Afghan Hounds are renowned for their gorgeous, long, silky coats, and if you choose an Afghan as a pet, you'll need to be prepared to put in some serious grooming time to keep your dog's coat in good condition. It's sensible to invest in the services of a good mobile dog grooming service to regularly bathe and groom your Afghan Hound, but it's also important that you keep on top of things between visits.
Here are some helpful grooming tips for first time Afghan Hound owners.
When to groom
Ideally, you should groom your Afghan Hound twice a week to help prevent their coat from becoming tangled and matted.
However, after every walk, check your dog over thoroughly for bits of bramble, twigs and leaves that could have become tangled in their coat. Pay particular attention to areas such as their tummy, between the back legs, and in the armpits, as these places are very susceptible to picking up debris as the dog moves through overgrown vegetation.
Remove items that have become stuck in the hair by very gently pulling the individual strands loose and gradually teasing the offending item free. It often helps to spray on a small amount of coat dematting conditioner. This makes the coat super-slippery and much easier to untangle.
Everything you'll need to groom your dog can be obtained from good pet supplies stores. Ask your dog groomer for brand-specific recommendations.
General grooming tips
- It's very important that you invest in the correct grooming tools if the grooming experience is to be enjoyable for both parties. Choose a good-quality pin brush with round-ended pins. Remember that your dog's skin is sensitive; run the brush along the underside of your arm. If it scratches you, choose another.
- If possible, encourage your dog to lie down on their side to be groomed. This is more relaxing for your pet and makes it easier for you to reach tricky areas, such as their tummy and between their back legs.
- Always brush your dog's coat in the direction of growth; brushing in the wrong direction can be painful and irritating for your pet.
- Your dog has delicate skin, so try to avoid pulling the hair through over-zealous brushing. Place your hand against the roots of the hair to hold them in place while you gently and slowly draw the brush through the hairs' length. This stops the roots from pulling on the skin and causing discomfort.
Dealing with mats
From time to time you may find that your Afghan's coat has become matted. This can be a problem especially when your dog is moulting, which usually happens twice a year. Common areas for matting are on the elbows, in the dog's groin area, and inside the front of the ears where grease accumulates.
To deal with mats you'll need:
- Mat splitter: A mat splitter is a very handy tool for cutting through particularly stubborn mats.
- De-mat coat conditioner: A useful detangler to help tackle matted patches of hair.
Start by applying a small amount of conditioner to the matted area and work it well into the hair with your fingers. Try to tease the mat loose with your fingers. If it's particularly dense, you might need to use the mat splitter. To do this, just draw the bladed tool gently through the mat from the centre outwards, working away until the clump of hair is free.
Follow the guidelines above to keep your Afghan Hound's coat looking gorgeous between visits from a professional mobile dog groomer like Foxy's Mobile Dog Washing & Grooming Service.