Dogs and cats begin to shed in the spring and fall. This hormonally controlled process is activated in animals by changing temperature and daylight hours. For about 6 to 8 weeks, the animal housemates then shed their old fur and new ones grow back. Animals shed more fur, especially in the spring, because the dense and heated undercoat of the so-called winter coat also falls out. Find out here how you can make this time easier for your dog or cat with pet-friendly grooming.
1. Brush or comb the coat daily
When shedding, the dog or cat should be combed daily with a special comb or brush to remove loose hair. Brush in the direction of hair growth – from the head down to the body and legs. If the fur is particularly thick, you can split and go down from the neck. This technique is also called line brushing and is particularly suitable for long-haired animals. Always brush the animal’s entire fur and then focus on areas that shed especially to protect the animal’s sensitive skin.
2. Get your pet used to brushing
Some animals find it uncomfortable to groom their fur and therefore need to get used to brushing slowly. Make grooming your pet as pleasant as possible and take short breaks so that brushing is not a negative experience. Treats can also help make brushing a positive experience for your four-legged friend.
3. Brush or comb gently
Never use too much pressure when brushing or combing – this is not only uncomfortable for the dog or cat, but can also lead to dandruff, skin irritation and pain. Hair that doesn’t want to come out the first time you comb it will usually be loose enough to comb the next day, so it doesn’t need a lot of pressure. If you notice even the smallest defensive reactions from your four-legged friend, indicating pain or an unpleasant feeling, then stop brushing and try to find the cause, if necessary, without stressing the four-legged friend.
Hair knots or smaller tangles can be carefully removed with a suitable razor or clipper. Pain in the musculoskeletal system caused by brushing occurs mainly in older animals – here a particularly careful handling is necessary.
4. Use the right grooming tools
Whether care gloves, combs with rounded teeth or brushes with plastic tips – all protect the sensitive skin and massage it at the same time. This stimulates blood circulation and sebum production, which in turn accelerates coat turnover. Combed fur can also be best removed with special brushes and combs.
Many dogs and cats find grooming gloves particularly enjoyable because they come so close to petting them. They are also particularly suitable for short-haired animals. It is best to get advice from a specialist shop about which utensils are suitable for your four-legged friend. Depending on the length and texture of the coat, there are various grooming tools that facilitate daily grooming.
5. Eat a balanced diet
Some vitamins and minerals are especially important for skin and hair and can be obtained through food. Yeast is rich in biotin, whole grains contain valuable magnesium and vitamin E, and carrots provide beta-carotene.
Small amounts of high-quality oils such as B. linseed oil, canola oil, walnut oil and hemp oil stimulate hair growth and can help with scaly skin or dry, shaggy fur. But be careful: Too much oil can lead to digestive problems.
6. Offer cat grass
Plush paws can ingest large amounts of hair during the extensive grooming that is characteristic of cats. In order to avoid the formation of dangerous hairballs in the digestive tract, they must either excrete the felt or occasionally vomit. Therefore, cat grass should always be available to them, especially if they are kept indoors.
Dogs also like to eat grass, especially during molting. The grass supports digestion if there is a lot of hair in the gastrointestinal tract and can also lead to vomiting if the four-legged friend has picked up too much hair during grooming. Therefore, increased grass intake when going for a walk during moulting is usually completely normal. However, if your four-legged friend shows other signs of illness, you should determine the cause with your veterinarian.
7. Groom your pet all year round
Dogs and cats should be brushed regularly throughout the year. This is good for blood circulation to the skin and prevents tangles that promote parasite infestation and skin irritation. This also applies to breeds such as poodles, which only shed small amounts of hair. If the hair is matted down to the skin, sometimes only clipping under general anesthesia helps, especially in long-haired cats.
Danger! If animals suddenly lose an excessive amount of hair, possibly accompanied by severe itching, reddening of the skin or in the form of circular hairless patches, then you should consult a veterinarian. Fungal diseases as well as hormonal problems, autoimmune diseases, allergies or parasites can be behind these symptoms.
More dog and cat grooming tips
In addition to fur care, dog and cat owners should not neglect the dental care of their four-legged friends. Regular tooth brushing is important for oral hygiene and can prevent dental problems. Find out here what to consider!