A very hairy concern

Lots and lots and lots of hair flying here and lying there – dog owners could tell you a thing or two about coat changes in autumn or spring. The experts from Maxi Zoo have some tips on the best way to get through this hairy time.

For dogs, their coat normally changes following the natural rhythm of the year. When springtime comes, space is made for a coat suitable for summer and in the autumn for a warm, thick, winter coat. This means that owners have to deal with countless tufts of hair in their homes and on their furniture and clothes, usually for four to six weeks. This battle only ends when the animal‘s new coat has come through.

Daily brushing

There’s only one thing for it – daily brushing. This not only enables you to keep moulting in your home in check. It also helps your pet, whose metabolism is in overdrive during this time. If you have the right brush it’s easy to remove dead hairs, especially from the undercoat. This is important for allowing the skin to breathe and preventing mats from forming, which can lead to bacterial infections, fungal infections or eczema. The massaging effect of the brush, such as a pimply glove or rubber curry comb, is also beneficial to your pet’s health, improving circulation and stimulating the metabolism. If your pet gets used to being brushed at a young age, they will really enjoy this intensive bonding time, providing that you groom your four-legged friend when he or she is calm and relaxed.

Fat for fur

If you pay special attention to your pet when their coats are changing, this “hairy phase” might not last as long. Some owners also swear by essential fatty acids (feed oils) or brewers’ yeast preparations that are mixed in with your pet’s food.  It also has a supportive and strengthening effect and will make your pet‘s coat shine.

After coat-shedding

Once coat-shedding time is over, you can increase the time between brushing. Depending on the type of dog and their hair, weekly brushing is enough. You don’t need to brush cats at all, unless they have long hair or a thick undercoat. If so then you’ll have to give them regular help to look after their coat. But what should you do if your dog’s hair has already matted? Carefully tease apart loose knots, first by hand and then with a de-matting comb. If dense mats have already formed, you can cut into them with scissors and try to untangle them. Please be aware though, that pulling and tugging your animal’s hair too hard is extremely irritating and can actually rip out the hair. In the worst cases, a vet or professional groomer will be able to help using clippers.