Your Shetland sheepdog Cody regards brushing and coat maintenance as a waste of his time. He’d much rather visit his friends at the dog park, and top off his day by exploring the brush and leaves in your nearby woods. When Cody finally gets home, his coat is tousled and sprinkled with leaf debris and burrs. While he doesn’t care, your Welland veterinarian has emphasized the importance of keeping Cody’s coat in good shape. Ignoring Cody’s protests, you pick up your brush to begin your damage control.
Brushing Cody regularly helps you identify body changes that can indicate a medical problem. Perhaps Cody has developed a strange rash or has gotten a nasty abrasion from his adventures. Maybe he’s picked up a tick (or two) that can easily hide in a dense, matted pile of fur. Most importantly, running your eyes and hands over Cody’s skin allows you to pinpoint lumps or bumps that weren’t there a few days ago. These discoveries call for your vet’s prompt investigation.
While Cody doesn’t complain much, his tangled coat must cause him discomfort as it pulls on his skin. If you’ve missed a deep-down clump of fur and debris, it has probably become a dense mat that will be tough to remove with your brush and comb. Also, since it rained today, that mat has essentially morphed into a solid furry mass. Because you’ll cause Cody serious pain by removing the nasty mat, your groomer will likely need to shave it out during Cody’s next grooming appointment.
Cody’s coat is probably full of loose hair and dead skin cells, leading to serious itching if those irritants aren’t removed. Now let’s throw in some yard debris and some wayward fleas, who might jump on Cody before they’re repelled or killed by his flea control medication. Cody just wants his coat to feel better, and to get some nice beneficial skin oils spread along his hair shafts. A nice thorough brushing will accomplish those goals.
Generally speaking, if you’ve got lots of Cody’s fur on your brush, less fur is accumulating on your furniture and carpet. If you’ve got allergies, less fur might reduce your risk of a symptom flare-up. Cody’s nicely brushed coat will also win you some brownie points with your Welland vet. Cody’s groomer will probably jump for joy, as you’ve made her job much easier.