MYTH,"I know Buffy (Old English Sheepdog) has to be shaved but don't cut the hair over her
eyes, Her breed is sensitive to light...You do know this don't you?"
spinning, Wanting to pull on my hair. And the attempt to seperate fact from
fiction begins with Buffy's mom.(Submitted by Kym...Good one Kym!)
MYTH .... My dog needs to grow a long coat in winter to stay warm, if it gets matted I
should just wait till spring to have him groomed.
FACT......Your dog grows a "thicker" coat in the winter to keep warm. Letting it
grow longer (unless he's kept outdoors for long periods of time) is unnecessary, and in that case,
he should be groomed as often as possible.
Matts absorb water which can take hours
or even days to dry out, thus making him MORE susceptible to chilling, and illness, than he would
be if the coat were somewhat shorter, matt free, and dry.
MYTH ....My pets "natural" coat is 6 inches long, and drags the ground wherever he/she walks.
FACT ...This is not "natural" coat. It took years of careful, planned
breeding to develop these types of coats.
This was done for the purpose of
"showing" these breeds, and they are about as "manmade"as it is possible to get them.
In the wild state your pets coat would be nothing like this.
(He/she probably wouldn't be able to survive if it was) And, there are several of reasons, why!
(1) As large matts pull down tighter and tighter on heavy coated dogs they can also begin to
pull the skin, and then the dogs frame into an akward position making it difficult for them to walk,
much less run from a predator.
(2)Matted hair around the eyes makes it difficult to impossible for them to see.
(3) Flies are attracted to dirty matted areas around the tail, and like to lay their eggs there.
The resulting maggots eat the flesh of the dog in those areas right down to the bone, and even
enter into the lower intestinal tract and eat holes there also. The results are fatal if not caught
Notice: If you plan to Board your pet over the Holidays!!
Many boarding facilities offer a "Free" bath as part of their service. On the surface
this might look like a really good deal, but what you should know is that if you have a long haired
pet "the surface" may be all they plan to take care of. (This happens in Veterinary Hospitals also!!)
In some facilities they may only "top wash" top dry"
and "top brush" your pet , just under that freshly polished looking exterior there will be matts,
moisture, and skin trouble lurking.
The remedy for this is to ask what the policy is for long haired pets and offer to pay whatever extra is needed to have your pet thoroughly
brushed and combed both before and after the bath takes place. If they are unable
or unwilling to do this, ask them to give you a "credit" off your bill for the bath and keep it. You and your
pet will be better off without it!
If you got a long haired puppy for Christmas. (Particularly if it's a Chow puppy)
Please, please, please, check it's collar regularly to see if it's too tight!!
Sometimes these pups grow so fast you don't realize they've outgrown the collar.
The collar then becomes imbedded in the flesh, and a horrible infection sets in.
This can be fatal also if not caught soon enough!
Subject: Electronic Fence Collars
You mentioned watching that a puppy doesn't outgrow his collar, esp.
in long haired breeds.
Can't tell you how many Chow, Sheltie, Malamute, even an overgrown
Cocker or two, have come into the shop with owners complaining of a
"smell". On examination, we find the prongs from electronic fence
collars embedded in the neck. Sometimes all the way in, but usually
just a little (hate those things!) The smell they noticed is caused
by open, infected sores. We usually recommend they keep the area
shaved and CHECK IT ONCE IN A WHILE to be sure the fit is correct.
An electronic fence is better than no fence, certainly. But on dogs
with long hair a little caution is required.
Michelle R. Pitts
Subject: Rubber bands on dog muzzles !
Over the years I have on several occasions had dogs come in with rubber
bands deeply embedded around the muzzle. The rubber band had been there
so long that it had cut down into the flesh and gums of the dogs mouth.
Kids thought it was funny to watch the dog "bubblegumming " its mouth in
an effort to get it off. As kids do, they forgot and left the rubber band
on. The owners could'nt see it down in the hair of the dogs face and were
unaware of the problem. I found the problem when attempting to shave the
dogs face. In every instance the rubber band had to be surgically removed
and the dog was suffering from malnutrition due to the difficulty in
eating. Children should be strictly deterred from this dangerous game for
the safety of the pet.
This has happened to two different dogs. I put bows on all my dogs, attached
with the little grooming rubber bands, and after the dog gets them out at
home, the client's child has tried to put them back on by putting the whole
rubber band around the dogs ear. Both were miniature poodles, and both times
it resulted in the bottom of the ear actually 'dying' and falling off.
Obviously the owner didn't brush out the dog's ears regularly so they didn't
notice the problem until it was too late. I now warn all my clients with
children to check the bows if they leave them in very long. Needless to say,
on those two client cards there are notations saying 'no bows'....PupGrmr1@aol.com
MORAL OF THE STORY: If you re-attach bows at home, be SURE you are attaching to
HAIR ONLY, not skin!