Skin and coat care for dogs is considerably more specialised than you may think. The anatomical differences between individual dog breeds are significant – and the same diversity applies to skin and coats. For example, if you were to compare a Newfoundlander with a Chihuahua, the differences soon become apparent. The Newfoundlander: large with a relatively thick skin, a long topcoat and a dense undercoat. The Chihuahua: small with rather thin and sensitive skin, as well as a fine topcoat and almost no undercoat.
The skin structure in dogs
Besides the lack of sweat glands, one other significant difference as compared to human skin lies in the pH-value. Different mammals also have different pH-values. The average pH-value of a dog’s skin is 7.5, which is in the alkaline range, whereas the pH-value of human skin is in the acidic range at 5.0. Therefore, it is important to use a shampoo that is adapted to the specific requirements of a dog’s skin and that has a pH-value of approx. 7.0-7.5. This is the only way to preserve the protective function of the skin’s hydrolipid film, which means irritations can be actively avoided, even with frequent washing.
The hair and coat structure in dogs
A dog’s coat basically consists of a topcoat and an undercoat (downy hair). The thicker and coarser topcoat protects against dirt and moisture, while the downy hair mainly serves to regulate heat. The particular characteristics differ greatly depending on the breed. We can divide our dogs into 3 main groups, with each exhibiting its own peculiarities and special requirements:
- SHORT HAIR / SMOOTH COAT
Short hair has a very short lifespan of ca. 6-12 weeks, sheds and is replaced with new hair. Eg. Boxers, Viszlas, Dobermans
- WIRY HAIR / ROUGH COAT
Several layers of top hair and a layer of relatively short undercoat. Eg. Jack Russells, Wire-Haired Dachshunds, Schnauzers, Airedale Terriers
3.STOCKHAIR / LONG COAT
In spring and autumn, these animals normally go through a coat-shedding period lasting several weeks. Eg. Sheepdogs, Huskies, Bearded Collies, Tibetan Terriers
Why individual care products for dogs?
The structure of skin and hair of humans and dogs are very similar. However do dogs have special demands on their care. There are important differences even between the different breeds.
- Dogs have different needs to humans due to:
– different skin types
– different hair types
- Hunde haben andere Ansprüche als wir Menschen aufgrund:
– a different skin structure
– the alkaline pH-value of the skin