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Can my grooming routine affect my dog's skin?

in a short answer, yes, how you groom your dog has a huge effect on the skin. from the water temperature in the bath, how you use a hair dryer, what grooming brushes you choose to use, your brushing

technique, and the biggest impact of all is what you put on their skin. You must look at a shampoo or conditioner as a chemical, and consider its effects and benefits.


What we wash our dogs with is the most important part. Does the shampoo support our dog's skin type? How do we know what skin type our dog has? Are natural products as effective? Will it help rebalance his skin?

Strong chemicals can have dramatic results but also have a dramatic effect on the skin. If they dry the skin out too much or suffocate the skin, the lipid layer will struggle to return. If the skin is damaged, bacteria can make their way in and before long you have some type of dermatitis causing itching and irritation.

Natural products are more sustainable to produce, far more gentle on your dog's skin and your own, and when you wash off your dog, the grey water going down the drain won't harm the environment.

The power of plants - oils, berries, leaves, and flowers - can be incredibly effective, and with the right blend of ingredients, you can gently clean the skin while helping the lipid layer repair itself. The beneficial properties of these raw materials can naturally soothe itching, nourish dry skin, and regulate grease production - all working in harmony with your dog's skin.

learn more about the power of plants here

Products that rely on harsh chemicals have a damaging effect on the environment. While they produce spectacular cleaning results, when they get washed down the drain, they don't stop cleaning. They often have a hugely damaging effect on aquatic life, and some chemicals can even change the hormone levels in aquatic organisms, which can cause a variety of health problems, including damaging their ability to reproduce.

different breeds and coat types

Depending on the breed of our dogs some breeds need more management than others depending on their coat type. Labradors and smooth-coated jack russl are easy to maintain, they don't get matted, they don't have skin folds, and they shed their fur easily (often constantly!) sometimes these breeds get older and their hormones change with age they struggle to shed their fur by themselves then some regular brushing and bathing will help them feel better.

intertrigo or skin fold dermatitis is very common and due to the breeding, the only thing you can do is to help maintain the condition with good management.

learn more about intertrigo here

You may have an anagen coat type which means hair that grows constantly but doesn't shed. This coat type needs regular brushing and trimming, depending on how well you can maintain your dog between visits to a professional groomer and how well your dog copes with being groomed you can keep them as fluffy as you like or as short as you like! If you don't maintain the coat regularly they will easily become matted. With the wooly anagen type, like the wonderful cockapoo, they can become matted on the skin and the last inch of hair looks fine and when your stroke them the matts feel like skin so its often a shock for owners when the dog groomer has shaved them short! It's so important to not let your dog get matted, the skin stretches and moves, and the matted hair pulls the skin tight in all directions and prevents this flexibility, making your dog uncomfortable and sore. It is the reason once dogs start to matt they don't like to be brushed. If you persist with ‘brushing out matts’ you WILL hurt your dog and understandably they will fear being groomed. Sever matts can also add extreme pressure to the skin and limit blood circulation. The most common issue seen with this is a hematoma in the ears. Heamatomes are a pool of blood caused by broken capillaries and blood vessels, this is a direct result of the strain and pressure caused by matts. The ear leathers are very thin and as hair grows on every part of the ear as it matts, pulling the skin as tight as possible in every direction it causes severe internal bruising to the ear, once the matts are clipped off the blood rushes back into the ear and the ear will start to swell after grooming and be very painful for your dog. Also keeping the skin and hair clean on a matted dog is impossible. So if you have a dog breed with a coat type like this do contact your local dog groomer, book in for regular professional grooming, and ask for help on brushing techniques, advice on what brush to buy, and advice on regular maintenance. Remember humanity over vanity! Fluffy cute dogs do look adorable but it's only fair on your dog to keep them like that if you can keep them matt free.

Some dogs struggle to clean themselves, sometimes this is because of their conformation, they just can't reach certain parts of their body to keep themselves clean, this is where you come in to help maintain clean happy healthy skin. Remember the skin type we have discussed, use natural gentle products that are subtle for your individual dog.

extra help?

At Berries and Leaves, we offer skincare consultations where you fill in a questionnaire and then have a consultation about different management for your pet, dog, cat, or horse, you will be given suitable advice for your dogs breed, coat and skin type and grooming management. We also have a digital quiz to help you understand your pets skin type

We are big fans of natural products and feel nature can provide everything we need. All our products are made from 100% natural ingredients which are carefully selected to work this skin type and to be gentle when cleaning, rising off, and supporting the skin. We have a range of shampoos that will be the best for your pet's skin type, all low foaming and easy to rinse out, all the plant properties chosen are designed to work with that skin type to help restore and repair skin and hair. We have skin masks that clean and purify the skin while working their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal magic and skin recovery balms to protect and recover the skin.


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