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All Burnt Out

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 moon bathing and only allow them to run outdoors at night but if you have Siberians as we do, then you may have the neighbours complaining of someone howling at the moon. Others crate their dogs and I have seen them lined up like budgies in a cage. Then there are those who just put up with dog hair all over the house and the dogs live indoors.

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 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 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 heavens 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 and the reverse is true too.

Our Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo with Ginseng is purple toned. This cuts out the yellowing in the coat and the blue tones in the colour cut out the orange and the ash tones even out the reddish glints. Voila! So, now your problem is solved. Just mix up a 50/50 mix of water to shampoo and slosh 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.

Now we need to soften the coat so it feels nice and healthy. In the rinse water after conditioning with PP Silk Protein Conditioner, add PP Seabreeze Oil , a tspn to a bucket or a dspn to a bath or hydrobath and rinse though. Leave in. This is a wonderful calming and moisturising oil that is based on an old Ayervedic recipe containing Evening Primrose Oil, Calendula Oil and ultra fine Sesame Seed Oil plus other goodies. Great for oiling Poodles too.

For in-between shows, you will need to keep up the moisture especially on the toplines. Use Plush Puppy Revivacoat, a non greasy moisturising/conditioning foam or our very, new, "about to be released", PP Coat Balm which is also 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.

Those that like to wrap can mix the PP Reviva Coat and water 1 tbspn to 300 mls warm water in a spray bottle and shake. Others can wrap with the PP Seabreeze Oil. It depends on how intense you want the wrapping mix to be. PP Seabreeze Oil is heavier however I know some excellent Shih Tzu coats that owe that to PP Seabreeze Oil. You will see the depth of colour come back into these coats with the oil and that is the consequence of the moisture content & 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. Moisture and 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 coat will win you big points with the judges.

As for your own frazzled hair in the sun, you too can use all those nice products you buy for the dogs. For prevention, wear a hat - your hair and skin deserve it. Plush Puppy has a special new Plush Puppy Hat available that is a lightweight bucket hat, nice and floppy with a brim and doesn't give you hat hair nor the usual hat headache that comes from larger heavier hats. These fold up for easy carrying or stuffing into the grooming box and are machine washable. They cover the neck, nose and ears PLUS they are GROOVY! All the young teenagers are wearing them and if Jennifer Anniston can wear a bucket hat, then so can I. Maybe I can get her figure too!

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