Akitas are famous for their striking appearance, strength, and loyalty. Their thick double coat, a defining characteristic of the breed, requires special care to keep it healthy and radiant. Here are seven key tips for caring for an Akita effectively, along with answers to some common questions first-time Akita owners may have.
1. Regular brushing is key
Akita has a dense double coat that sheds twice a year. Regular brushing helps control shedding and prevents matting and tangling. Aim for a routine of brushing at least once or twice a week, and more frequently during shedding seasons.
2. Choose the right tools
The right tools are essential for grooming an Akita. Invest in a quality buffing brush, undercoat rake, and de-hairing tool. These will effectively remove loose hairs and take care of the dense undercoat, especially during shedding periods.
3. Keep bathrooms to a minimum
Akitas naturally repel dirt with their double coat, so frequent bathing is not necessary. Too many baths can strip the natural oils from the coat, leading to dryness and irritation. Only bathe your Akita when he really needs it or about every 3 to 4 months.
4. Regular nail trims
Keeping your Akita’s nails trimmed is an important part of grooming. Long nails can cause discomfort and affect the dog’s movement. Try to trim your Akita’s nails every 3-4 weeks, being careful to avoid clipping the nails.
This highly rated nail grinder on Amazon makes nail trimming a breeze.
5. Check and Clean the Ears
Akitas have erect ears that can be a magnet for dirt and pests. Regular checks can help identify any problems early. Clean the ears as needed with a vet-approved solution, but avoid over-cleaning, which can lead to irritation.
We like the PetMD brand of ear wipes available on Amazon.
6. Do not neglect oral hygiene
Dental health is crucial to your Akita’s overall well-being. Regularly brush your dog’s teeth with dog-safe toothpaste to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Ideally, this should be done a couple of times a week.
For dogs who hate brushing, another good option is these tasty dental chews, available on Amazon.
7. Get professional help when needed
Akitas are large dogs with heavy fur, which can be difficult to handle at times, especially for first-time owners. Do not hesitate to seek professional help for tasks such as trimming the coat or if you notice any skin problems.
Now, let’s address some common queries new Akita owners may have about grooming.
Q: How often should I brush my Akita?
A: Akitas should be brushed at least once or twice a week. However, during shedding seasons, they may need daily brushing to control excess loose hair.
Q: Can I shave my Akita’s coat in the summer to keep it cool?
A: No, shaving the Akita’s double coat can damage it and lead to skin problems. The coat naturally helps regulate the dog’s temperature, providing insulation from both heat and cold.
Q: How can I make grooming more comfortable for my Akita?
A: Always be careful when grooming and use the proper tools to avoid hurting your dog. Make the grooming session enjoyable with treats and praise. Starting grooming routines at an early age can also help your dog get used to it.
Q: How often should I bathe my Akita?
A: Generally, Akitas only need to be bathed every 3-4 months, or when they get really dirty. Their coats naturally repel dirt, and excessive bathing can strip natural oils.
Q: What should I do if my Akita’s skin appears red and irritated during grooming?
A: If you notice skin irritation or redness, it could indicate an allergic reaction or skin infection. Stop grooming and see your vet for proper treatment.
Q: How can I keep my Akita’s teeth healthy?
A: Regular brushing with dog-safe toothpaste is key to maintaining your Akita’s dental health. Chew toys can also help control plaque and tartar.
Q: What should I do if my Akita resists clipping?
A: Be sure to handle your dog gently and that the scissors do not cause discomfort. You can try distracting your dog with treats during trimming. If your Akita continues to resist, consider seeking professional help.
Grooming is an integral part of caring for your Akita’s health and well-being. With regular care and attention, your Akita’s coat will stay vibrant and healthy, contributing to your dog’s overall regal appearance.