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Long coat and double coat breeds increase hair growth in preparation for cooler months with many owners thinking they can simply let these coats grow wild. But with this additional coat length and thickness comes extra winter grooming.
Double coat breeds such as Huskies, Labradors Retrievers, Aussie Shepherds, Border Collies (just to name a few) have a thick undercoat which helps regulate their temperature keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer. Naturally this undercoat changes depending on the season.
Now that we’re in winter, their undercoat will be at its thickest and needs daily brushing to remove dead hair and skin. These breeds can become matted if not given a daily brush. The buildup of dead hair and moisture can increase the risk of skin infections, while losing the ability to regulate their body temperature.
A daily brush will remove loose hairs, which will help reduce the amount of hair shed around your home. It also keeps your dog’s coat clean by removing surface debris and helping spread the natural oils produced by their skin. Brushing is a great way to bond with your dog and most of them will love how it feels. It will also help you inspect your dog’s skin for lumps, bumps, parasites or abnormalities.
If your dog has a single coat like that of Vizslas, Greyhounds and Staffies, it's still important they are brushed every couple of days with a Slicker Brush. Brushing spreads the healthy natural oils around the coat while removing dead hair, dirt and debris. Keep an eye out on their behaviour to ensure they are warm enough as these breeds typically require a coat on cool days as well as additional blankets in their bedding.
If you have a fluffy dog and have decided to let their hair grow long for extra warmth, it’s important to prevent knots with daily combing and brushing, using a Leave in Conditioner spray where necessary. Continue to visit your professional groomer every 6 weeks to maintain the coat at the longer length. If your fluffy dog has been clipped short during the cooler months, they may require a jacket or jumper too.