How to properly maintain your Pomsky / American Shepherd?

Pomsky blue eyes

When buying a dog, whether it has long, medium or short hair, it's important to think about maintaining your Pomsky / American Shepherd. This is essential for their well-being. In this article, we will discuss important points such as the risks of un-groomed fur for your dog, the frequency of grooming, the equipment needed, the technique, and bathing.

What are the risks of poor grooming for your dog?

If your dog doesn't receive proper grooming, such as not being brushed correctly or not at all, they are at risk of developing matting, which is dead hair that remains close to the dog's skin. If matting is left for too long, it can turn into knots, which can prevent the skin from breathing.

This can lead to dandruff and dry skin. If your dog's skin remains matted for a long time, it can cause significant long-term skin problems.

Why groom your Pomsky / American Shepherd in both summer and winter?

In the summer, the main reason is that your dog can get hot. If matting or knots are spread all over their body, it prevents proper temperature regulation, and no matter what measures you take to cool them down, they will still suffer from the heat.

In the winter, if you walk your dog in the rain, the matting and knots will prevent your dog from drying properly, and they will feel cold for a longer period of time.

Here are some tips to avoid these unpleasant and potentially harmful issues for your dog's health:

How often should you groom your Pomsky / American Shepherd?

The ideal frequency is to have a good grooming session once a week for long-haired and medium-haired Pomskies and American Shepherds with thick fur. Your dog will find it pleasant if it's done regularly, as knots won't have time to form. Just like us, it's not a pleasant experience for them to have knots removed.

For shorter-haired Pomskies and American Shepherds in general, grooming can be done every two weeks if you're short on time.

It's also important to pay attention to shedding periods, especially in Pomskies, where the fur tends to produce more dead hair, resulting in matting and knots forming more quickly. Shedding periods in dogs occur during significant temperature changes at the beginning of winter and summer.

What equipment should you use to groom your Pomsky / American Shepherd?

The equipment used is also an important point to consider because with the wrong tools, grooming your pet will be ineffective. You don't need professional-grade equipment. You just need what's called a slicker brush and a comb.

Be careful, most pet stores will try to sell you a furminator. While it's true that it removes a lot of hair, you may feel like you're brushing your dog effectively, but in reality, it cuts the undercoat and damages the fur. It was designed exclusively for short fur and is therefore not suitable for Pomskies and American Shepherds.

It's important to have the right equipment, but how do you use it?

The best technique for detangling your Pomsky or American Shepherd is to start with the slicker brush to remove as many tangles as possible. However, the slicker brush won't be able to remove everything. You will then need to use a comb, which may seem time-consuming for you and your dog, but this technique will help you tackle all the matting and knots.

Regarding the technique, you should gently lift the fur with one hand to see the skin and separate the coat into two parts. Then, with your other hand, brush against the skin in the direction of the fur.

Obviously, you shouldn't press too hard, but simply stroking your dog with the brush won't be effective either. You need to use energetic and confident strokes.

Brushing should be done all over the body, not just on certain parts. It's important to brush thoroughly everywhere, including the tips of the paws, as some dogs may have matting in unexpected areas.

Once the brush has been passed all over, it's time for the comb to do its job, using the same motion as with the brush to remove any remaining tangles.

When you encounter a knot, use only the comb. The goal is to remove the knot with the least amount of discomfort for your dog, so it's important to be patient and gentle. Always go back to the knot and slide it from the skin to the end of the fur without pulling on it abruptly.

Once the entire body has been combed, the brushing is finished!

Don't forget the small areas: the inside of the paws, the armpits, behind the ears, and under the tail. These are often overlooked during brushing.

Tips for bathing

Taking care of your Pomsky/American Shepherd also involves maintaining their cleanliness. For bathing, once every 6 months is usually sufficient, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as a dog with skin issues requiring monthly specialized shampoo treatment, or a clever one who rolled around in anything and everything during a walk.

However, always remember to brush your dog before bathing. Water tends to tighten knots, making brushing more difficult afterwards.

For shampoos, I recommend the Bawaw brand, which offers natural shampoos ideal for revitalizing the coat. Here's the link to their shampoo range: bawaw
Never use your own shampoo on your dog. It's essential to use products that are specifically formulated for dogs, as their skin is much more sensitive than ours.

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Article written by Lola Chatel.

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