All Burnt Out?

23 Nov 2018

All Burnt Out Summer

How to Handle and Prevent a Sunburnt Coat.

Summer sun is the bane of all dog show people who have their dogs running outdoors. You can restrict your dog to only allow them to run outdoors at night in the summer, but then you may have the neighbours complaining of someone howling at the moon.

The more outdoorsy your dog is, the harsher the texture the coat will be. The further north in the southern hemisphere or the further south in the northern hemisphere, the harsher the conditions for your coat under the relentless sun. If you allow your dog to sun dry after bathing then the sun will oxidise with the water in the coat and the coat will effectively be peroxided or bleached. Just think of the "surfies" at the beach in the water albeit saltwater, all day - mostly blondes!

The best course is prevention, but even a dehydrated and sunburnt and heat dried out coat can be cosmetically retrieved. The typical signs are a harsh, brittle coat or a coat with split ends flipping up particularly on the topline. Then you will see a black coat turning reddish, a copper coat turning orange/yellow or a gold coat that has paled to insignificance … one does not have to put up with these consequences.

It is not politically correct to colour a coat and heaven knows most would not know where to begin however, clever little things can be done that are not breaking the rules. For those of you who paint and understand the colour wheel this will be readily understood and for those that aren't, just trust me it is so. Purple will negate an unwanted yellow tinge, blue dismisses an orange tinge and green cuts out a red tinge.

Hydration is key to protect and keep your dog’s coat healthy!

Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo with Ginseng is purple toned and cuts out the yellowing in the coat and the blue tones in the colour cut out the orange and the ash tones even outs the reddish glints - perfect! So, now your problem is solved. Just mix up a 50/50 mix of water and shampoo and sponge it on. If the unwanted discolouration is severe, then use the product neat. Do this each time you bath till the new coat comes through. Of course, the whites will have a nice pearl tone to them too.

Plush Puppy Wonder Blok has very similar toning qualities and is also excellent on any ‘warm’ toned areas. Apply and leave on (!*secret is longer is better*!). If possible use the day prior to the full bath and then rinse.

Now we need to soften and seal the cuticle so the coat feels nice and healthy. In the rinse water after conditioning with Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner, use the following mix of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil, 1 tablespoon to a bucket (4L) or a dessertspoon to a bath or hydrobath and Leave in - don’t rinse! This is a wonderful calming and moisturising oil that is based on an old Ayurveda recipe containing Evening Primrose Oil, Calendula Oil and ultra-fine Sesame Seed Oil plus other goodies. This is great for all breeds, all coat types and textures. Remember you can use Seabreeze Oil diluted even on a show bath (each breed is different and dilution rate may be reduced).

For in-between shows, you will need to keep up the moisture especially on the toplines. Use Plush Puppy Reviva Coat, a non-greasy moisturising/conditioning foam. Disperse a golf ball sized amount of Reviva Coat in your hands and apply to the coat. Keep reapplying until you have covered the coat evenly. There is also Plush Puppy Coat Balm which is ultra-light and contains a strong UV filter. The coat balm is a nice finishing cream and great for even single coats such as Maltese. This is also applied to your hands and evenly distributed over the coat.

Those that like to wrap can mix the Reviva Coat and water (1 tbsp. to 300ml warm water) in a spray bottle and allow it to dissolve into the water (hint mix the day before use as this allows the foam and water to mix best). Others can wrap with the Seabreeze Oil, it depends on how intense you want the wrapping mix to be, Seabreeze Oil is heavier. Either use the spray to apply to the coat or mix 1 tbsp. of Seabreeze Oil to 300ml of water, remember to shake this mix constantly when applying to give an even water/Seabreeze mix. Many top winning drape coated breeds owe that to using Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. You will see the depth of colour come back into these coats with the oil and that is the benefit of the moisture content and keeping the cuticle (outer) layer of the hair from opening and letting the colour and moisture out.

So, heat, sun and water are a lethal mix for a coat. Moisturising, conditioning and oiling is the answer. Dogs need muscle tone so they do need to run and romp. Easy for those that live in cooler climates but tough on those that don't. It's not easy preparing and putting the time into a show dog but if you want to be serious about winning, then a good, hydrated coat will win you big points with the judges.

Always remember prevention is so much easier than cure … hydrate your coats for that winning look.

Simon Briggs, Director of Grooming. Plush Puppy Australia