If you have a dog with curly hair, like a Shih Tzu or a poodle, a trip to the groomer is probably a regular occurrence. You can skip the expense and straighten your dog's hair yourself, starting with a clean coat, a slicker or pin brush, and a not-too-hot hair dryer. With the right tools and some patience, your dog will look like he just came back from a day at the salon.
Start with a clean coat
Unwashed hair can lead to knots and tangles because of oil buildup and dirt. If you want your dog to be sleek and soft, start with clean hair. Give your dog a bath with shampoo and conditioner. Start by running lukewarm water in the bathtub. You may enjoy a warm or hot bath, but a dog's body runs hotter than humans, so their perception of temperature is different.
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Choose a shampoo that's suited to your dog's curly coat, which is most likely something that adds extra moisture. Rinse out the shampoo really well. Conditioner is an important next step. It will make the hair easier to brush out while you straighten it. Forcefully trying to pull a brush through your dog's hair is not an experience either of you wants. A hair straightener spray for dogs might help by smoothing the hair and protecting it from heat.
Get a show dog coat without a straightener
It's dangerous to use a straightener on your dog. They reach temperatures that are too high, and you run the risk of burning your dog's skin. Blow dryers made specifically for dogs are ideal because they don't get as hot and are less likely to burn. They also come with styling attachments. Among the different types of dog blow dryers, the best one to use in this case is a force dryer. If you don't have one, a blow dryer meant for humans is OK as long as it doesn't get too hot. This method of straightening curly hair is called fluff drying.
Turn on the blow dryer and put it on the lowest setting. Start by pointing it away from your dog so she can get used to the sound. Dogs have sensitive hearing, and the sound of the blow dryer is scary for many dogs. Getting her used to the sound can make the process go more smoothly. When you do point it at your dog, hold it far enough away to protect her from the heat. While you blow dry, it's also a good opportunity to check your dog for any unusual lumps or bumps.
Choose the right brush
There are several types of brushes for dogs. The type of brush you should use depends on your dog's coat and what style you're trying to achieve. For straightening curly hair, use a slicker brush or pin brush. The gaps between the bristles allow them to brush through thick or curly hair smoothly without making it frizzy, and they usually have little balls on the ends of the bristles, making them gentle against your dog's skin.
Start drying the hair from roots to ends blowing the water away from the hair. Use an up and down motion and try not to let the hair twirl into a knot. Work your way through section by section, brushing through and blow drying the legs, body, tail, and head, making sure you're careful around your dog's face. Cover his eyes so he doesn't get poked. Once the hair is almost dry, focus on making it straight. If there are parts that aren't as straight as you want it to be, give it a spritz with water and try again.