. A clipped brindle coat becomes dull, soft and absorbs dirt and water over time.

- short haired dogs are easier to keep clean and less dirt enters the home, and sometimes it is enough to wipe fur and paws after a muddy walk. But a short-haired dog should also be bathed from time to time, as the bath removes dead skin cells and keeps the dog's coat soft, shiny and free of allergenic dander.

- A good tip is to brush your dog between baths to keep the coat in good shape - this applies to both short-haired, rough-haired and long-haired dogs - and then at the same time use a spray or mousse conditioner that you lightly rub into the coat with your fingertips or with the help of a dog brush. Long-haired and curly furs need a lot of conditioner to prevent tangles from forming in the fur.

fur care from a professional dog groomer who likes white dogs Elin Lindberg with her Bonnie, who is a Löwchen.

Which tools are suitable and good for daily skin and coat care at home?

- Tips for tools for everyday care are: comb with rotating, failing spikes that easily go through the fur, a flex card (a bendable card is excellent - it's ergonomic and kind to both dog and your wrists) and claw pliers are good to have. For long-haired breeds, also a clipper (there are many different types of machines here, but a tip is to spend a penny on a good clipper if you want a durable and neat result), as well as good fur scissors for easier clipping of paws and ears. I recommend caring for the coat a little at a time, but often. If you don't have time, or if the dog is struggling, it is better to take the dog to a dog groomer regularly. A poorly groomed coat easily becomes unhygienic and can, among other things, lead to the dog getting infections, eczema, or other troublesome skin problems, says Elin.

Is it dangerous for the dog to bathe it weekly?

- Absolutely not. Nowadays, there are mild shampoo and conditioner products with the right pH value that both strengthen and moisturize. In the past, dogs were washed in soap and detergent, which of course was not good for the dog as it had a drying and irritating effect on both skin and fur.

With today's knowledge and products, we know that it is better to bathe your dog regularly, otherwise the coat will wear unnecessarily due to all the air pollution it is exposed to. Especially if you live in a big city.

In case of allergic problems in the dog owner, or if you want to reduce the spread of allergens in the environment you stay in, weekly baths are recommended and preferably with a special shampoo specifically designed to reduce the occurrence of the allergens, dander and skin scales that the dog releases, says Elin.

newly showered dog that has received fur care Bonnie after bath, before blow drying.

Is it good to blow dry the dog after bathing? Can all fur types be blow dried?

- Yes, all fur types can be blow dried. Short-haired breeds do not need to be blow-dried, but blow-drying helps blow away loose hairs and gives the coat shine. Blow-drying also causes the fur to dry faster and then also reduces the risk of moisture eczema, bacterial colonization and skin irritation caused by damp fur and skin. It's good if you get the dog used to being bathed and blow-dried as early as possible in life, and preferably make fur and skin care a pleasant time together with the dog.

fur care for a newly groomed dog Newly done Nelly, Papillon.

What are the current trends in dog hairstyles?

- In Sweden, the natural trend is often preferred, i.e. the hairstyle that is best suited for the dog or is typical of the breed. In other countries, people are perhaps more extreme when it comes to dog hairstyles and dyeing furs and more. Personally, I like clean, neat and easy to maintain, concludes Elin.

Tips on pages to read more:

Fur care in Focus: https://palsvard.ifokus.se/articles/531dcaf08e0e747e42003267-anvand-ratt

About dog washing: http://www.balder-balder.se/foton/badning/hundvatt.htm

Fur care and tools: http://www.balder-balder.se/artiklar/palsvard.htm

Do you want to learn more about the dog's skin?

We can warmly recommend the book "Hundens Hud" by veterinarian and dermatologist Susanne Åhman, who is an expert on animal skin. It is written to increase dog owners' knowledge and awareness of dogs' skin, care, skin conditions and possible treatments. It is available in 350 libraries around the country, and it can be purchased from http://vetaderm.se (new edition is planned for autumn 2018).

The book describes, among other things, that weekly washing is recommended to alleviate and help allergic dogs' problems with itching. Also that regular washing can help prevent several common skin conditions from developing.