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The Great Bi-Annual Moult!!

Keri Squibb

I got up this morning and my son said to me 'Mum, Willow is moulting, there is fur everywhere in my bedroom' Now, she isn't meant to be upstairs but everyone in the house knows she sneaks up over night, the first thing you hear when you get up in the morning is her, running down the stairs and hopping over the stairgate into the dogs room!! She thinks we don't know! But today the evidence was clearer than ever! Hence the blog about moulting!
​Contrary to popular belief there are actually quite a lot of dogs that either don't shed, or are less disposed to it, and its not just poodles and poodle crosses. This isn't the time to be talking about them however.
Willow is a good old fashioned collie cross, she has a typical double coat that sheds every spring and autumn. Its several weeks of hair everywhere and comes out in handfuls. You might find the same if you have a double coat or a smooth coat to greater or lesser degrees, so this includes a huge variety from german shepherds and huskies right down to pugs and Chihuahuas. If you've got one of these coats you will know about it.

​You have 3 choices here really, put up with it and do nothing, which will result in you having more hair around the house than you really need, it also has the potential to cause your dog a lot of discomfort. If your dog has a really thick coat the hair does not always come out easily. Instead it gets more and more impacted on the dog, which is then hotter for your dog and harder to manage in the long run. And then when you do try and deal with it the whole experience is not at all nice for your dog.

The next option is to hand it over to a groomer, preferably before it gets to the impacted stage, they can bath and use a high powered blaster on him/her (providing the dog will accept it). This is fantastic at lifting out all the dead hair. It generally looks like its snowing fur at the time and is a nightmare to clear up  and your poor groomer often wears a weird contraption of a mosquito net hooked over a baseball cap to stop inhaling half a dog but it works! This will be followed (or sometimes before the bath) by a really good rake out of the remaining dead hair, It wont stop the moulting but it will drastically reduce the quantity and your dog may well come back half the size if its a big fluffy :)

​The third option (or can be combined with option 2) is to really make an effort to keep on top of it at home, and with the right tools it really does not have to be time consuming.

​The picture is Willow and a pile of fur to the right of her. This took me 5 mins - literally, With a coat king and a slicker brush. So doing that 2 or 3 times a week can really transform your dog/home balance!! A word of warning with the coat king though.. use sparingly as you can over do it and take too much out!

I know lots of people will ask what tools to use, its not that straightforward to be fair as it very much depends on the coat but your main options are a straightforward rake which is fantastic on german shepherds and those that have huge tufts of fur hanging out. A coat king ( I use a Groom Professional Medium) is better for getting out general undercoat on double coats but not short hairs. Short hairs such as labs can benefit from a rubber grooming glove or I like the groom buddys too. I can't find these on sale to the general public but I bought mine at Crufts. It may be a case of trial and error, I am fortunate that I can try several things for my clients and use what works best but I've not found a cut and dried formula that works for each breed unfortunately.
​So .. in a nut shell.. a few minutes spent grooming your dog will quite probably save you a lot more time hoovering in the next few weeks.. plus they will love you for it :)

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