Perhaps the most distinctive feature on the Coton de Tulear is its beautiful coat of white hair. In fact "coton" is the French word for "cotton". Although most people refer to the hair of the Coton as "cottony", it is actually fluffy, and to the eye, it looks like a big white, fluffy cotton ball. Since this beautiful coat of hair is the most prized possession of the Coton de Tulear, the top priority of any owner should be keeping it healthy and beautiful.
Taming the Beast
The long hair of the Coton de Tulear has a very light texture and should be carefully groomed on a daily basis. Grooming your Coton consists of brushing and combing out the dead hair. Grooming your Coton once each day will prevent the coat of your Coton from becoming matted and tangled. If you cannot commit to daily grooming of your Coton, you should seriously reconsider having it as a pet. Daily grooming is necessary to keep your Coton's hair looking as it should. Since the hair of the Coton de Tulear is not meant to be cut by scissors, you should not make any efforts to chop it off, as doing so will ruin the coat.
During the daily grooming process, make sure that you remove all the additional hair that gathers between the toes and inside the ears. Since your Coton does not shed, and it will not create a huge mound of hair on your sofa, you should be committed to brushing its hair everyday. If you fail to remove the excess and dead hair daily, you will find yourself staring at a couch filled with excess dog hair. Just before playtime everyday, give your Coton a quick brush.
Bathing your Coton
The frequency with which you bathe your Coton de Tulear will depend upon whether it gets the majority of exercise indoors or out. Since the Coton doesn't have the typical odor that is common with most dogs, the decision of how frequently to bathe it depends totally on you. If your Coton gets daily outdoor exercise, consisting of at least a 30 minute walk or more, you should consider about 3 baths per year. In general, this is a good rule of thumb, especially if your Coton receives daily brushing.
To keep your Coton de Tulear fully groomed, you will need a few tools. Before you pick up your Coton, you should have already purchased a comb and a brush to assist you in taming the hair. Choose whatever size brush that fits in your hand most comfortably, and for combs, choose one that has both fine and medium teeth. You will use the comb to remove dirt and dried food on the face of your Coton. Make sure you also purchase a pair of nail cutters to keep your Coton's "fingers and toes" well kempt. All of these items can be purchased at your local pet supply shop or online. All equipment should be appropriately sized for your Coton. Ask your pet supply owner if you aren't sure what size fits best. Now that you know what to do, grooming your Coton should be a piece of cake!