Friday, December 7, 2018

Understanding & Treating Dog Hair Tangles

Tangles and mats can be a problem for any dog owner, and it's important to prevent them before they turn into a problem that can only be corrected by shaving the coat completely. Not only does the shaved look not suit most dogs, shaving your dog's coat can also compromise his health and safety.
Whether your dog's coat is naturally long, short, smooth or wiry, it serves a purpose. The coat keeps him warm in cold weather, cool in warm weather and dry when it's moist out. The types of functions your dog's coat can perform will depend on a few different factors, and these will also influence grooming.

Regardless of hair type, proper and regular grooming is essential to your dog's health and wellbeing. Regular grooming doesn't just keep his hair looking and smelling great, it also prevents tangles that can turn into mats.
Let's break down some common dog hair types, and whether or not each is prone to developing tangles and mats you should be aware of.

But first, let's take a short detour to discuss the difference between "hair" and "fur".

In most instances, these terms tend to be used interchangeably, and that's because hair and fur are essentially the same thing. Well, almost. The difference lies in the growing cycle of the coat. Some dogs make and replace hair quickly, causing noticeable shedding, while other dogs have much longer cycles that replace hair at a less noticeable rate. It's commonly accepted that dogs with long coat cycles that shed less are referred to as having "hair", while dogs with short cycles and more shedding are referred to as having "fur".

Is Hair Hypoallergenic?

We can think of "hair" as having hypoallergenic qualities and "fur" as being less so. While all dogs shed, people with pet allergies tend to fare better with animals who shed at a slower rate. That's because the things they're allergic to - saliva and dander from the pet - aren't as abundant with a low-shedding animal.
While the term “hypoallergenic” does describe the rate at which hair sheds, it doesn’t actually describe one type of hair look or feel. Breeds including Poodles, Maltese and Schnauzers all qualify as hypoallergenic breeds, even though their hair types are very different.
Although a hypoallergenic pet takes some of the work out of owning a pet, with regular grooming and cleaning, you can significantly reduce allergens, whether you have a Yorkie or a Dachshund.
Check out this complete list of low-shedding dog breeds here.

Fur & Hair Types

Dog coats can be long, short, soft, wiry, thick, fine or a combination of these. But no matter the coat's look and feel, it'll fall into two broad main categories: single- or double-coat.

Single Layer Coats

A single coat consists of, well, only one coat. Single-coat dogs lack an undercoat and experience a longer hair growth cycle, which makes them less prone to shedding. However, that doesn't preclude them from experiencing mats and tangles. On the contrary, because of their extended hair growth cycle, single-coat dogs, particularly those with curly hair, really need to be washed frequently and treated for tangles proactively.
Avoid shaving dogs with single layer coats, as this makes them much more susceptible to sunburns. Their top coat is all they have to protect themselves from the elements, and even just ten minutes of unprotected sun exposure can result in burns for a single-coated dog that's been shaved.

Double Layer Coats

Double coats consist of a top layer and bottom layer, referred to as the "undercoat".   The undercoat consists of a denser set of hairs that are designed to provide insulation for both winter and summer months.
Many dogs sport an undercoat, including Labradors, Pomeranians, Huskies, Schnauzers, Collies and Corgis.

Although the undercoat can become too thick and is prone to tangling, it should only be managed with brushing. Dogs with double-layer coats should never be shaved for a couple of reasons:

1. The undercoat assists in cooling, just as it does in insulating. Shaving it robs your dog of his ability to control his body temperature.
2. Shaving a dog with an undercoat compromises UV protection. This can easily expose him to sunburns and even put him at risk for skin cancer.
3. Once shaved, a double-layer coat might grow back improperly.

Dogs with an undercoat will need a slicker brush or pin brush for to effectively remove loose hair, and a wide-toothed comb to brush out longer hair or comb out any knots.

Let’s break single- and double-layer coats down even further by their other hair characteristics. 

Smooth Coats

Dogs with smooth coats may or may not have undercoats, however, if an undercoat is present, it's and Weimaraners. While dogs with smooth coats require very little daily brushing in order to prevent tangles, a regular bathing and brushing routine will ensure the removal of loose hairs, debris and dead skin cells. Keeping shedding to a minimum will reduce the incidence of allergies, and prevention with smooth-haired dogs is key since their pointed hairs tend to get lodged in bedding, sofas and other fabrics. People with dog allergies may also notice skin irritations from smooth-haired dogs.
minimal and very easy to care for. Popular dogs with this hair type include Beagles, Boxers, Bulldogs

Wire Coats

Regular shampooing and conditioning will keep your dog's hair soft, unless he has a wire coat. Wire coats, also sometimes called "broken" coats, are intended to be rough and bristly. There are a range of common breeds that sports wire hair, including various types of terriers, the Affenpinscher and the Brussels Griffon.

Using a slicker brush for wire coats will help to remove tangles and capture any loose undercoat, or you can use a shedding comb for more reach and control. Using de-shedding tools will thin the wiry coat to proactively prevent tangles and mats; brush the coat in layers from the skin outward to get the most out of your grooming sessions.

Curly Coats

The curls that make up a curly coat can be dense and tight, such as on a curly coated Retriever or
Poodle, or wavy and soft, as is the case with Portuguese Water Dogs. While these breeds don't tend to shed much and are therefore considered hypoallergenic, some of them do have an undercoat that's prone to tangling.

Regular brushing is essential for all curly coated breeds, whether they have an undercoat or not. Gently using a slicker brush will remove excess undercoat hairs, while also preventing inevitable tangles from forming. If your curly dog has tangles, use a de-matting comb in combination with Knot Anymore detangling spray to make brushing easier and much less painful for you both.

To maintain curly hair and keep it soft and manageable for daily brushing, give your dog the royal treatment! Our Royal Treatment shampoos and conditioners contain gentle detanglers, botanical moisturizers, and Moroccan Argan oil.
Try the Royal Treatment repair masque for one of a kind deep-conditioning that's designed to rebuild your dog's coat from within.
Using a blow dryer to fluff the hair outward to shape it will keep your dog's look fresh for longer.

Long Coats

The term "long coat" can encompass a wide range of dog hair, from coarse to silky; double and single. What ultimately makes a long coat long is that is drops from the body. Picture the Maltese, the Aghan Houd or the Lhasa Apso.
Long-haired dog breeds can make grooming more challenging, particularly with the wrong products, but there's simply nothing more luxurious and attention-grabbing than a stunning dog with a gorgeous mane. To keep your dog's coat long and beautiful, proper and regular grooming with high-quality products is absolutely essential.

Our selection of SHOW Premium shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, masques, keratin and silk treatments were designed after years of our personal experience with inferior products that led us to question not only the efficacy but also the safety of many bath products on the market.
We sought to create products that provide the same results you've come to expect from your own line of hair care, and vowed never to sacrifice our commitment to using 100 percent non-toxic ingredients.

Brush your long-haired dog with a pin brush to prevent hairs from splitting and thinning, and a slicker brush or detangling comb to systematically brush the hair in layers from the skin out.