Caring For Your German Shepherd's Coat

A German Shepherd's coat requires little time spent on grooming. The german shepherd's coat is double layered, with the outer layer composed of medium-length, coarse hair that provides protection from bushes and ground and an undercoat that is soft and dense that keeps the dog warm and protected from sunlight.

Proper care for a German Shepherd's coat starts with a good diet. Feeding your dog high quality food is very important to keep your dog looking healthy. High protein, high fat kibble or well-prepared chicken, lamb or beef are great for this.

If you choose to make your own dog food, though, take some care to get the right balance of components necessary.

Dogs have relatively straight stomachs, not like humans. That means they don't easily digest vegetable matter, which take a long time to break down. Wheat, corn and other plant material should make up a very small portion of the total.

Once you have a good diet in place, you can look at your grooming program.

Brushing the German Shepherd's coat twice a week is needed in order to keep skin oils well distributed and undo tangles in hair near the skin. This helps remove dead hair and skin cells and keeps the skin well aerated.

A standard metal rake-style brush or slicker is a good tool, provided it's properly used. But supplement that with other types of brush, as well. Take care not to scrape the skin and create lesions.

Brushing should be done against the direction of the hair to get up any matted areas, followed by brushing in the direction of growth. Using a variety of brushes will help cover all the areas.


Bathing a German Shepherd's Coat

Bathing intervals vary considerably depending on where you live and the dog's typical routine. If you live in very dusty conditions, such as a ranch or farm, once a month or more may be required for optimal health. Even living in some cities can mean there's enough grime in the air to warrant a regular bath.

In a typical suburban neighborhood every two or three months may be enough. Don't over do the bathing or you'll reduce the dog's ability to produce natural oils needed for his coat.

Proper shampoo selection is important. German Shepherds, like many other breeds, can be sensitive to wheat or exhibit other evidence of an allergic reaction.

A good oatmeal shampoo can provide soothing relief. But those do build up material on the hair quicker, so bathing will need to be more frequent. A good aloe shampoo can also help with this problem.

With regular care your German Shepherd's coat can be kept healthy and beautiful.

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