Most groomers will already be in full swing as it comes to prepping dogs for Crufts. However, there’s still time to ensure your pup is looking Best in Show before the most hotly anticipated dog show of the year begins; Stuart Simons, FURminator’s grooming expert reveals his top three tips for success.

1. Feed a high-quality nutrition

It’s important to remember that it’s not only a brush and scissors that will make a dog look great – although this definitely helps! Just like us humans, it’s also hugely dependent on what dogs eat as this is reflected in the health of their skin and coat. That’s why a premium diet with a high-quality protein source and Omega 3 & 6 is essential for maintaining a strong and glossy coat.

2. Embrace your dog’s grooming needs

Grooming is a really important but often overlooked area of pet ownership, and many owners sadly don’t know what type of coat their dog has or how to look after it. Before looking into introducing a grooming routine to your canine companion, you need to understand the difference in coat types to make sure you’re caring for them in the best way.

Some dogs like Poodles or Bichon Frise have hair just like ours. It will grow and grow and therefore needs much more regular attention than a fur-bearing or combination dog will need. Fur-bearing dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, grow to a pre-determined length and then stop, but they also need a lot of attention because they moult – so the trick is to keep on top of the shedding hair to help them look shiny and healthy. Finally, combination coated dogs, such as Cocker Spaniels and Red Setters, need thorough maintenance with their coats being carded or stripped by a professional groomer.

Although dogs, whatever their coat they have, should be in the grooming salon every 4-6 weeks, you can help care for your pet’s skin and coat at home. FURminator has a range of grooming tools including a Grooming Rake, Dual Grooming Brush and Curry Comb perfect for maintaining a strong and healthy coat. What’s more, its undercoat deShedding tool is perfect for use on fur-bearing dogs and when used for 10-20 minutes a week, can reduce loose hair by up to 99 per cent! So, not only will your dog be looking fur-bulous but your house will also be fur free!

3. Get them used to being handled

Handling puppies from an early age is really important in helping them feel comfortable with others, especially groomers, and your breeder should have done this from the beginning, even if for only a few minutes each day. As soon as you get your puppy, you’ll want to get them used to being lifted and held and having various parts of their body touched by you. Make sure your pup is calm and not too excitable to begin with before placing them on your lap. Use this opportunity to begin looking at their ears, mouth and coat remembering to praise them calmly for being good. Over time, you’ll be able to build up these sessions allowing them to feel comfortable and confident when it comes to meeting your groomer.

To learn more about the range and watch live grooming demonstrations for Stuart head over to the EUKANUBA stand in Hall 3, or you can visit www.furminator.net/en and check out FURminator UK on Facebook.

This is a guest essay by Stuart Simons. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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