The Complete Guide to Caring for Your Dogs Coat

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The Complete Guide to Caring for Your Dog's Coat
Keeping your dog’s coat in good condition is not simply a matter of appearance. Your dog’s fur needs to be clean for health reasons. A dog’s coat can harbour dirt, grime, parasites and foreign objects, and neglecting the coat can cause problems with her skin and, in extreme cases, her overall wellbeing.

Some dog owners take their pet to a professional groomer when their dog’s coat needs attention, but there are many grooming tasks that can be completed in your own home. If you have the time to care for your dog’s coat yourself, you will probably find that it is a more affordable alternative. Even if you have a preferred groomer, you will need certain products to keep your dog’s coat in good condition between visits.

One big advantage of home grooming is knowing exactly what is being used on your dog’s coat. You can select only the grooming products you feel comfortable with; for example, you may wish to avoid harsh chemicals, or work around allergies your dog has.

All of the products in this guide can be sourced from the Home & Garden category on eBay. For specialised grooming products, see the Grooming/ Health Care sub-category within the Dogs sub-category.

Brushing Your Dog’s Coat

All dogs benefit from having their coat brushed and combed regularly. Groomers recommend that the coat is brushed once or twice a week.

Brushing a dog’s coat helps to remove loose hair, spread natural oils through the fur and helps the owner to detect ticks and fleas that may become problematic if they are allowed to infest the coat.

There are several types of brush within the Grooming/ Health Care sub-category.

Combs

Combs with fine teeth are helpful for detecting and removing fleas as one grooms their dog. For the best results, try an electronic flea comb that kills fleas on contact.

Brushes

Brushes with wide teeth are ideal for sweeping through the thick coat of a longhaired dog to remove tangles. Use a smaller brush for sensitive areas such as the paws and face.

Grooming gloves

If the dog is very short haired, or scared of brushes, try a grooming glove. The glove can be used to stroke the dog while smoothing the fur. Pay special attention to the back legs while brushing with the glove to gently remove mud, excrement and burrs.

De-matting tools

Useful de-matting tools can be purchased on eBay and form an important part of the grooming kit for longhaired dogs. If the mat is particularly large or thick, it is better to visit a groomer or ask your vet for advice. Regular brushing should do away with the need to de-mat the fur.

De-shedding tools

Special de-shedding tools help to remove extra fur that would otherwise drop out in the home or become matted into the coat. There are many de-shedding tools on the market, from traditional wooden brushes through to modern brands like the Furminator, Moult Master and Groomit.

Washing Your Dog’s Coat

Regular bathing helps to ensure a glossy coat and clean skin; both are important for the health of the dog. Bathing also eliminates the unpleasant odour associated with dogs, particularly when their fur gets wet.

To bathe a dog, one will need a variety of supplies to keep her safe and ensure his coat is thoroughly cleaned. All of these products can be readily sourced on eBay in the Home & Garden category.

Dog bath

If one prefers to wash your dog outdoors, rather than in a bathroom, purchase a dedicated grooming bath from an eBay seller. Many types are available, from salon-style steel baths to regular plastic tubs.

Bath mat

If using the family bathtub, place a mat in the bottom of the bath so that the dog does not slip and injure herself. A mat will also stop the bottom of the bath being scratched by the dog’s claws.

Shower attachment

Purchase a shower attachment for the bath taps on eBay. It is easier to rinse shampoo with constant running water rather than recycled tub water. Shower hose attachments can be found in the Home & Garden category.

Lead and muzzle

Owners of nervous or boisterous dogs sometimes place them on a lead in the bath, or muzzle them while they are in the water.

Avoid muzzles with fabric parts as they may become saturated. This will force them to swell, potentially making it difficult for the dog to breathe.

Baby shampoo

Shampoo designed for babies, such as Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, can be safely used on the dog’s coat and makes a good emergency detergent for dog bathing. Even if one chooses a dog shampoo or flea shampoo for the majority of the coat, it is a good idea to wash his face with baby shampoo so that harsh suds do not get into the dog’s eyes. Do not use other types of human shampoo on the dog’s coat as the perfumes are too harsh for an animal’s skin.

Dog shampoo

For protection against parasites, choose a shampoo with insecticidal or repellent properties. Some shampoos contain only natural ingredients, but note that some of these products may be harmful to cats and care must be taken when storing them.

Dog conditioner

If the dog has very long fur, conditioner will help to stop it becoming matted and tangled.

Towel

Purchase a spare towel on eBay and make this the dedicated grooming towel.

Grooming and Washing Guidelines

Although grooming is very straightforward, it helps to follow some grooming guidelines to get the best from your grooming supplies.

  • Avoid bathing the dog too often. A slight oil build-up is necessary to protect the coat and ensure that his skin does not dry out. Bathing once a month is enough. If the dog’s coat starts to look dull, oils may be getting stripped from his coat.
  • Shampoo should not accumulate against the skin. Mats and knots should always be removed before bathing. The dog’s collar should also be removed. Take care to gently untangle the fur and consult a professional if you cannot tackle the problem yourself.
  • The dog’s coat should be rinsed thoroughly with lukewarm running water after shampooing (and, optionally, conditioning). Wait until the water runs clear before removing the dog from the bath.
  • Do not attempt to wash a dog’s eyes or ears with water. Instead, purchase gentle wipes designed for use on dogs, such as aloe vera pet wipes.
  • Never scrub your dog’s skin as rough grooming can cause fur loss and sores.
  • Never leave a dog unattended in the bath.

Trimming Your Dog’s Coat

On eBay, you will find everything you need to trim your dog’s fur in the comfort of your own home. Sellers on eBay offer professional grooming tools at extremely affordable prices, and you can source both new and used items that will help you to save money on professional grooming costs.

Scissors

There are several different types of dog grooming scissors. Choose scissors that suit your dog’s size and the length of his coat.

Rounded end scissors or ball tip scissors are ideal for novice groomers because the tips of the blades are blunt; these scissors can also be used safely on paws and around the eyes and ears. If your dog has long fur, you may need single or double thinning scissors, and a good pair of general-purpose coat scissors is also desirable.

Hair dryer

Many dogs’ coats can be left to dry naturally, but a good hairdryer can help to speed up the process. On eBay, you will find a variety of professional hairdryers made specifically for grooming, but you may prefer to purchase an affordable hairdryer for humans and use this exclusively for grooming purposes.

If you choose to buy a normal hairdryer for dog grooming, ensure that it has several heat settings and never use it on the hottest setting.

Improving the Coat: Diet and Nutrition

If your dog’s coat looks dull, you can try improving his diet. Choose dog foods that are of a good quality and high in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

If your dog’s skin becomes flaky or you notice her scratching, consult your vet. Dry skin may be caused by many factors including diet, parasites and chemicals. If left undiagnosed, dry skin become a serious problem and may lead to infection.

How to Buy Dog Grooming Products on eBay

There are thousands of dog grooming products on eBay, and caring for your dog’s coat can therefore be very affordable. Take advantage of convenient ‘Buy it Now’ listings, low-priced auction listings and other eBay features as you shop for pet care goods.

  • Grooming scissors can be purchased in sets on eBay. This is often more affordable than buying several pairs separately. Compare your seller’s postage policies to make sure you are getting the best possible value for money.
  • Large items such as dog baths may be more affordable if purchased from a local seller who will allow you to collect in person.
  • Professional dog grooming items, such as leads and hairdryers, are often listed on eBay at big discounts, saving you money on the recommended retail price.
  • If you are new to grooming, ask your seller for advice before you bid or buy. For complete peace of mind, choose a seller that offers a money-back guarantee if you are not happy with your purchase.
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