If I asked you what is the largest organ in the body would you know?
You might perhaps be thinking Liver? Spleen? Lungs?
Would you be surprised to learn that it is, in fact, the skin!
Skin has some pretty amazing properties. It keeps dirt out and moisture in. Its capable of absorbing nutrients as well as toxins from the atmosphere above it and the body below it. It comprises three layers and contains miniature erectile muscles, sebaceous glands, blood vessels, fat, hair follicles and sweat glands.
The hair or fur grows from the centre layer of the skin and out through the top layer. Unhealthy skin will therefore produce unhealthy hair.
Whilst there are similarities between your hair and your dog's hair, there are some vital differences too.
The outer layer of the skin is called the epidermis in both species; however, whilst the human epidermis is 25 cells thick on average, your dog's is only 8-10.
So your dog's skin twice as SENSITIVE as yours.
Hairs grow from a pocket called a follicle in the second layer of the skin which is called the dermis. There are Simple Follicles which grow a single hair. Your dog has simple follicles producing single hairs, they're called whiskers. Humans have Simple Follicles too, and that's where we grow our hair from no matter where it grows on your body.
But dogs ALSO have Compound Follicles, which grow one long guard hair and several finer hairs from the same pocket. These fine hairs twist round each other and tangle. Add some mud or other debris to the mix and you have the start of a matt. Not all Compound Follicles are equal. In some breeds there is one guard hair and two or three filament like hairs. Some of the Miniature Labradoodles and other poodle crosses however, have one guard hair and 10+ filament hairs. These coats are very dense, very soft and very likely to tangle up at the drop of a hat.
Not all hair is the same
As you have probably noticed, there are two quite distinct types of coat in the dog world.
Hair bearing dogs are those dogs with a coat that grows to a finite length, then stops, like a German Shepherd, Beardie, Boxer or Labrador. These dogs shed. A Lot.
Fur bearing dogs have a coat that does not stop growing. Poodles, Bichons and all their associated cross breeds are good examples of this; with the exception of "Scruffy" coated Labradoodles. Fur bearing dogs also shed. But these dogs have fine filaments that prevent the hair leaving the coat so easily. It has to be brushed and combed out or the result is a matted mess that needs to be shaved down and started again.
Not all groomers are the same
There are of course, groomers who know this and groomers that don't. There are groomers who use Fairy Washing Up Liquid - because its cheap and groomers who research their products and review them regularly.
I admit, I've been a shampoo-junkie for years. I tried just about every professional shampoo on the market, always searching for the best product there was.
After contracting Lyme Disease it became critical that I was not subjecting myself to any more harsh chemicals. I have my hands submerged in shampoo four or five times a day, so what I use has to be absolutely the highest quality and gentlest shampoo on the market, but it still has to get the dog clean.
Wildwash have spent the last 10 years slowly and patiently developing what we believe to be the best pet shampoo range in the world. They have been awarded the 3 Star Certification from ASCAS.
Their products are 100% Natural and will cause no disruption, damage or pollution to our environment, ourselves or our pets. They contain no Parabens, Phthalates, Phosphates, Sulfates or PEGS. Their products have AT NO STAGE been tested on animals, are Organic, Fair Trade and GMO Free.
The base of their products is made from soybean oil, to which they have added Neem Extract, Sea Kelp and Aloe Vera.
They have blended a range of shampoos to deal with every kind of coat - as you've read above, not all dogs are equal!
Just for example, their product for Dry Itchy Coats and Skin includes Lavender, Manuka Leaf, Ylang Ylang, Rose Geranium, Pachoulie and Benzoin. ... You can already imagine how heavenly these products smell.