Coat change in dogs and cats

PETA expert gives tips on animal-friendly personal care

Stuttgart. Hairy early spring for four-legged friends: Which pet owner doesn't know this? As soon as the temperatures rise and the days get longer, dogs and cats lose their warm winter fur. For humans, shedding means an increased amount of animal hair, which can easily be vacuumed away. However, this phase of the year can be quite difficult for four-legged friends and long-haired animals in particular now require extra care and attention. Jana Hoger, specialist for animal companions at PETA, has put together tips to help dogs and cats with their personal hygiene.

“Careful, regular grooming is very important,” says Jana Hoger. “Four-legged friends enjoy the extra portion of affection, the human-animal relationship is strengthened and, as a positive side effect, the apartment remains free of animal hair.”

Brush dogs and cats every day when they change fur: Special combs and brushes primarily remove dead hair and at the same time promote blood circulation in the skin – this speeds up the change. In addition, the combed out fur can then be removed directly from the combing tool and disposed of “free from flying”. There is the right brush for every coat; it is best for pet owners to get advice from a specialist store.

Many dogs and cats find grooming with grooming gloves beneficial: gloves with plastic nubs protect sensitive animal skin and loosen loose hair. This type of care is very close to a massage and is usually very enjoyed by animal companions. The glove is particularly useful for short-haired animals. The following applies to all long-haired four-legged friends: combs and curry combs should not be too sharp, otherwise there is a risk of injury.

Brushing is always carried out in the direction of hair growth from the head downwards towards the body and legs: For animals with thick fur, it is advisable to work your way forward through new partings. Then gradually pull this down from the neck in order to work the fur neatly through to the right and left of the drawn comb line. This way the warming undercoat can be combed out. This type of grooming for long-haired animals is called “line brushing.”

Adding unsaturated fatty acids to pet food can promote skin and hair metabolism: small amounts of oil stimulate hair growth and can help with flaky skin or dry, shaggy fur. Dogs and cats primarily need omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplement, so it is recommended to add linseed oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil and hemp oil to the food on a regular basis. But be careful: too much oil can cause digestive problems.

Pet owners beware: If animals suddenly lose a large amount of hair and suffer from itching in the form of circular hairless areas, pet owners should take their pets to a veterinarian. Triggers can be fungal diseases as well as immunological or hormonal diseases and must be treated.