Keeping the hair under control when you have a spayed or neutered Cavalier is the biggest part of the job. Using the right tools can make all the difference in the world.
For daily brushing, use a medium sized slicker brush. This will help remove dead hair and prevent knots from forming. Use a 16 blade stripper to strip out the dead coat on a regular basis. Use the stripper like a rake, and use in a smooth, steady motion from the back of the skull to the croup. A stripper is meant to be used on the “jacket” of the coat, not on the ears, leg fringes or tail feathers. Finish work should be done with a pin brush, smoothing the topcoat and ears.
Wash your Cavalier’s face daily with a damp washcloth, and wipe away tear stains with Kleen Face tear stain remover. Check ears for any sign of redness or irritation. Check teeth for tartar buildup. Brush your Cavalier’s teeth three or four times a week with canine toothpaste. You might consider adding Pro-Dental solution to the drinking water. This will retard the accumulation of tartar and plaque.
Nails should be trimmed every ten days to two weeks to keep them neat. Try using an old knee-high stocking to poke the nails through, and hold back the slipper hair. This will make nail trimming or grinding much easier. Clipper the hair out of the “Y” of the foot pad with either a narrow clippers or blunt tipped scissors. Do not “dig” the hair out from between the toes, simply cut that hair level with the toe pads. Keeping the hair trimmed on the foot pad will improve your Cavalier’s traction on all flooring surfaces, and prevent the foot from splaying out.
Bathing is also much easier with the proper products for a Cavalier’s haircoat. Use the enzyme whitening shampoo to gently remove dirt and oil, and whiten and brighten stained areas. Wet the dog thoroughly with warm, not hot, water. Be sure to remove any knots or tangles before you get the dog wet. Wetting a tangle will set it in. Apply the shampoo to a nylon bath puff, and then to the dog. This will prevent removing essential oils from the skin. Stroke the shampoo onto the coat, taking care to apply the shampoo in the same direction the coat grows. Rinse, rinse, rinse to remove all traces of the shampoo. Apply HyLyt Crème Rinse with essential fatty acids to nourish and protect the coat. Leave in for five minutes, then rinse, rinse, rinse. Blot dry with a big, absorbent bath towel, never scrub the hair!
Gently brush the towel dried hair with a pin brush in the direction the hair grows. Slip on a custom drying coat and dry the hair through the drying coat with a warm, never hot, hair dryer. Take care to move the dryer frequently, so you do not burn sensitive skin. You must dry the coat thoroughly if you want it to stay straight and flat. It would not be unusual to spend an hour drying an adult Cavalier. Remove the drying coat when the hair is dry, and finish brushing with a Mason Pierson brush for a smooth shine. Once your Cavalier is groomed, be sure to use a snood to protect their ears when eating or going for a walk!
The products and tools bolded in this article are those that I use and recommend. They may be purchased from my retail website, Pampered Pups Extraordinaire. The link is below. They may be found on the Show Supplies & Health Care page.
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