Your dog's coat can be a good indicator of their overall health and just like the rest of their body, it requires certain care elements. Here, our Mandeville vets share what you need to do to keep your pup's coat looking and feeling healthy!
Keeping Your Dog's Coat Healthy
Helping your dog keep their skin and coat healthy is an important part of your pup's overall well-being. If your dog's coat is healthy it will be soft and relatively smooth, have a shine to it without being greasy, and should not have a strong odor. Signs of an unhealthy coat include dry or brittle hair, a greasy or dusty appearance, bald spots, skin irritation, and an unpleasant smell. Here are our Mandeville vets' top tips for keeping your dog's coat healthy:
Bathing helps remove dirt and debris from your dog's coat and keep their skin healthy. However, bathing your dog too often can irritate the skin, damage hair follicles, and increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
For most dogs, bathing frequency should be between once a month and once every three months. Use a shampoo formulated specifically for dogs, and water that is warm, but not warmer than the dog's skin.
Brushing helps prevent skin irritation and matting by removing dead hair from your dog’s coat. It also helps reduce the amount of dog hair around the house – a perpetual battle that most dog owners are familiar with!
The longer your dog’s hair is, the more frequently it will need to be brushed. Some dogs need to be brushed weekly, while others can be brushed once a month. Talk to your vet or groomer about what they recommend for your pup!
Different breeds have different needs when it comes to haircuts. Talk to your vet or a professional groomer to find out exactly how often (or if at all) your dog needs haircuts, and how best to go about it.
To cut your dog's hair, bathe them first using good quality dog shampoo, and then towel dry and brush. Use sharp scissors to trim the fur around the face and feet, and electric clippers for the rest of the body.
One of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy coat is your dog's diet. Good quality food can provide your dog with all the nutritional elements they need to keep their fur thick and healthy.
Food can also be a source of trouble if your dog suffers from allergies. Oftentimes, if your dog is allergic to something in their food you will notice its effects on their skin and coat. You might notice skin irritation or sores and may find their hair is brittle. In these situations, it's always best to bring your pup to the vet for an examination to rule out any other underlying causes of their skin and coat issues and discuss with your vet the best food option for your dog.
Bathing and brushing your dog can be difficult - sometimes it's best to leave it to the professionals! Professional groomers are trained to know exactly what to do to leave your dog looking and smelling fresh and clean.
There are also some other added benefits to professional grooming. Professional groomers can take care of other necessary tasks such as nail trimming and anal gland expression that you may not feel comfortable doing at home. They also provide a second eye for any emerging health conditions; they could feel a lump or bump that you didn't notice and can alert you if they see anything that requires follow-up during the grooming session.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.