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Maintaining Your Pets Coat During Covid 19

Maintaining Your Pets Coat During Covid-19

Usually, with any concerns regarding coat problems we would say leave it to the professionals, however during these difficult times, we are aware it may be some time before we can help with a hands-on approach.  However, we can offer our advice and knowledge to keep your pets comfortable while they wait for their next groom.

Smooth and short-coated dogs

Whilst these breeds are not at risk of matting or becoming uncomfortable from their coat, they do benefit from occasional brushing and massaging with a rubber type brush to keep their coat in good condition.

Double coated breeds

These breeds will need frequent attention to ensure their coats are free from dead undercoat and tangles through regular brushing and combing. Without regular brushing and combing, tangles can form mats which can cause discomfort to your pet alongside potential skin problems.

Wool and curly coats

Breeds such as Poodles and Bichon Frise’s have a curly coat with little undercoat.  Which without regular brush and comb maintenance can mat due to friction from harnesses, collars and the curls wrapping around themselves to form very tight mats that are difficult to remove.


As groomers we like to ensure that matting does not become a problem which is why we usually recommend 6-8 weekly grooming appointments as well as home maintenance.  In extreme cases, the coat can become pelted which is when the matting is very tight to the skin.  This type of matting can prevent proper temperature regulation which can cause skin irritation and discomfort.  If not removed the undercoat will continue to grow, adding to the pelting, meaning when brushed you are not able to brush to the skin.

The key to prevention is to regularly brush and comb your pet.

Brushing and combing

Brushing will promote healthy skin, can reduce shedding and prevent mats and tangles.  It also helps keep the coat healthy and can help a groomer and owner locate any potential health problems with their skin such as lumps, warts and parasites.  Brushing stimulates sebaceous glands which then distributes natural oils over the coat and skin.

Bathing and brushing

Undercoat is like cotton wool and will shrink when wet, before bathing, giving your pet a good brush through with a slicker brush is key, it will remove dead undercoat and most tangles which can become tighter once wet. Once brushed use a metal comb to check if it will glide through the coat, start at the skin and move outwards, do this in segments to ensure each area is covered.  If the comb becomes stuck in any one area, use the slicker brush again to break down any tangles. 

Brushing methods/equipment

When brushing the coat always brush in the direction of coat growth in quick light movements.  We do not advise clipping or scissoring your dog at home, please wait for the professionals.  Please remember brushing and combing will result in a good condition coat, we can do anything with a coat in good condition, no matter how long it is.  For home brushing we advise a slicker brush and metal comb, please only use dog shampoo when bathing your dog and ensure that it is one suited to your pets’ skin and coat requirements.

Cat grooming

When maintaining your cats coat a lot of the same rules apply.  Be sure to use a softer brush that will brush the length of your cat’s coat.  Brushing your cat can have lots of benefits including: Fewer hairballs, less shedding, providing an opportunity to check skin and coat for potential issues including fleas, as well as better bonding.  Cats groom each other to build trust and show affection.  If you have an older cat with arthritis or mobility issues, a gentle groom will help them in areas they may no longer be able to get to comfortably

Groomers top tips

  • One tip for reducing matting that is caused by friction is to remove collars and harnesses after a walk.
  • Key areas for matting are backs of the ears, armpits, beards and legs. Spending extra time on brushing these areas is key to mat prevention.
  • Never spend more than 15minutes a time removing tangles from your pet, give lots of breaks to play and use treats to make brushing and combing a positive experience whilst at home.
  • To keep nails from overgrowing, we recommend exercising them on surfaces such as pavements every day. Only clip your dog’s nails if you are experienced and comfortable to do so.

We are really looking forward to seeing you all soon!

About the author

Fenton Vets

Havefordwest Practice

Fenton Vets

21 Portfield, 
Pembrokeshire SA61 1BN


Small Animals:
(01437) 762806
Farm Animals:
(01437) 762511

Pemboke Dock Practice

Fenton Vets

Unit B,
London Road Shopping Mall,
Kingswood Trading Estate,
London Road,
Pembroke Dock,
SA72 4RS


Tel: (01646) 622010

Fenton Veterinary Practice

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If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly veterinary team.