Your pets coat is the first line of defence against many diseases and is also a good indicator of their general health. In the human, for example, nails are an excellent and quick indicator of diet and health.
A dog or cat's coat will consist of two kinds of hair: the protective 'guard' hair and the fine heat preserving 'down' hair.
When grooming your pet the object is to remove the dead hair, stimulate the growth of new hair, clean the living hair and to stimulate the oil producing glands in the skin. Different breeds of cats and dogs require different grooming schedules, but whether short hair or long hair, it is up to us to monitor and maintain our pets coat, besides which, grooming creates a wonderful bond of trust between pet and owner.
The tools of the grooming trade need to reach and remove dead hair both at 'down' level and at the 'guard' level. The tools also needs to gently stimulate the skin by not causing any pain. The most effective way of doing this is by grooming with something like the FURminator (pictured above) or, fine and wide toothed combs and slicker brushes. These tools reach both layers, removing dead hair selectively and are purrrfect for shedding that winter coat.
Many people think that machine clipping their pet during the summer will keep them cool. This is not totally correct. Machine clipping deals with the length of the hair, it does not remove the dead winter coat underneath. Your pet will still suffer from the heat. The best way to help them shed their winter coat is to use something like the FURminator or the combs and slicker brushes mentioned above. This will also help keep your household fur free!