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Keeping your dog's coat healthy whilst groomers are closed

Keeping your dog's coat healthy whilst groomers are closed

| by Editor | Posted in Pets & Animals

Andrew from Balham’s The Handsome Hound dog grooming salon has offered up some top tips to keep your dog’s coat healthy whilst your groomer is closed. Take it away, Andrew...!


Tools required

  • Slicker brush 
  • Comb 
  • Pin brush can also be used

Please note that this is a general guide to brushing your pet dog and can be used on any dogs that grow hair, such as poodles and poodle mixes, bichons, terriers, spaniels, double-coated breeds such as golden retrievers, and drop-coated breeds such as shihtzus and lhasas.

Tie your dog up safely and make it a two-person job! 

Tie your dog up so they cannot run away, or ask a member of your household to hold them whilst the other person brushes.

Tips for dogs that resist the brush

If your pup is resistant to brushes, then do a little, but often. Always finish with a positive action from yourself and be in control. Treats are a great distraction – a Lickimat is fab smeared with liver paste or dog friendly peanut butter (but DO NOT USE REGULAR PEANUT BUTTER!). If your dog reacts to brushing in a negative fashion and you give up, then this will become learnt behaviour. Reward your pup with lots of positive verbal communication – good boy/girl ONLY when they are being good!

Line brush your dog

Brush your dog section by section. Starting at the bottom of the dog’s leg and lift the coat 2 inches from the foot so that the fur separates. Brush the areas beneath the comb, then move your comb up the dogs legs a further 2 inches and repeat until you have brushed the whole body.

Further information regarding line brushing can be found on Youtube.

The most important areas to concentrate on

Brush the whole body, but concentrate first on the legs, ears, chest, head/muzzle and tail.

When brushing, use a pat and pull motion

Use very short pat/pull strokes with the slicker brush. With the handle of the brush pointing upward, “pat” the brush straight into the coat, keeping the brush flat and brushing with the middle bristles of the brush, not just the first few rows. Then “pull” the brush out and through the coat with a very slight upward motion, again, keeping the brush flat. Be sure to get the brush right down to the skin. Do not drag your brush through the coat. Should you come to a mat, keep your brush flat and lightly pat/pull repeatedly until you work the mat out.


Use a good quality natural shampoo. If your dog has sensitive skin, use a hypo-allergenic shampoo. If your pup is under 8 months old, use a puppy shampoo. 

Most shampoos can be diluted with water at about a 20-1 ratio.

Use a plastic container or Tupperware-type plastic dish to make up the solution – one or two 50 pence piece-sized portions of shampoo is usually sufficient – then add the water. 

Wet your dog all over and use a netted body puff  (the human type) and work a lather up. 

Start at the back of the dog and do the face last. Lift the dog’s head or cover the nose to avoid water going up their nose. Also be careful not to scrub around the eyes. When rinsing, clear the dog’s eyes/head first, then thoroughly rinse the rest of the body.


Pat your dog’s coat with a towel. Do not rub the coat as this will make your dog’s coat matt up.

Brush your dog’s coat whilst wet, during drying and when dry. If you let your dog dry naturally and rub against everything, this will cause the coat to matt.


You can buy a dog ear cleaner and apply with an ear wipe. Alternatively, you can use small circular make up pads and lukewarm water to clean the ears.


Many dogs will secrete from their eyes. You must try to clear this daily. You can buy eye wipes and use lukewarm water and a flea comb to work out the eye secretions. If eye secretions build up, they can form balls which then scab over and are very hard to remove.


The Handsome Hound Dog Grooming Salon is located at 72 Emmanuel Rd, Balham, SW12 0HR. Visit their website and call 07809 463939.

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