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Spiffing up short - and medium coated breeds

Spiffing up shortYour short-coated dog is a breeze to take care of, at least most of the time. Except for the occasional bath and a good rub with a towel, she is practically maintenance free! Even so, those short dog hairs all over your couch can be really annoying. Is there any way to deal with them?

Yes! There are several solutions to those little hairs. Spiffing up your short- or medium-coated dog only requires a few minutes and is well worth the extra time spent.

You should already be familiar with the basics of bathing your dog. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. Easy enough. But did you know that even short-coated dogs can use the occasional application of conditioner? Constant baths without conditioner can leave your dog's coat dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Go to your pet supply store and find a conditioner or two that you can live with. Know your ingredients before you go. For example, oatmeal-based shampoos and conditioners are gentle, but dry the dog's skin. Don't worry about medicated products at this time, unless your dog has a pre-existing skin condition. The conditioner you want is specifically for dry coats. The next time you bathe your dog, apply the recommended amount by pouring it first into your hand and smoothing it down your dog's spine. Rub it in and let it sit for at least a minute before rinsing thoroughly.

Blow dryer/crate dryer: instead of simply towel drying your dog, blow dry her. Although a crate dryer is better because it always stays at a consistent distance from your dog, lessening the possibility of burning your dog, the same blow dryer that you use on your own hair is fine. If you use your own blow dryer on your dog, have her sit or stand on a towel to be dried. Set the dryer on low and aim it no closer than eight to twelve inches from her skin. Aim the dryer in the opposite direction from the lie of the coat while brushing the coat flat. This process should remove many of the dead hairs that she would otherwise leave behind on your couch. Your previously hair-free towel should attest to that!

Stripping comb: a stripping comb can be your friend. Twice a year, your dog will shed all of the fur in her coat. You will want to keep as much of that coat off of your furniture as possible, while enhancing your dog's appearance. A stripper comb will do just that for both of you. A fine-tooth stripper comb is best for many short- or medium-coated dogs.

Before you begin to use your comb, read the directions for its use. Comb gently along the grain of your dog's coat, paying particular attention to where excess coat tends to gather behind the ears, along the spine and at the base of the tail. Medium-coated dogs also collect hair under their tails on the "pants" or "skirts" on the back of the legs. If you choose to use a stripper comb on your medium-coated dog, be careful not to use it so vigorously that you chop off a large portion of her coat. The idea is simply to remove loose hair that is both a nuisance and that can make your dog look unkempt.

Chamois: You know that a soft brush can be used for smoothing and polishing the coat. The chamois cloth does the same thing, only it does not leave any brush marks on your dog's coat. A chamois cloth is very absorbent. It will remove some of the excess moisture from your dog's coat if any remains. It also leaves a gentle gloss as a final touch for any grooming project. A quick brushing out and touch-up with a chamois cloth is all you need to make a short- or medium-coated dog look good for your in-laws' unannounced visits!

Scissoring: although scissoring will not prevent your dog from shedding, it can help neaten her appearance. Even a short-coated dog's appearance can benefit from light scissoring at the base of her ears and on her pants. It might be tempting to scissor the furnishings on the inside of your Papillon's ears, but please resist that urge. Those furnishings are there to protect her large ears from moisture and debris. Use a pair of thinning shears on the areas that you trim to prevent scissor marks from appearing on the coat.

Some dogs may need the hair over their paw pads trimmed, as well. Use an ordinary pair of scissors with pointed tips to carefully trim it back. You should also trim the hair between your dog's toes to prevent the toes from splaying. Both of these steps will give your dog surer footing.

Your short- or medium-coated dog can benefit from a few additional steps to spiff up its hairdo. These few steps can help your dog shed less and look (almost) professionally groomed!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.

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