WHAT WE FEED OUR PUPPIES
We feed our pets and our puppies a variety of foods. Right now we are using Honest Kitchen brand dog foods for our current litters. I prefer to use a high quality freeze dried food like Primal, Stella & Chewy's, or Honest Kitchen. I also mix in dry kibble from Honest Kitchen, Orijen, and Acana as well. Some of these foods are grain-free simply because many of the brands I prefer also happen to be grain free. This is NOT necessary for Cotons in general. I usually choose a food based on their protein source and it also coincides with grain free a lot of the time.
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We are currently using both Honest Kitchen Dehydrated and Honest Kitchen Kibble. It is a brand that I have used off and on for the past six years. It uses human grade quality ingredients and our puppies love the whole grain chicken and whole grain turkey flavors for the dehydrated mix. The ten pound box makes FORTY pounds of food!
We use the chicken flavor Whole Food Clusters (kibble ) for them also.
The Wild Meadow (any flavor) are a really good size for training small Cotons. They are easily broken into even smaller pieces to make for quick returns while training.
The Fromm Crunchy O's are light and airy and have really been a hit for our puppies. These treats are 'high value' for our pups.
Make no mistake about it - a Coton is a HIGH MAINTENANCE dog in the sense that they require DAILY GROOMING! I had never had a dog with long hair prior to having a Coton. All of my learning was by trial and error. I live in an area that there were only two other Cotons. None of the groomers I liked had ever seen a Coton nor did they know exactly what a groomed and trimmed Coton should look like. If you devote the time and effort you should not have to spend fortunes at the groomer. If you do not spend the time and effort, the groomer visits will be frequent. These are the supplies that I have found to be the most helpful in the relatively short period of time I have owned Cotons. Because they have hair and not fur your grooming tools will need to be a little different to reflect the different needs.
Below are some of my favorite tools to use. You can also find more tools in the book, The Coton Book, published by Dr. Jay Russell for the mCTCA.
You can choose either of these two brushes to help reduce tangling of the Coton coat. I use these in short, quick, light strokes to help detangle and loosen small mats. These are relatively inexpensive and are a must for your grooming kit.
The coral colored Chris Christensen brush is a great finishing brush to get that fresh from the groomers look. This brush was recommended to me by my groomer because I wanted my pups to look brushed out for more than five minutes after I was done grooming them.
The Artero Matt-X dematter spray is my favorite spray to use after bathing my Cotons. It works best on damp hair when you are brushing and drying as you go. It does not work well on dry hair to remove tangles. You will usually end up with more of a mess than when you began.
For dry mats when you don't want to bathe your coton, use baby powder. Make sure it is cornstarch based and talc-free. Whichever brand you choose to use is fine. Sprinkle a little in and then I use either the small Sarafi comb or the boar bristle brush to try and work the powder in to help loosen the mats. I didn't learn the powder trick until my first Coton was 18 months old. It would have saved me a lot of heartache when I had to have her cut when she blew out her puppy coat for her adult coat. Baby Powder is a must have tool in your Coton grooming kit.
The small steel medium/fine comb by Safari is another must have tool for grooming your Coton. It is great for trying to loosen some of those tighter knots and mats.
The Safari De-Matting Comb should only be used as a last resort. It is NOT to be used all over as it will greatly thin the hair and could also pull and hurt. This comb is great for really tight mats that you cannot otherwise remove. This should be used only when you have a few mats that cannot be removed any other way. When using this tool-- proceed with caution.