It’s about proper skin care, not showing off
Many dogs suffer from itchy, scratchy skin with lots of dandruff during this time of year. They usually also have a dull, lackluster coat as well. These dogs can benefit immensely from a thorough carding. Carding simply means to remove dead undercoat from a dog’s skin, and along with it comes a lot of cellular debris that was locked up inside the pores. I believe that a lot of skin issues occur during the shedding seasons because this is not being done for our beloved companions.
During the fall the secondary hairs (undercoat) begin to look dull and they feel brittle rather than smooth. This means that they are ready to be pulled out of the pores so that new hairs can grow in their place. When this is not done the pores get backed up with hair, along with everything else going on inside those pores, and the skin then feels grainy (tiny bumps) to the touch rather than smooth. This makes the dogs feel uncomfortable and they will begin to itch and scratch at areas like the back of the ears to try to remove some of the dead undercoat.
I believe that carding is the best way to provide comfort and relief to our dogs, and help them feel comfortable in their own skin. Grooming is about helping our dogs feel good more than it is about helping them look good. When they feel good they will also look good! Every time I card and strip a dog’s coat, I notice that the colors are much more bold and bright; and the coat shines and glistens under the sun. I believe that all it takes is spending a few hours with our dogs each week, and pulling out their dead coat, to help relieve them of the discomfort and skin issues that occur each Spring and Fall. What if seasonal allergies were as easy to remedy as getting out the brush and carding tools? Imagine if we never brushed or flossed our teeth, but we visit the dentist a few times a year. Then we ask him during one of our visits, “Why is my mouth such a mess and painful when I come in so often? What am I paying you for?” It’s like that with dog grooming. Dog grooming is not just washing and clipping a dog every month or two. It is about hygiene, and good hygiene is a daily responsibility.
Brush More, Bathe Less.
When bathing your dogs at home, I have a few rules that will help you achieve show coat results.
1)Card the coat before washing to help clear the pores of the built up undercoat and cellular debris. This will ensure the shampoo and conditioner will have room to clean and condition the skin properly.
2)Always use conditioner to help add moisture and oils back into the skin and help protect the hairs from bacteria. This will help keep your dog smelling good and feeling good for much longer.
3)Brush or comb the coat in the direction it is supposed to lay naturally to help train the hair to lay nicely. This will also help redistribute oils all throughout the coat, and your dog will feel silky soft after the bath.